This Little Light of Mine

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The early morning of February 10, 1977 is still a vivid moment in my life.  I became a father that day at about 6 am!  My emotions wildly swung between elation and terror when they placed that little baby boy in my arms for the first time.  I was responsible for a helpless infant; to protect, to feed, to lead along the pathway to productive adulthood. Most weighty that day was the realization that an eternal being was in my care. 42 years have passed and Jay, my son, is a joy, a man who has his own sons now. Most everything else I have done in life will be erased by time and/or could have been done by someone else. But, being Jay’s Dad is my unique privilege and he, along with my other children are my legacy.

After my children, near the top of list of the things that bring me joy there is another kind of ‘fathering.’  Nothing compares to the experience of being a partner with the Spirit of God in the spiritual re-birth of another person. When that person chooses to trust Christ Jesus, to receive the Spirit, and to be born into the family of God, I feel an elation akin to what I knew at the birth of my own children. Seeing faith mature, walking through the up’s and down’s of life with those who are my children in the faith, gives purpose and meaning to my life.

Have you had the privilege of praying with a friend to receive Christ? Have you led another along the pathway of discipleship, sharing discovery of truth, praying through hardship, celebrating break-throughs?  It is not just the work of pastors. All of us are given the privilege of sharing the Gospel and seeing the miracle of new birth come to others.  You don’t need a pulpit or a church office to be a witness for Jesus and His Gospel.  After His resurrection and prior to returning to His Father, Jesus said this – “When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NLT)

Evangelism (telling good news) is the privilege of every Christian.  A recent study in the church found that many Christians do not engage others in spiritual conversations. Talking about the importance of knowing Jesus is regarded by about half of young Christians as something that should not be done in our culture of tolerance and self-expression. I understand the angst of those younger Christians. They have no wish to be part of mega-movements that record ‘conversions’ as a measure of success; as in, ‘hundreds saved in weekend revival.’  They intuit that getting someone to raise their hand at the end of a meeting is not the same as inviting someone to become wholly new in Christ through new birth.  Even more offensive to these younger Believers is the mess of religion and politics that confuses being a patriot with being a disciple. Those younger Christians want to know Jesus in an authentic way.

But, to use a cliché, we cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater.  Evangelism remains our commission. Jesus sends us to the ends of the earth with His message of eternal life. The best ‘sermon’ is our life, our love, our joy, and our hope. The authentic experience of the Spirit is far more important than our words in drawing others to know Him.  Evangelism need not be a forced or awkward thing.  We are simply introducing our friends to our Friend. Peter explains “Worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15, NLT)

Would you like to live life with your friends and family eternally, knowing the joy of a shared love of Jesus? Don’t make Him invisible.  Moses said “Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.” (Deuteronomy 6)

Here is a word from the Word. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, The Message)

________

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine\
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine let it shine let it shine

 Let it shine till Jesus comes
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine tell Jesus comes
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine tell Jesus comes
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine let it shine let it shine

Harry Dixon Loes © Words: Public Domain

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