Blessed Friday to you!
Has anyone commented on your "light quotient" recently? A little while back, I was reminded of this, as a neighbor stopped my husband in a local parking lot with a devastating prayer request. "I'm telling this to you, Richard, because I know you are a 'real Christian'". He knew that Richard was a source of God's light. He sensed he desperately needed that light--that it was his only hope in this situation. Previously, this guy had written us off as "crazy" for our heart for adoption, "kinda weird, Y'all", and "you guys are just...different--how do ya do it?" "Your life would drive me nuts!!"(ouch)--Now he was asking for the very thing he had thought was "quirky". We love this neighbor and are AMAZED with how simple, Godly lives matter so much in this world -- so THRILLED he's searching for God's light!! May this be compounded by all of our lives in Him!! Think about how many could be brought to Him!!
Several weekends ago we were having a hot dog roast with a couple friends and neighbors--kids were running around and jumping on the trampoline--a typical happy time. We may have not "looked" all that typical :) about 4 or 5 nationalities of children played in the sandbox--some adopted some not--some with physical challenges--others not. Big families, small families --as I write this--I'm reminding myself of "Go Dog Go"--you know, the children's book that talks of all sorts of dogs, Big Dogs, Little Dogs, Blue Dogs, and Red Dogs all at a (emphasis here please as you read it out loud!)--A DOG PARTY!! We were having a great time. Well, some of our sweet neighbors stepped outside and really were floored--they were just hangin' out at their fence--just taking the scene in. It turns out they knew one of my dearest friends, Heather, at our party and as they visited with her, listen to some of the chat,it went something like this--"This is cool--I mean look at ALL these kids running around. And they are all getting along! Really different but really great, I mean it! Hey, I know your husband, Scott from the hospital (aside--Scott is an amazing pediatric RN and loves Jesus--ALOT--by the way) he is just different--tender--an amazing guy...there's something just so different about him...and how's Richard, Gillian...I mean that guy--he always has a smile on his face--he's a unique guy--(are you sensing a theme here?)
People are watching. And they see. They see the light even if they cannot comprehend it. (John 1:5) And we who love Christ are ever giving off His light--EVEN WHEN WE ARE NOT AWARE OF IT. That so encourages me!! For I would not know where to start to TRY to become a light-producer. NO, its GRACE. Like a little lightening bug, as we become His children, by believing in Jesus, AT THAT POINT we are given this "glow light"--its a part of us--it glows the brightest in the dark. A signal to where life can be found. "And the light that came into the world was the light of life" Light chases away the dark places of our Daddy's world, spotlighting His handiwork and will here. That's an amazing thing. To know that as we stepped foot into God's kingdom by our belief in Jesus, we His light just became a part of us--that it shines "ever brighter and brighter until the full light of day "-- till His return--Its happening RIGHT NOW if you know and love Christ!! Be assured, PLEASE have settled hearts as you hear reports on T.V. about this or that or about fear, or darkness, or unrest--we are children of the Father of the Heavenly Lights--we are citizens of a kingdom of Light. We just do not belong to the dark. I love hearing my little children sing, "Even the darkness is light to you and light is as bright as the dawn." This light in us will draw men to our Father's salvation even as little moths are drawn to our outside house lights. In a way, darkness is an excellent contrast/background to truly see light. He is the darkness chaser and pursuer--He WILL NOT let darkness remain or reign--in our hearts and it will not overcome this world--"take heart, I have overcome the world", He says.--Praise Him!!--Thank Him for His light in you!! Thank Him that He is coming back!! and so look forward to that day--encourage one another with this Truth. Thank Him for his kingdom that has come and is coming in more fullness every day.
Here's a powerful devotional from Voice of the Martyrs this is taken from their Extreme Devotion devotional booklet.
"Faith is the invisible expression of our personal relationship with Christ. The Bible characterizes people's faith as light -- a diffusion of hope that affects everyone around them. Jesus chose this illustration because of light's inability to be restrained. For example, reading by flashlight under the covers, unknown to the average child, is hardly effective in terms of disguising late night activity! Light simply shines by its very nature -- despite our attempts to restrain it. Likewise, tension arises in believers' lives when they must choose to fully express their faith or attempt to muffle it someway. With the reliability of the daily sunrise, those who have affirmed their decision once and for all find shining their light to be second nature."
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord...Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Be very careful,then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil...Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (from Ephesians 5)
Shine on, followers of Christ!! Let them ask, "what's so different about that one?"--don't be embarrassed about your light--they need it.
Listen to this powerful Word:
"Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness over the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and His glory will be seen upon you.
And nations ahall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult"