Let It Shine, Let It Shine, Let It Shine!

IMG_0150During the Christmas season, I absolutely love to look at my lighted Christmas tree from a spiritual perspective, especially during my morning devotional time. In my thinking, each light represents believers and the dark background of the tree represents our spiritually dark world (and those of the world). Each light sheds light in one small area of the tree, dispelling darkness. Sometimes a light is out and cannot dispel darkness in its area of influence. Then it’s time to investigate to see if it is burnt out or there is just a lose connection that can be easily fixed?

As I look at my tree and ponder these things, I remember that Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). And Jesus also said of His followers, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14a). Both statements are true. If we are true followers of Jesus Christ, our lives will shine with “the Light of life”.

While we ourselves are not the light, we are holders of the light. Reflecting Him to the world is the believer’s God-given duty, so it’s imperative that we keep our light shining. Let’s not put our light under a basket (Matt 5:15-16) as a result of neglecting our relationship with God or allowing some wrong-doing (sin) in our lives to dim our light or block it out all together. We are to keep it on the lamp-stand so it gives light to those in our area of influence.

We live in a spiritually dark world. Paul describes the condition of mankind without Christ this way: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:21). The state of unbelievers is the same as it has always been. Darkness plagues those without Christ because they live with a sense of frustration and futility as they attempt to please fleshly appetites that are never satisfied. When the Light of life shines in an area of influence, people see themselves as they really are: sinners in need of a Savior. When His hope penetrates the heart, darkness is chased away. Receiving Him as Savior means that sins are forgiven and the death sentence (separation from God for all eternity) is lifted. The Light of life does another very important thing in the life of a true believer. It illuminates the right path for our life so that we need not give in to temptation, including same-sex attraction temptations. By faith, the true believer chooses to walk in the light, obeying God’s commandments and seeking to live by His principles (Eph. 5:8-10), no longer walking in darkness. If a “so-called believer” still walks in darkness, living a lifestyle of sin, such as one Paul mentions in 1 Cor. 6:9-10; it’s important for us to shine our light on our interactions with them, proving to them that they are still walking in darkness.   We allow Christ to shine forth when we speak about biblical truth but also when we model His ways. Some who have the Light of life shine on their life of darkness will see Jesus and want Him for themselves and thus find real hope (Rom. 15:13)!  We never know who that will be.

In closing, may each of us take time to consider this: Is my light shining bright for Jesus? Not just during the holiday season, but all year, may His light shine in us and through us. Don’t be negligent in protecting your relationship with Christ (through lack of prayer and reading His Word). And, don’t allow sin to take root in your life. Both of these actions, brothers and sisters, will dim your light or put it out all together. It’s a great honor to reflect Jesus to the world. Someone in your sphere of influence needs your “light” to guide him or her toward the true Light of the world. This is God’s will for you. So let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

For God, who said, “light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6.

 

My Heart

Greetings, dear blogger, to Bridge of Hope Ministry’s blog.  If you are new to this blog, please do check out the “about” link and the past posts.  If you have been here before, welcome back!  This post will be a time out from the logical progression of the past posts, and more about just sharing my heart.  So, get ready for some open and honest “ramblings” of MY heart concerning the need for Christians and for churches to better minister to those struggling with same-sex attractions/feelings and those seeking change.

  • I continually hope and pray others will find Jesus and His very personal love for them.
  • I so desire for others to find, in Jesus, the same hope and healing from the bondage of homosexuality that I have found.  I’m not unique; it is available for anyone willing to do things God’s way!
  • I have such a burden for people to understand there is hope for those struggling with same-sex desires and THEY CAN MINISTER in this area.
  • Through various ministry opportunities I continue to find a huge need for ministry in this area.
  • I’m burdened by the media’s “marketing” of homosexuality as a wonderful alternative lifestyle.
  • I’m grieved that so many in the church are affected by this “marketing” of evil, a tactic straight from the devil.
  • I feel such compassion for the broken-hearted spouse, parent or friend of a homosexual, who shares their tears and heart with me.
  • I feel frustrated when it takes more than a 5 minute answer from me to help a person who has questions about how to minister in this area… and I can only try to leave them with the hope of help and the encouragement to read my book as a good place to start or check out other resources on my ministry website.
  • I feel frustration that more churches aren’t seeing the need for ministry to equip those who desire to minister to those they know and love who are gay.
  • How blessed I was recently when a pastor told me they are going to have everyone in their church read my book, Love Flowed Down… It Was For Me!  I was blessed not because they were going to read my book, but because he saw the need for equipping all those in his church.  Praise the Lord!
  • I am grieved everytime I read or hear of another church or denomination accepting homosexuality as a God-given alternative lifestyle and defending this decsion by twisting or ignoring or explaining away God’s Word, keeping many in bondage to this lifestyle.
  • I’m grieved as I think of those who will die in bondage to homosexuality; never having real faith in Jesus… knowing the condemnation and, yes, judgment they will face.
  • I am also hopeful that many will be changed because I know my God (and I hope, your God) is compassionate and longsuffering; seeking to do everything He can to draw people to Himself.
  • I pray Christians will understand.  The strugglers did not choose the very real same-sex attractions and feelings that do not immediately go away even if they are born again.  These developed.  So,  the struggler eventually chooses to live the lifestyle.  Knowledge and understanding of this issue is very important and it is not found in the Bible.   
  • I pray many will find real peace and hope for their lives, just as I have, because I can truly say, “My hope comes from Him” (Psalm 62:5).    
  • I pray continually that churches will be a place of speaking the truth in love AND of equipping the saints for ministry in this area.
  • I hope churches understand, fellowship with other Christians is HUGELY important for strugglers seeking change and healing. 
  • It is my extreme hope that it is the heart of every true Christian bible-teaching church and every believer sitting in those churches to minister in this area.  Click on this link for a short video that I have posted previously; but it is a great example of the heart I’m talking about from a pastor whose church has a ministry for the homosexual seeking change.   http://vimeo.com/5280229   

Well, enough of my ramblings.  I think you get the picture where my heart is at, whatever that’s worth to you.  What’s God speaking to your heart!  I do thank you for visiting and I pray you’ll come back again!  Please note, you can subscribe to RSS news feed.  Blessings to all!