Are Your Lights On?
I know most of us or perhaps all of us at one time in our lives have experienced the lights going out, whether in our homes, or in a place of business, school or church. Some of you may have experienced having your lights turned off because you forgot to pay your light bill, or just could not afford to pay the bill on time. I have experienced my lights going out several times through circumstances I had no control over. Usually a storm or an accident in the neighborhood causes it. Then “out go the lights.”
Well, we know when the lights are out we are in darkness. We cannot see a thing. If we are not familiar with the surroundings, we are not able to even feel our way around to get to flash lights, candles, matches, or whatever we need. So it’s a bad situation to be in — DARKNESS.
Now, when things are functioning properly, we go home, turn on the light switch and we have light. We see everything. Sometimes things we don’t want to see! Furniture needs dusting, floors need cleaning, and the list goes on. But it is still good to have light.
Before we gave our lives to Christ we were lost in darkness. Someone had to come along with his or her light shining bright, and tell us how to come out of darkness and into Christ’s marvelous light.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Jesus paid the price for all of us in full. He died on the cross and rose again. When we accept Christ in our lives our lights never have to go out. No matter what circumstances come our way, we never have to worry about paying our bill on time. It’s been paid in full forever.
Without lights you’re walking around in darkness, trying to make it, or trying to find your way. But you need the light of Christ. No one living in darkness will ever find their way without it. Like the saying “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel”, Jesus is that light at the end of everyone’s tunnel.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).
No matter what problems arise, we can still let our lights shine. When people treat you bad — let your light shine. When sickness comes upon you — let your light shine. If money runs out — let your light shine. We choose daily whom we will serve. Let us choose to serve Christ and let our lights shine BRIGHT!
One of the amazing things that happens as God is healing your soul is that you start to see yourself the way He sees you. Over time, you receive His love in new ways, and you realize that He’s made you uniquely and has a reason for you to be on earth. God has gifted you to fulfill His purpose for your life, but if you’re like a lot of people, you may not have recognized your gifts yet. When we’re in pain in our soul, sometimes all we can focus on is what seems wrong about us; it can be extremely difficult to see what is good and right about us. As God begins to heal our mind, will, and emotions, we find it easier to think about encouraging things and even recognize positive aspects of ourselves.
I encourage you to start asking God to show you something special about the way He’s made you. To some people, He’s given a very tender, compassionate heart. Some He has wired to lead others effectively, and others He’s created to be excellent followers. Some can cook, some can sew, and some can’t do those things, but they’re amazing at other things. To some, He has given a gift of being able to communicate clearly, to teach, to make scientific discoveries, or to write beautiful music. Only you can discover all the dynamic gifts He’s placed in you. Romans 12:6–8 talks about giving ourselves to our gifts. In other words, we need to find out the things we’re designed for, and then devote ourselves wholeheartedly to exercising those gifts.
People usually enjoy doing what they’re gifted to do. Some people feel they’re not good at anything, but that’s not true. When we make an effort to do what others are good at doing, we often fail because we’re not gifted for those things, but that does not mean we’re good for nothing. We should look for what we are good at and begin developing those talents. As we do what God has created and gifted us to do, we find joy and fulfillment in life. People who are secure and confident in God know that He’s created them to be unique and that they have a one-of-a-kind purpose. They realize that God loves them and has a plan for them, and they don’t compare themselves to others, which is very freeing. I encourage you to be secure enough to enjoy what other people can do and to enjoy what you can do, but never try to be anyone but yourself. Start saying positive things about yourself instead of negative things, because that will help release the gifts God has placed in you.
You’re Shining for Jesus Wherever You Are
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
The news headlines drifted in from the living room as I sat at my desk. The story of yet another tragedy contrasted so sharply with what I was writing that I stopped, sighed and leaned back in my chair. A sense of despair washed over me.
“Lord,” I silently prayed, “is there anything I can do about the darkness in this world? It seems so overwhelming.”
I sensed a gentle whisper within my heart replying, “The only way to get rid of the darkness is to add more light.”
Darkness is the absence of light. Trying to go after it directly is like chasing your shadow. You can’t bag it up and throw it away. Only light is powerful enough to make the darkness disappear. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that we are the light of the world. We are called to shine. But the light we share is not our own.
From the very beginning of creation, God has been the source of light both spiritually and literally. Genesis 1:2b-3 says, “Darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (NIV).
Imagine a world full of darkness. Then with four small words, light blazes forth. Every living thing in our world relies on light for its existence – plants, animals and people. The God who brought light to the world also brings it to our lives. As 2 Corinthians 4:6a says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts” (NIV).
The best part of all is that we don’t have to be like the light bulb that said, “I have to find a way to shine!” The light bulb went to a self-help meeting to learn about its inner capacity for light. It read books about how to get brighter. Each morning the light bulb would get up and recite positive affirmations. “I am a light bulb. I believe in myself. I will shine!” But nothing happened.
Eventually the light bulb became weary and discouraged. It began to doubt who it was and what it could do. It almost burned out completely. Fortunately, one day the light bulb was carefully placed in a fixture. Light burst forth and filled the room. The light bulb finally understood. The key was not to try harder but to plug into the source.
Trying to shine on our own can be exhausting. Instead, we’re simply called to be closely connected to God and remain in Him. When we do, His light pours forth through us in powerful, brilliant ways that change the world. The ways we shine might not make the news, but they make even more of a difference than we can see.
By: Charles Spurgeon
“There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9
Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 14:12-16
From Monday morning till Saturday night, many of you will not be able to lay aside your needle and your thread, except when, tired and weary, you fall back on your chair, and are lulled to sleep by your thoughts of labor! Oh! how seasonable will heaven’s rest be to you! Oh! how glad will you be, when you get there, to find that there are no Monday mornings, no more toil for you, but rest, eternal rest! Others of you have had manual labour to perform; you have reason to thank God that you are strong enough to do it, and you are not ashamed of your work; for labor is an honor to a man. But still there are times when you say, “I wish I were not so dragged to death by the business of London life.” We have but little rest in this huge city; our day is longer, and our work is harder than our friends in the country. You have sometimes sighed to go into the green fields for a breath of fresh air; you have longed to hear the song of the sweet birds that used to wake you when you were young; you have regretted the bright blue sky, the beauteous flowers, and the thousand charms of a country life. And, perhaps, you will never get beyond this smoky city; but remember, when you get up there, “sweet fields arrayed in living green,” and “rivers of delight” shall be the place where you shall rest, you shall have all the joys you can conceive of in that home of happiness.
For meditation: The Christian’s rest in heaven will be enriched by the worth of his work for Christ on earth (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). Spurgeon says:- “There, up in heaven, Luther has no more to face a thundering Vatican; Paul has no more to run from city to city, and continent to continent; there Baxter has no more to toil in his pulpit, to preach with a broken heart to hard hearted sinners; there no longer has Knox to “cry aloud and spare not” against the immoralities of the false church.” What will you be missing?