Shine Bright!

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Light, what a difference it makes. A bright sunny day tends to make for generally happier people, right? Those of us who live in northern climates where one gray day follows another in January and February can develop SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some people begin to feel depressed as the days shorten, losing interest in life, having lower energy levels, becoming more irritable, and in severe cases- thoughts of suicide. One of the more effective treatments is a simple thing – turn on the lights, bright lights! Getting outside into the light of day, or bringing light with higher intensity into the home can help.

With age, I find that little ‘flashlight’ function on my smartphone quite valuable. I can put light on a small area, quickly and easily, to read that fine print, to find that lost coin. Once again, light makes a difference.

Let’s turn to things spiritual. Are you living in the Light? The Scripture frequently uses ‘darkness’ as a metaphor for life lived apart from God’s Presence.  Those who reject God, even Christians who refuse the Spirit’s leading, become confused; often sad. Unable to see clearly, they are prey for the Evil One who specializes in deception.  Right and wrong become indistinguishable. The path to a whole life that knows the blessings of the Lord is hidden. As the darkness deepens, so too the likelihood of falling into all kinds of spiritually deadly situations.

God brought Light into this world. We just finished our celebration of the birth of the Savior, who in the words of Isaiah, quoted by Matthew, came to be the Great Light. “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”” (Matthew 4:12-17, NIV)

In that passage there is a choice that comes with the entry of the Light. When He comes to us, there is a revealing of who we are, what we have done, right down to the motives that drive us. That could be frightening enough to make us scurry to find the cover of darkness, IF we do not understand the grace and mercy that come with the Light. John reminds that He did not come to condemn the world but to save us from our sins.

Do you know and believe that? Are you willing to let the Light shine, to come into the open light of day, and repent, letting go what once seemed so important in order to grasp that which is of eternal value? Later in his Gospel, Matthew quotes Jesus’ words about living as children of the day. “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!” (Matthew 6:22-23, The Message)

If you have never invited Jesus to be Lord, Savior, your Light of Life – turn to face Him today. Let the Light shine in. Change will come. Truth will guide. There will be no more stumbling around in the dark.

Christian, invite the Light to shine to every corner of your life. With the entrance of His light, there will be growth. Joy will increase.

Here is the word from the Word. Meditate on it, respond to it. Live! “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8, NIV)
_______

Shine, Jesus, Shine
(This is the prayer of my heart)

Lord the light of Your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness shining
Jesus Light of the world shine upon us
Set us free by the truth You now bring us
Shine on me shine on me

 Shine Jesus shine
Fill this land
With the Father’s glory
Blaze Spirit blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow river flow
Flood the nations
With grace and mercy
Send forth Your word Lord
And let there be light

 Lord I come to Your awesome presence
From the shadows into Your radiance
By the blood I may enter Your brightness
Search me try me consume all my darkness
Shine on me shine on me

 As we gaze on Your kingly brightness
So our faces display Your likeness
Ever changing from glory to glory
Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story
Shine on me shine on me

Graham Kendrick © 1987 Make Way Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

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