Arise, SHINE!

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
    and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Isaiah 60:1-3

Have you ever had something happen to you that seems unique? You feel like you are the very first person to experience it.

Then you share it with someone and they say “Oh, yes. I had that happen to me last week.”  – and they go on to describe JUST what you thought was a first.

Sometimes I feel God does that with me concerning spiritual truth. I will read something in Scripture and sense an illumination of understanding.

Wow! I new revelation for me! Then…

  • I am in a service and the preacher teaches on that very Scripture
  • I turn on the radio and someone shares my very insight
  • At Bible study a speaker shares in the video (which was made at least year or two previous) the very new, freshinsight I just had this week

So, I can either dismiss my excitement over “my fresh revelation” OR I can realize that

God may be trying to get my attention!

I think it is prudent to do the latter. In my over 60 years of being a Christian, God has faithfully used various means to lead me into Truth.

The fact that we Christians are the LIGHT OF THE WORLD and that we must LET OUR LIGHT SHINE  is the Truth that God is impressing me with every where I turn.

Tuesday night at our home group, God spoke to us through Janice that it is dark all around us, but we have the Light of the world.

Now, what does that mean? I know this message is not just for me, (although I sense I am certainly being held accountable) since I am hearing it in church, on the radio, at the Community Women’s Bible Study, our Home Group, and in my personal time with God.

I must respond.

I must let the Light of Jesus shine in all my interactions with others, starting at home. Then I must let my Light shine wherever I go – every day, every place I go.

I also know that my small Light is greatly multiplied in its effect when it is joined with other Lights. We saw this clearly illustrated at the lighthouses we recently visited on the Outer Banks. There was one light, but many lenses that reflected and multiplied the amount of light so that the effect could be viewed for many miles. That greater light had saved many lives over the years!

When we Christians arise and let our Light shine together – the effect will be so much greater!

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
    and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Let us arise, and shine the Light together!

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How Great is the Darkness?

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We woke this morning to the horrifying news of another shooting. I was planning on writing today about the darkness that seems to be permeating our world. Now it seems even more urgent.

What is happening?

I heard a message at church Wednesday from Joe Ewing, a pastor and Bible teacher from Scotland. His words stirred me and have been ringing in my mind and heart ever since.

“Don’t despair as the world around us gets darker and darker. We as Christians have the Light of the World!  The light shines brightest when it is dark. Let your light shine, Church!”

Instead of wringing my hands, and lamenting the sad state of our world (which indeed is very bad) I need to let my light shine.

What does this mean?

Pastor Ewing shared from Isaiah 60:1-5 which says –

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

 The context of this passage is a very dark time in Israel. The prophet Isaiah wants Israel to know that their hope is in God.

But where is God in the midst of the darkness?

The Light is Jesus, our hope of salvation. Jesus is the Light the world needs. Jesus told us to let our light shine in darkness. Jesus taught us to

  • love instead of hate
  • forgive instead of retaliate
  • give instead of take
  • share instead of selfishness

Paul says the following at a time he has been beaten and thrown in prison. It was a dark time. II Corinthians 4:5-7

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

I don’t understand the darkness, but I do know the Light. In this time of darkness, I MUST let my light shine. I will keep my eyes on Jesus. Jesus is the Light, the hope of the world.

The darker this world gets, the brighter the LIGHT will shine.

Arise, let our Light shine!

 

Let There Be Color!

color leaf

I love color! The world would be a dull and dreary place if all was gray scale. As an art teacher I share with my students the definition of color –
Color is the element of art that is produced when light, striking an object, is reflected back to the eye.

Think about it. Have you ever gotten to work or church and found that your socks are two different colors? Come on….

I looked down at my shoes half way through 1st period one day and found that I had one blue shoe and one blue patterned shoe on  – both the same style! It was dark in the bedroom as I got dressed and I did not see the difference because of the lack of light.

One of the BEST parts of being an art teacher is that people expect me to be a bit weird. I have no problem living up to that image. No one said a word to me – they probably thought I meant to dress that way.

Colors do look different in different light. I have picked out wall paint and begun to paint it on the wall only to realize with horror that it doesn’t look the way it did in the store. Sorry, Phil…

Light has everything to do with color. In a pitch black room no color is distinguishable. It takes light to reveal the ” true colors” that exist. The color is already there, just not perceived.

Can you just imagine the glory of creation when God said “let there be light” and in that instant, what had been dark burst forth in glorious color as the light shone forth? What a magnificent moment!

As women we often live our lives as if they were grayscale. We go from one day to the next, fulfilling our responsibilities, but something is missing. It feels dull and routine. We do the things that need to be done, or we do what we can because there is always more to be done. It is not dark, just colorless.

Where is the color?

In John 1:4-5  (NLT)  John refers to Jesus – the light of the world –

4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

The light of the world is Jesus. If we lack beauty and meaning in our lives, we need the Light.

John 8:12 (NLT) says –

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Here Jesus tells us that we don’t need to walk in darkness – in a colorless, drab world – if we follow Jesus we will walk in the Light.

What a marvelous promise!

If I am experiencing a dull or gray period in my life right now I need to spend time with Jesus and follow Him. Practical ways to do this are prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship with other believers. This is nothing new. It is not a “magic formula”. Just as we turn on the lights to see what is in a room, God’s word will illuminate the dark corners of my life and bring light and color!

Let there be light – let there be color.

God will bring beauty into our lives.