Thursday, 24 December 2009

Let your light shine? What light?

"You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

A couple of emails and some Bible passages I read really got me onto the topic of “Shining for Christ”.  Well, God surely is not finished on this subject with me yet!

This morning, I journaled a prayer asking God to show me exactly how He created me, as the unique human being Karin, to shine for Him with the personality, gifts and talents He gave me.

God has started answering that prayer.

I came to the realisation that I don’t believe my life is worth much unless I serve and enrich the lives of others.  You know that whole sounding brass, or tinkling cymbal thing. (1 Corinthians 13)

I want my life to make a difference for good.

That train of thought actually made me feel a little depressed, because I got stuck thinking well I don’t do an awful lot, do I? What difference am I making?

Just to illustrate how God can speak to you in funny ways so you make the connection...

I starting thinking of one of my aunts and how her sunny bright personality is one way she serves others because she is focused & interested on them and not herself and her positive energy is quite infectious!

That in turn got me to thinking about how by just being who I am, who God made me, not necessarily doing anything special, I may be serving others.

Answers started coming that showed me how I may be making a difference even though I feel I’m not.

For instance, I usually allow others to just “be”.  Be who they are.  I may not agree with their beliefs or their actions, but as long as no one is being harmed, I let them be.  I think that makes people relax and feel safe in your presence, doesn’t it?

There were more answers I wrote down and I’m waiting for more clarity, but I shared that example above to show you how it can be anything about you that makes a difference in the lives of others... it’s that something that they like about being with you.  For you your gift may be your hospitality, or your sympathetic ear, or just the way you hug people hello.  Take some time to pray and think about it how you may be making a difference in the lives of others. I’m sure God will show you one or two things about yourself that you can do more consistently and use to serve His children.

Of course, God just loves confirming messages so again, online articles/emails spoke about this issue of 1) being a light for Christ and 2) all of us having a special way to shine for Christ.

Enjoy the two pieces below and let them speak to your heart.

Below I share with you an extract of email 1 as well as the full article on LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE.

Subject: Making Jesus attractive to all this Christmas
From Brigitte Petro Petrick

Pastor Deborah had a powerful message this past Sunday, about us being the salt and light in the world.  She spoke about us being the carriers of Christ’s light.  One of the questions she asked was, “Can people tell that you are a light carrier for Christ?”  It reminded me about a scripture God spoke to me about a couple of weeks ago -- a scripture I want to take into 2010 with me as a, shall we say, main focus!

Philippians 1v11: Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (MSG)

Can you imagine living a life that makes Jesus Christ attractive to all, that leads to getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God?  Awesome, wouldn’t you say!  It is such a huge responsibility we have… carrying the light of Christ into the world.  Have you considered the opposite: if we as Christians reflect the world rather than Christ, would people still be attracted to Christ if they can’t tell the difference between us and the world?  I don’t think so!  I think it is due to us being so different to what the world knows, that we make Christ attractive to the people around us.  Can you imagine showing love to someone you feel doesn’t deserve it, or compassion to someone you barely know?  The beginning of this scripture speaks about us living a lover’s life -– awesome -- showing and sowing love wherever we go!  Now that is what would make Christ attractive to the world!

Let us go into 2010 living a lover’s life, a life that makes Jesus Christ attractive to all, which leads to God receiving all the glory!  That will be my mission in 2010.  Remember to carry Christ’s light into every place you go!

Have a blessed Christmas
Love, Brigitte

Let Your Light So Shine by Marnie Pehrson
This weekend I had the unfortunate privilege of attending the memorial service for a childhood friend. Lamar Combs, who would have been thirty-seven this month, was training his dog to duck hunt, when he was thrown from his boat and drowned. The community of Chattanooga poured out their love and support for the family in a search and rescue mission that lasted for almost four days.
While I hadn't seen Lamar since 10th grade and my memories of him were fuzzy, two things stood out in my mind about him. He was always smiling, and he never made fun of people the way a lot of other kids did. As I listened to his friends and family share their memories of him, it became obvious that this happy Christian young man continued to befriend and love others into adulthood. Individual after individual shared with a large sanctuary packed with people the way he made them feel good about themselves -- the way he took an interest in each of them and cheered them up when they were down. He genuinely loved and cared for other people. He was a good husband and doting father to his four-year-old daughter and was looking forward to the birth of their second child in February.
While I was driving home from the memorial service, I asked myself, What can I learn from Lamar? Surely good must come of every tragedy. Nothing is wasted if we can all learn from it. The admonition of the Savior found in Matthew 5:14-16 came into my mind:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Lamar let his light shine. He brought glory to his Father in heaven. Sometimes I think I have to do some big or grand thing to make a difference in the world. But I learned from Lamar that an ordinary man, who loves his wife and children, who reaches out to others and shares his warmth and smile, someone who looks for ways to build others up can leave a lasting impact on the world. I was awestruck by the sheer number of people who were touched by the life of Lamar Combs -- someone the world would call an ordinary man, but who lived his life in an extraordinary way.
We each have the light of Christ within us. Jesus Christ is the Light that shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not (John 1:5). We bring glory to our Father in heaven when we let Christ's light shine through us and out to others. We don't have to be someone we're not. We don't need to covet the talents of others. We each have unique gifts, talents and messages to share with the world. Christ's light shines through us when we are who He created us to be. We let His light shine when we give of ourselves, when we truly love others and share what God has given us. Great things happen, people are touched, and lives are changed when we let His light shine.


Anonymous said...

hey all

I just wanted to introduce myself to everyone!

Can't wait to get to know you all better!


Thanks again!

Karin said...

Hi Marshall,

This is just my blog so others are not chatting here, but thanks for dropping by! :-) And keep checking back every now and then for new articles.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

hi everybody

great forum lots of lovely people just what i need

hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

Anonymous said...
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