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Posts Tagged ‘shine before others’

 

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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

How do you react when a bright light hits your eyes?  If it hits you too soon all at once, you  see nothing but the aura of the light. You may feel blinded and disorientated. Do you cover your eyes to block it out? Or, do you blink and squint as you wait for your pupils to adjust before you can take it all in?  I guess it depends on if you want to(pardon the 1970’s era pun, man) see the light or not.

For  many out there, Christ, the way some reveal Him, can just too bright for them. They are used to the darkness. So they won’t look. They turn their heads away. To try to gaze on Him can ache. His brightness makes them adjust how they see things. Why bother? 

But, two millennia ago, three kings, a.k.a. wise men, did look – and follow.  But you see, they had been searching a while. They had heard of the prophecies. They wanted to see the King of kings. They had trained their eyes to scan the heavens. Then they found a star which was brighter than the others, enough to be noticeable,  to lead them down that path. It took a while. Even then, when they found Jesus, he was not what they expected. 

I think too often we Christians blast our non-believing acquaintances with too much light too soon. They feel as if they are in a police interrogation room. They become defensive, nervous. Afraid their wrongdoings will be exposed, they squirm, look away, or refuse to react at all. True, it worked for Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, but that is not the norm. He was a radical man embarked on a radical ministry. He needed a radical experience to jolt him into changing directions. Most people are not that way.

God didn’t blind the earth with light to announce His coming. He spoke through prophets and told the people to watch for the signs. In His perfect timing, He sent a light in the sky pointing to Himself in the form of a human. Gradually over time, that Light shone in Him brighter and brighter as He grew into manhood, walked, talked, ate, healed, forgave and died.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 

That should be our example. Speak it, yes, but most of all  live it out.  Show what you know– walk like you talk– live what you believe. Give the non-believers’ eyes time to adjust. Those who have seen the signs and are searching will follow. The others may turn away for now, but most likely they will be drawn to look again at another time. 

Epiphany means to reveal. I think evangelism should be an everyday event–the natural outgrowth of our life in Christ. If we are living out the Gospel, then people adjust to that and it won’t seem so harsh and glaring. They will see Him softly shining through our attitudes towards our everyday ups and downs. They will see His love glisten through our actions as we put them, and others, before our own needs. They will see that we are different somehow. We have an unwavering strength and unconditional peace. Slowly, they will begin to watch, and then be drawn to Christ living in us, and finally follow.

Let’s not be a spotlight on their sins, but a warm-glowing  beacon that peaks their curiosity, and then, like the Epiphany star 2,000 years ago,  leads them to Him who can wash them white as snow

Shine, Jesus shine.???????????????????????????????????????

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