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This Little Light of Mine

Posted on October 15, 2017 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Matthew 5:14

Remember the children’s Bible song, This Little Light of Mine? You know the next phrase, right? “I’m gonna let it shine.” Simple. Memorable. Effective.

In fact, that catchy tune and its easy to remember lyrics present a powerful Biblical message. But I wonder if it’s so simple, we miss the point.

We reflect the light of Christ. He is the light of the world. And it is the mission of His followers to illuminate the world with the light of the gospel.

Recently, I shared the story of my first cross-country adventure. On that journey, I recall traveling through the desert at night. Talk about dark. No illuminated signs or highway lighting. Just the old Chevy headlights to light my path. Occasionally a vehicle would pass by. There was no sign of human life. No houses, buildings, gas stations, or restaurants. Just open road.

Then after several hours seemingly in the middle of nowhere, I saw a most glorious sight in the distance. At first it appeared as a soft glow. Eventually, that flicker turned into a glowing light revealing a town where I could get gas for my car, food for my body, and a little conversation to cheer my heart.

The place where I stopped to eat was a dive, but then again at three in the morning you can’t be picky. When I walked through the door, the dozen or so people in the room stared at me. While I ate my meal, a man who had left returned and stopped by my table. “Did you drive here all the way from Hawaii?” he asked.

A fellow sitting at the bar called out, “Where’d you get such a crazy idea?”

“Saw the Hawaii tags on his car,” said the man.

With that, the room broke out in laughter, which led to a cheerful conversation about where I had been, where I was headed, and my job in the Navy.

Thirty minutes before, I was feeling down, lonely, and uneasy. But then I entered the light where my needs were met and my spirits were lifted.

This Little Light of Mine Provides Illumination through the Darkness of Evil.

Of course, when Jesus refers to darkness and our role as light in the world, He is speaking in a spiritual sense. The world is inherently evil, in darkness, and without everlasting hope. Jesus is the light sent by God to deliver mankind from the darkness of wickedness and the eternal torment of hell.

This Little Light of Mine is Part of the Christian DNA.

So how do you make your light shine? The good news is you don’t have to be a great evangelist or religious leader to fulfill Jesus’ expectation. Remember, Jesus says you ARE light. You don’t just act like light, it’s who you are. So letting your light shine should come naturally.

We gain greater understanding when we examine the Lord’s instruction in context.

“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

This Little Light of Mine Should Never Be Hidden.

We are light — but we can hide the light by our own volition. It’s like putting on a disguise to avoid being recognized. Possibly our reason is fear of ridicule, harassment, or disapproval. Whatever the rationale, it is wrong, and dangerous.

“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26

If you continually attempt to hide your identity in Christ, you need to examine yourself to see that you are in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) Such behavior is a red flag to the nonexistence of saving faith.

Jesus said you’re to let your light shine “before others, that they may see your good deeds.” (Matthew 5:16) Your light then is your interaction with others, those things you do that honor God. It’s not just preaching and witnessing, although that’s a vital part of it. It’s good works that help, heal, lift up, and bless. And it’s treating others with grace, mercy, and love.

Make this commitment today. “This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.”

For more on this topic, check out this article: Your Part in the Great Commission

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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Your Part in the Great Commission

Posted on September 15, 2017 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19

When we see the word “therefore” in the Bible, it’s often followed by an important revelation. So before we look at our responsibility for sharing the gospel, let’s look at the events that preceded Jesus’ proclamation.

The occasion was an appearance of the risen Lord to His disciples. Since Judas abandoned Christ, this was to be a meeting of the remaining eleven as specified by an angel who met the women at the empty tomb. Jesus later greeted the women upon their return and reiterated the message. “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:10)

In the preceding verse, we get a hint at what is meant by “therefore.” We’re told that they (the women) worshipped Him. Later, when His disciples saw Jesus on the mountain, they also worshipped the Lord. (v17)

Jesus had done what He said He would do. He died and was resurrected in three days. And they worshipped Him. He had proven to be more than a great prophet or teacher. Jesus was God, and He confirmed it with the pronouncement in verse 18. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

The first act of Jesus’ authority is called the Great Commission. Like a general before His army, Jesus gave marching orders to His disciples.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… Matthew 28:19

Because of what they had witnessed and learned from Him. Because of what had been revealed to them about Him. “Therefore go…”

They were to take the Lord’s good news to the world. His message wasn’t exclusively for the Jews, but for all peoples. Their coming to Christ was to be followed by baptism. Baptism here means to dip or immerse. And it was to be done in the name of the Godhead, which again revealed Jesus’ unique authority as the second person of the Trinity, “Father… Son… and the Holy Spirit.”

In verse 20, Jesus clarifies His directive: “…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” New followers were to be taught the commands of Christ. There’s more to discipleship than just leading people to Christ. They must also learn the doctrines of the faith and especially the teachings of Jesus.

Even though Jesus gave this great responsibility to His followers, He didn’t leave them without help. He added, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

That was then, and this is now. Did Jesus intend that commission for all believers or was it directed solely to His first disciples? The answer is both.

The Lord’s command was directed at all of us. Even in the Great Commission he declared that disciples are to be taught to obey all of His teachings.

All Christians have a role in proclaiming the gospel. That’s not to say we’re all evangelists or preachers. We help people see Christ by the way we live our lives and through our talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts.

We must first put ourselves in a position to be used. That comes through prayer, spiritual growth, and living a godly life.

What is your role in fulfilling the Great Commission? How have you prepared yourself to be used by God? If someone asked you the reason for your hope, could you tell them?

Don’t let shyness or social anxiety stand in your way. If you have a friend or loved one who needs Christ, ask your pastor or a Christian teacher to pay them a visit. Pray for the Lord to show you what you can do.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Do You Know the Way to Heaven?

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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