RISE AND SHINE
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under a peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house."
In a nutshell, how would you describe living the Christian life? No doubt, we could come up with many good answers from Scripture, but I really like this simple answer from the Sermon on the Mount—rise and shine!
Without question, Jesus Christ is the light of the world. He said so Himself in John 8:12. When we receive Him as Lord and Savior, we become His light to this darkened world (see Matthew 5:14). As bearers of His light, we have a clear-cut assignment: rise and shine. Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket! Put your light on the lampstand so it can illuminate the whole house.
WHERE LIGHT IS MOST NOTICEABLE
Have you ever turned on a flashlight in broad daylight? It is hard to see if it is shining, isn’t it? The beam from the flashlight gets swallowed up in the sunlight. But, if you turn on that same flashlight in the darkness, the shine is easily seen, and it makes all the difference in the world when traversing a dark pathway.
Perhaps God has put you in a dark place today. Perhaps you are working in a place where people routinely take God’s name in vain, tell dirty jokes, and make fun of holy things. Perhaps you are in a family or a school where you are the only one interested in following Christ. Perhaps you are physically in a dark place, sick and infirmed and wondering what God’s purpose in this affliction could possibly be.
The natural response to dark surroundings is to run away. “I don’t like this, Lord! Please get me outta here! Put me in the sunshine!” But God says, “My child, I need you in this dark place. I want to use you to make a difference in this dark place. I have put you there to rise and shine!”
DO LIKE PAUL AND SILAS
Paul and Silas found themselves in a dark place. They were put in an inner prison in Philippi, beaten and bloodied and fastened to the stocks for the crime of preaching the gospel. Needless to say, they were in a first century cesspool, surrounded by godless criminals. The Bible says, “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Philippians 16:25).
Did you catch that? They were letting their light shine in a very dark place, and everyone there took notice.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY
I don’t know what darkness you are facing today, but God does. He wants to use you in that dark place to make a difference and shine for Him. Perhaps you need to stop praying, “God get me outta here,” and start praying, “God, help me to shine for you in this dark place. Help me to act and react in a way that would cause people to see that You are the One who can give a song of praise even in the midst of pain.”
Where is your light today? Is it on the lampstand or under the basket? No matter the difficulty, God has commissioned us to rise and shine for Jesus, until He calls us home. Will you be faithful? Will you rise up to the challenge by the power of the Holy Spirit and shine for the King of kings?
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
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