A song by Newworldson is the inspiration for this week’s version of the iPod Devotional. The song “Learning To Be The Light” talks about how God restored a lonely, desperate soul and these lyrics hit my heart today.
And now everything is falling into place
A brand new life is calling and I owe it all to grace
It's so much brighter living in Your world
Savior, what You did for me
You gave me something I want everyone to see
I love those lyrics. It is so much brighter living in His world. I am so grateful for what Jesus did for me. And I truly want everyone to see the joy and hope that I have in my heart.
But the reason this song struck a chord is that I did not live that desire well last week. I forgot (again) who I am in Christ. I allowed frustration to rob my joy and I forgot (again) to use the always ready resource of the Holy Spirit to refresh my spirit. I was anything but a light for others to see. In the past I would have spiraled deeper into shame and doubt. I am beginning to understand the source of that response. Satan loves to remind me of the mistakes and baggage of my past. Now I am comprehending the truth that God’s amazing grace means that accusation is no longer true about me. I am a new creation because of Christ. So I can forgive myself for temporary failures and I can have the courage to step up and admit them. That act alone will raise a lot of eyebrows in this “not my fault” culture.
The song goes on to lay out simply what I am learning in grace.
When we struggle and it all goes wrong
Only You can make it right
So I say
I'm learning to be the light
I am learning to be the light. I will never graduate from this course. But I am clearly learning more each day, week and year about grace and being a light for Christ.
Today I read in Ephesians how this might look in the everyday madness.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. (Ephesians 4, NLT)
We forget that all of us have faults. All of us have bad days. All of us have unseen things in our lives that cause stress and fear. I pray that I will be patient so that I will be a light for both followers and non-followers of Jesus. I need grace every day. Why am I so reluctant to give grace to others?
The song continues with the best way to be an influence for the saving grace of Jesus.
When a heart is cold as ice
You can't melt it with advice
No one wants to listen to
A list of things they shouldn't do
So I build a city on a hill
And I light a candle on the sill
Knowing You'll be always knocking at the door
Oh God I just want to love on everyone
That is my heart’s desire. I want to allow God to love on everyone through me. I want to learn to be a light. I want to allow the Holy Spirit free access in my heart so that I can more consistently live the description of a Spirit filled Christian that Paul writes about in Ephesians.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4, NLT)
I have often said that a Christian who cannot forgive has forgotten how much they have been forgiven. I pray that I never forget that truth.