Evangelism Made Simple

I was encouraged last night as we continued our meeting with Benjamin Lee at South Macomb. Ben taught us about evangelism and here are some thoughts from his lesson.

  • We have to have a sense of urgency when it comes to the gospel because there are people out there who want to hear it and we might be the one to tell them.
  • There are a lot of excuses we create to keep us from sharing Jesus but we are not alone in that and there are great men in the bible (i.e. Moses; Exodus 3:1-4:17) who made excuses about why they shouldn’t do what God was asking them to do…and God was patient but in the end His anger was kindled against those who resisted Him and that is the same with us…we need to repent of that and get to work.
  • Evangelism is not Rocket Science and there is no secret recipe or silver bullet…it is simple and it is about us and our attitude and our purpose.
  • There are opportunities all around us whether at work, at the grocery store, at the gym, in our home…we just have to be ready to see them…we have to prepare our mind to see them and we can do that through prayer.
  • So how simple is it? How about this simple:
      • Open Your Eyes: In John 4:30, Jesus says “lift up your eyes” in talking about the opportunity to teach and that is what the Apostles did throughout the first century…they looked and what they saw were opportunities to teach Jesus. What was the difference between the time when Jesus taught in John 4 and what we see them doing in the book of Acts? Their eyesight! That is, they were focused on lost souls and because that is what they were looking for that is what they found and in that they found opportunity to teach.
      • Open Your Mouth: Can’t you say something about Jesus? Hasn’t He done more than enough in your life to come up with something to share? Of course you can…but we don’t always because we lack confidence or are afraid we will offend or that there is no way they are going to believe us. Well, the truth is all that is true…we will lack confidence at times, some will reject us, some will mock us…but some will want to hear more and some will hear more and obey. How awesome! It happened to Paul in Athens (Acts 17) and like Paul can’t we endure a little disappointment for the joy of a soul saved? We just have to open our mouths.

    • Open Your Bible: And we have to use God’s word…it has the power to save not ours. We can overcome our lack of confidence by being well studied in the bible. Are we taking time each day to grow in our knowledge of God’s word? If yes, that is evangelism…at least it is the training necessary. Add prayer for opportunities to that and you are on your way…with eyes wide open ready to speak and teach…God’s word will not fail…so speak it confidently.

As I think about this…I know that these points are true and having a sense of urgency for the gospel and evangelism is something that I need to grow in…especially for my children. Even if we all retain our health and live a full life…I only have them for a short time before they become men and women…now is the time to plant and water so that they will be prepared in Jesus to take on the world. And I don’t have to be afraid…God is with me and if call out to Him…He will reassure us and He will be with us…and He will work with us. He did for Paul (Acts 18:9; Acts 23:11). Be encouraged. Let go. Get out of the way. And let God work in you!

Live Like You Are Dying

Tim McGraw is a famous country singer and a few years back he had a hit song titled “Live Like You Are Dying”. The song is about a man who receives a life-changing health diagnosis and how it changes his perspective, priorities, and lifestyle. His point is simple…live today like you are dying…don’t take life for granted. To be honest, I often changed the station when this song came on because it was hard to hear…it pricked my heart…frankly it convicted me as I looked at my life and wondered just how much I was squandering, especially with what God has taught me from His word on the frailty of life, the importance of my spirituality and the fact I am a sojourner here and my real home and hope is in Heaven. The bottom-line…to my shame, I wasn’t living like I was dying and more than that…I wasn’t living like Jesus died for my sins.

I bring this up because we started our meeting with Benjamin Lee yesterday and the series is titled just like the song…“Live Like You Are Dying”. Just like with the song, my heart was pricked as Ben brought the first lesson, “Facts of Life” with Ecclesiastes 9 as its foundational scripture.

His points were simple but the implications are soul shaking, life changing, and echo in eternity. The points are this…we are all going to die, time and circumstance happen to all, and we may die today.

I know as Ben was teaching that everyone in the room who was really listening was going through their own significant emotional response. I mean come on…he is hitting home right? We are doing to die, we aren’t in control and we might just die today. How does that not give you pause and what do we do about it?

The answer is Jesus. He had to die too…and He did…just as God purposed for Him to do and in doing so provided us hope through the saving power of His blood. We all have to die and it might happen today but as a disciple of Jesus we do not have to fear that. We can stand confident in God’ mercy, grace, and love. We can know for certain that our bodies will return to the ground (dust) but our spirit will return to God who created it and if we live a life where we revere Him and keep His commandments…He will welcome us home and we will enter into an eternal rest. That is not scary. That is awesomely hopeful!

So if you don’t feel hopeful…what is the problem? Well, if you are anything like me, dread instead of hope is a result of or symptom of a life not lived the way God has prescribed. Living in such a way that we are without God makes a death of like manner terrifying. But that is the point. God wants us to feel that so we will turn back to Him and run and get back to Him as fast as we can…while we are alive…because there will not be time or opportunity for that after we are dead.

God might let bad things happen to us if that means it will either bring us back to Him or keep us close to Him. He wants us to live like we are dying because we are all going to die and we don’t know when…but He does. So if you are struggling, don’t blame God but ask Him to give you an understanding heart and allow Him to turn your discomfort into a restful peace as you return to Him. Do it now…because we are all dying…and there is a point when it is too late.

Don’t change the station when you hear this song…turn up the volume to what God is telling you, take the action He is calling you to and live forever in His love and life.

Note: The Live Like You are Dying sermons will be provided on the South Macomb Church of Christ website (https://www.southmacombchurchofchrist.org/). Take a listen and follow along in your Bibles…a lot of great material and discussion on what God’s word says about this important topic.

Responsibilities, Expectations, Consequences

 10 For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.  11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit… (1 Peter 3:10-18).

Our children are little people and just like us big people, they have their own personality, make their own choices, have their own desires, etc.  I say this because sometimes I forget that as much as I want to protect my children, see them not make the same mistakes I did, always go the right way, not hurt…these are not realistic.  Our children, like us, have to make their own way and WILL make their own way.  Our hope is that we will provide them a good example, teach them to keep Jesus close and to pray without ceasing and allow God to work in their lives.

God has always given His people specific guidance in the form of His laws.  It is His will for us.

The Israelites had the Law of Moses and their obedience to the laws of Moses set them apart and their obedience would point them and others to Jehovah. (Deuteronomy 4:1-8).

As Christians, we have the Law of Christ and our obedience sets us apart and will point us and others to Jehovah.  (1 Peter 1:13-25).

In teaching our children God’s Law…that found both in the Old and the New Covenant, we provide them the opportunity to understand what is expected of them, their responsibility and the reward for their obedience and/or the consequences of their rebellion.  We cannot make them choose obedience and as much as I would like to duct tape my children to their bed or hide them in a bubble, that is not how our Father raises us and is not how we will raise our children.  Our Abba Father wants us to choose Him and if we abide in His Son…loving Him by keeping His commandments…He will work in our lives…even in the times that hurt.  The same is true for our children and if we believe that and talk to Him about it…we will find comfort, confidence and hope.

God has provided us the roadmap for our lives and the guideposts to ensure we know we are on the right path.  He has taught us our responsibilities, His expectations, and the consequences if we go astray.  Our prayer…God help us to learn your way, believe your word, and model it in our lives and teach your way to our children.  With God in their lives…they have no better Father.

Beatitudes of Marriage

In Ecclesiastes 4, Solomon first talks about the uselessness of selfish toil and then the vanity of it.  He then talks about the value of a friend in verses 9-12:

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.  11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?  12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.  And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; NKJV).

A threefold cord…like in our marriages…where there is husband, wife, and God.  If that describes our marriage, then we are truly blessed and secure.

With this in mind, read through this list I came across in my notes.  It is titled “Beatitudes for Marriage”.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who continue to be affectionate and considerate, loving after the wedding bells have ceased ringing.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who are as polite and courteous to one another as they are to their friends.

BLESSED are they who have a sense of humor, for this attribute will be a handy shock absorber.

BLESSED are they who love their mates more than any other person in the world and who joyfully fulfill their marriage vows of lifetime of fidelity and mutual helpfulness to one another.

BLESSED are they who attain parenthood, for children are a heritage of the Lord.

BLESSED are they who remember to thank God for their food before they partake of it, and who set apart some time each day for the reading of the Bible and for prayer.

BLESSED are those mates who never speak loudly to one another and who make their home a place where seldom is heard a discouraging word.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who faithfully attend the worship service of the church and who work together in the church for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who can work out problems of adjustments without interference from relatives.

BLESSED is the couple who has a complete understanding about financial matters and who has worked out a perfect partnership with all money under the control of both.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who humbly dedicate their lives and their home to Christ and who practice the teachings of Christ in the home by being unselfish, loyal, and loving.

This might not be your list, so I encourage you to think about the blessings you have in your marriage.  Don’t let it stop there and share your blessings with others as an encouragement and a testimony to God’s awesome power in our lives, our relationships and our homes.

Safety and Encouragement in God’s Word and Blessings

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33; NKJV)

1God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.  2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the  sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah…7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.  (Psalm 46: 1-3, 7; NKJV)

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  (Isaiah 41:10; NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7; NKJV)

I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.  (Psalm 16: 8; NKJV)

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22; NKJV)

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. (Psalm 62:6; NKJV)

…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  (1 Peter 5:7; NKJV)

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7; NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3; NKJV)

I hope you find these verses encouraging today and invite you to work them into your prayers and for the prayers of your brethren.

There have been times when I have sent a text, an email or left a voicemail just trying to encourage a brother or sister and they have either texted me back or called me a few days later apologizing that they didn’t acknowledge it or thank me or some other closure to the gesture.   The last time this happened I told my brother that it was not necessary at all…that I look at encouragement as a “heat seeking missile”…something that you target on what you want to hit and then “fire and forget” knowing that it will hit its mark and have the effect you were hoping for.

That is how I see encouragement…as the encourager we can take heart our effort will have a positive effect and if we are the one being encouraged we might just let it…and leave it at that.  Either way, I am “firing” these verses your way and am confident they will bring you comfort and encouragement…that is God’s blessing and work in your life.

Live blessed today and be a blessing to others!

Don’t Be Afraid to Share

1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. (Galatians 6:1-5; NKJV)

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  (James 5:13-16; NKJV)

These two passages came to mind as I thought about fear and how it affects our ability to come to one another with our burdens and with our sins.  I was thinking about how hard Satan works to convince us we are supposed to be perfect and how often we fall into that snare.  Our Heavenly Father, however, through His inspired and eternally true word tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short.  He tells us that it is this very thing that He purposed to remedy through sending His Son so that He could offer Himself as payment for our sins.  God does not expect us to be perfect…so if we are feeling like that we are called to perfection then we need to turn to Satan and tell him to get lost.

Because if we think we have to be perfect, then we are going to be afraid to go to the very people who we need the most in this world with our imperfection…our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Have you been afraid to confess your sins to a brother because you were certain they couldn’t possibly forgive you or somehow your relationship with them would be forever changed?  I have.  And how unfair is that to my brother…because if I am afraid to be honest, open and vulnerable with him…how hard is going to be for him to do the same with me or am I causing him to question his worthiness as a brother.  There are a lot of scenarios that could play you but the bottom line is that the one scenario that should play out is very clearly described above.  God’s word says go to your brother.  God says bear another’s burden.  God says pray!  God assures us that we will be forgive, healed, and that the fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much.

We so very much need each other, and we cannot be afraid to share the hard stuff.  There are no secrets.  God sees it all.  He wants us to share it not so that we can be open with Him but with one another.  That we can be encouraged when we are down and when we are the encourager we can know there will be someone for us when we find ourselves in need of a brother to lean on.

I believe Satan works to confuse us with what is expected and drives a wedge between us.  A lot of time he uses fear as that tool.  Don’t be afraid.  Trust God…He will be with you when you trust a brother and share.

Insecurity in Marriage

As a man, I will admit that I have been afraid to fail in my marriage.  I was afraid to fail in what God has called me to be and to fail in the eyes of my wife.  For a long time, this fear really took a toll on my wife and my marriage and the worst thing is I didn’t even see it.  Again, this fear I am talking about is the same thing as insecurity.

As I saw firsthand what this insecurity was doing to my wife and my marriage, I had to take a step back, take a hard look in the mirror and really evaluate what was going on.

First and foremost, I had the wrong Person in the center of my marriage and had the wrong perspective on who was really going to make my marriage great.  I was putting everything on me and that was the last thing God expected me to do.  What He wants is for me to put Him right in the middle of my marriage and to know that He is for me and for my wife and is working for us.  This is something that seems so easy to understand but I was really making a mess of it.  With all the sermons, studies and talks…for some reason I was taking away that I had to do it all  Don’t get me wrong, I understand I have a role that God expects me to fulfill but I get my strength and ability from Him and I can be secure in that.  I don’t have to be afraid of failure and I don’t have to be threatened by my wife.

That’s right…I said it.  There were times that I was threatened by the fact that my wife had different strengths, opinions, perspectives, etc.  I can’t really put a finger on why…other than I was not secure in my own position and relationship with God in order to be vulnerable and to assume the best of her even when we disagreed or she was better at doing something than I was.

David told God, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” (Psalms 139:14).  If this is true of David, it is true of me.  If it is true of me, then it is true of my wife.  But I certainly didn’t tell her how thankful I was for her…for her uniqueness, for complementing me, for the fact that God purposed us for each other and joined Himself to us when we joined ourselves together in marriage.

So I missed the boat.  Instead of taking the perspective of thankfulness and praise towards God for my wonderful wife…I was insecure and threatened.  I didn’t tell my wife how thankful I was for her even though we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on every situation.  As I wrote yesterday, when I get afraid or insecure I can become angry and when I become angry that is not going to create unity in my home.  It does not demonstrate a man following Jesus and working to be a strength in the home.

What I have learned in all that is to celebrate my wife, to consider prayerfully her perspective if it is different than mine, to draw upon the strength she brings when I am weak, to love the tenderness she brings when I am stubborn and the list goes on.

God made men and women differently, but perfectly for each other.  Just as every organ in our body serves a different purpose to keep us healthy, every distinction between men and women fulfill their own roles for making two better than one.  The differences in our organs enhance our health, and the differences in our marriage can enhance our relationship! (1 Corinthians 12:14-26, James 1:19-20).  We don’t have to be afraid of that.

Fear

This week, I would like us to take some time and consider one word…”fear”.  I think this is a good word for men to take a good hard look at…especially in our relationships and lives.  If we are truly honest with ourselves, we are going to find fear.

I am not talking about the healthy fear we have in our lives in which we use our God-given senses to be careful and make good judgement in avoiding hazardous situations.  Fear, for this discussion, is more in line with insecurity.  That takes on a whole different meaning and deals more about where we put our security and when others somehow (whether real or perceived) threaten us

So where do find fear or insecurity?  I submit a good place to find it in our relationships is by looking at when we get mad.

Why when we are mad?  Because I believe that fear or insecurity is a root of our anger.  It isn’t necessarily “the root” but is certainly a root…along with hurt, confusion, a whole lot of other things.  This is certainly true with my wife, my children, at work and even with the brethren.   There is a lot at stake in these relationships and sometimes there are a lot of things going on and some of them I do not understand and cannot control.  This brings fear…and my fear manifests itself in anger.  So with my teenage son (who by the way needs a father who is looking to be like The Father), instead of screaming “I am scared to death you are going to succumb to peer pressure and make a bad judgment and hurt yourself or someone else”…I just yell!  I go on the attack.  I put myself “back in control” and make a mess of it.  I pick something easy and start yelling and man can I get on a roll and oh boy the aftermath of hurt feelings can take days to unravel and repair…if at all.  But in the end…I blew it.

I got mad because I was scared and what I should have done was taken a breath, admitted my fear, and talked rationally about it with the mini-me standing in front of me.  I have done it a whole lot of times too…even after I learned some of the lessons I am sharing here.  Still, I am thankful that my God loves me and is patient with me…because He is the reason I can be better and not let fear dictate my life and how I live it.

So be reminded with me of God’s position in our lives and ability to take away our fear and replace it with love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, long-suffering.  Paul reminds Timothy and let us be reminded too:  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  (2 Timothy 1:7; NKJV)

The reason that is true…that we shouldn’t have a spirit of fear but of power and of love…is because we serve a Living God and He is our Abba Father hearing and answering our prayers according to our good.  In Psalm 61:1-4 David teaches us that we should call out to Him and in doing so we can have power and not fear.

But it isn’t always that easy.  What is easy though…is opening God’s book and learning what He has to say about fear.  Start there…look for that word along with afraid and see what He teaches you.  It will give you power and will give you a sense of being loved so you can love.  And it will help you deal with your fear properly…but boldly going to His throne of grace and shedding it at His feet while asking for Him to help and trust that He will.  This is such glorious blessing and brings such a relief to the heart.  You will find the strength to not fear and in that understand that God is with you in all your relationships so you don’t have to be afraid and hopefully will reduce the amount of time you spend angry.  Let’s look at that more closely this week…but for now consider these verses and start asking yourself “What am I afraid of?” or “Am I mad because I’m scared?” or “Why am I carrying this fear around all alone?  Why don’t I give it to God?  Why don’t I find a brother to help me?”

Let’s start there and see what we can learn about ourselves this week as it pertains to fear as we work to face fear in our lives, to find out what is really going on, and to figure out we need to do to be free of it.  We’ll learn and relearn together to search out and to find safety and power and love in our Heavenly Father, His Son, His Spirit, and His Word.

Perspective. Present. Participate.

1 Let brotherly love continue… 5…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:1, 5-6).

 

1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved….13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:1, 13).

Our children need us. God has provide us His instruction so that we can lead them and be for them what they need. Still, we need our Heavenly Father and Savior. In them, we are going to be the best influence in our kids’ lives. In them, we are free to love, forgive, and risk having our hearts broken time and again. They will not forsake us and are for us even when it seems like nothing is going right in our relationships with our kids or we are frustrated with the choices they are making or are questioning what we might have done wrong to get to this point. There is going to be a lot of joy with our kids…but there is a lot of sorrow and frustration. How do we deal with those hardships?

Perspective. Living today in the context of eternity and understanding God is with us and with our kids and He is able to carry our weight, show us the way, and strengthen our spirit. Further, we can consider our own relationship with Him and in it we will see much of the same in the relationship with our children. There is unconditional love. There is clear expectation for behavior. There are times we fall short and God is disappointed. And in these times, when we go to Him, we find grace, mercy, forgiveness, love and encouragement. This process happens over and over…just like with our kids. He is available and able…we just have to go to Him.

Present. God is ever-present in our lives and we need to be present in the lives of our children. Present doesn’t only mean in the same room as them or we make it to every school, athletic, or other activity they are participating in. I have learned the hard way that is not enough. Present means that we have put the other distractions away and give your full attention to what they are doing or what we are doing together. Of course we will not be completely and fully engaged in everything they are doing when we are in the same place…that is especially difficult when we are talking multiple children. What it means is we be there for our kids, make ourselves available and when they come to us or invite us to participate we are all in and give our full attention to them. That is what God does for us…we need to do this for our kids.

Participate. We participate in their lives by example…by providing a consistent example of our love for Jesus and the way He dictates how we live, the choices we make, the things we say, etc. That our love for Him is at the forefront of our lives…that we demonstrate Jesus to them. We then are going to be part of their lives and so we will enjoy their highs and endure along with them their lows. We will teach them in that. We will treat them the way God expects them to treat others. We fulfill the responsibilities God has given us with joy. It matters…more than we might know day to day but as a brother told me yesterday… “they will love you more for it”. He is right and it is that unexpected moment when my son gives me a hug, or says thanks, or my daughter blows me away with her grace or mercy, or love for another. What a beautiful moment.

In Christ Jesus and with our Heavenly Father, be free to love your kids and when you are hurt or frustrated…go to the One who can truly help you and strengthen you. Then get back to work…it’s a work worth doing and in many cases a work only you can do.

Shine Your Light

After giving the Beatitudes which describe who the people are who are blessed and belong in Christ’s kingdom, Jesus continues to describe who his people are. There is an identity that Christ’s people understand that they possess. First, Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth. It is not that we have salt but that we are salt. We are to influence people for Jesus. We asked who do we influence, where do we influence, and how do we influence. Jesus’ concern was that we would lose our saltiness. We are to influence in a way that brings grace to the person and to the situation. We must consider our words and actions to determine if we are bringing graciousness that glorifies Jesus. Jesus gives us another picture of our identity in Matthew 5:14-16.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14–16 ESV)

You Are the Light of the World. What does that mean? Are we talking influence? And if so…Who do we influence…Where do we influence…How do we influence?

Jesus answers these questions in the two illustrations given…a city on a hill that cannot be hidden and a lamp put upon a stand (not under a basket). In both, Jesus is talking about light and that it cannot and more importantly should not be hidden.

As disciples and men, we must not be hidden and should be obvious like a city set on a hill. God did not make us light so we would hide ourselves…but to shine. Jesus is our example and He says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 ESV). God is light and His word provide us direction and guidance…it lights our way and in light there is life. His word is “…a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105 ESV).

What we see in Jesus calling himself the light of the world and David declaring that God’s word is a lamp and a light tells us that light is supposed to shine in the darkness so that people can see the way to live their lives. The light is to shine so that they can have direction because the world is full of darkness (cf. John 1:4-9.) Light shows the way. Light illuminates the path. Light provides the direction needed. Keep this idea in mind as we think about being the light of the world. We are to show the way. We are to give direction to the world. We are to illuminate the path.

So how do we take God’s light and let it shine in our lives so that others can see?

To start you thinking through your answer and what you could do differently today…or maybe more something you are already doing to purposefully shine light into the lives of others.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:14–16 ESV).

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:9–12 ESV)