Monday, December 27, 2010

Shining Light

Yesterday Helen shared with us that we are the light of the world. This means that we are to allow Jesus to shine in us for others to see. She shared about our Christmas lights that we put on our house this year. For the last few years I put Christmas lights on our front bushes and trees. This year Helen wanted lights hanging from our roof. So I borrowed an extension ladder and put lights up there.
One of the differences with lights down on bushes instead of up on the roof is that we can see the lower lights when they are on from the inside of the house. So the lights on the roof were left on for a day or so because we could not see that they were left on. During the day the lights were not bright enough with the sunlight for us to notice them. Once it was getting dark, then we noticed that we had left them on.
This can teach us a lesson when it comes to the light of our faith. When our light shines in the good times, the times full of light it is not the same as shining in the darkness. It is great for our light to shine in the good times because our light should always be shining. When it is shining in the good times it may not be noticed by as many people, but we still must shine.
The time our faith really needs to shine is in the dark times, the difficult times of life. When we are struggling or facing difficulty the darkness surrounds us. This is when our faith has a great opportunity to shine. Others can be shown the light when they witness how our faith shines in the dark times. This is also the time other Christians, other lights, are to gather together to bring light into the darkness.
So, no matter what we are called to let our light shine, in the good times and in the bad. Let your light shine before others so they may see your faith and praise your Father in heaven.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guiding Light

We have been focusing on the Light of Christmas. An obvious light of Christmas is the star that leads the Magi to Bethlehem. This comes from Matthew 2:1-12. This light in the sky was the guide for the Magi as it led them to Jesus.
So far I have encouraged you to watch for the light and talk about the light. And if that is all we do this Christmas it is not a bad thing, but there is more. God also wants us to follow the light. When we see the Christmas Light shining we should notice it, talk about it, and allow it to guide us to participate in the light.
The Magi saw the star, they probably talked about the star, and then finally they decided to follow the star. If they had not moved they would have just stayed in their home country and never met Jesus.
I have always wondered what motivated the Magi to make this move. They were not from the Jewish faith. The people of Israel were watching and waiting for the Messiah. The people of Israel should have been following the star, at least out of religious duty. But why are these Magi following it? Something about the star has just captured them and drew them to follow.
As we follow the Light of Christmas, there will be times we will need to follow out of religious duty. We will follow just because we know God wants us to. And that is okay. God may call us to do something we would not normally do, but for His glory we will be called to follow.
Other times following the light will be something we are just drawn to, like the Magi. We may not know why, but something will be drawing us to the light.
There will also be times we cannot chase after the light fast enough. With all that we are, we enjoy following the light.
No matter how we are guided by the light, we need to follow. When we follow the Light of Christmas we will be blessed and we will be a blessing. I hope you will make the move and follow the light this Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fearless Light

Last week I encourage you to look for the light of Christmas. This week I want to encourage you to fearlessly share about the light you have seen. If you have been looking for the light, I hope that you have seen it. Now when you see it be sure to share it with others.
The shepherds from Luke 2:8-20 are a great example for us on sharing the story of the light. After angels told them about the baby born in a stable, they went and found that baby. Then it says they "returned glorifying and praising God." They told others about what God had been doing around them. Their story probably sounded strange with singing angels appearing in a night sky and finding a baby lying in a manger, but that was the story they shared. They were not concerned with whether people would believe them or not. They just fearlessly shared their story of seeing the light.
I hope that when you see the Light of Christmas you will point it out to others. You do not have to say it is the Light of Christmas, but just point out that God is involved in whatever is going on.
Last week a friend received an envelop that had a Christmas card in it and some gift certificates. They had no idea where it came from and it was quite a blessing. Helen just said, "God is good." Reminding us that this was a Christmas Light moment.
Also this morning I had to comment on a facebook post that shared how a new member of our church pulled over in the freezing cold yesterday on Interstate 80 to help a young lady. Her tire blew and he changed it for her. He was being the Light of Christmas and I wanted to thank him for that.
We probably have seen many instances of the Light of Christ shining around us, but too often we do not call attention to it. If we do not call attention to it, others may not notice that God was with them. So let's work on giving God the glory when the Light of Christmas shines in us, through us and around us.