2/20/16

This Little (Flash)light of Mine

There are many kinds of lightslighthouse lights, spotlights, flashlights, lantern lights, candles, even laser beams with concentrated light that can kill or heal.

The light we are to shine in the world as Christ-followers (Matthew 5:16) isn't our light; it is God's light shining through us. It's Jesus the "Light of the World" (John 8:12).


We all have the light of Christ, if we are in Him.

"For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is he 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).

The Lord has "shone in our hearts to give us the Light" of who He is and what He has done.

We who were "once in darkness" now are "light in the Lord" and we must learn to walk as His "children of light," seeking to discern how to please Him (Ephesians 5:8-10).

But I'm convinced:
we all have different WAYS to "shine." 
  • Some people shine like lasers, exposing and cutting away everything that is born in the darkness of sin so the soul can heal. 
  • Some people, like a lighthouse, always point people to the only hope of safety for eternity. 
  • Others are helpful as they shine like spotlights on others to encourage them on the stage of life. 
  • Some are like candles, just little flickers, but simply and effectively dispelling the darkness around them.
  • (I'm sure you can think of other kinds of "lights" and how they minister to others.)
I think I'm a flashlight. 

I like to search for truth and then highlight it and point forward for others, saying, "If you want to walk through your journey well, walk here ... and here ... and here ... one step at a time, one choice at a time.

We shine according to our calling, spiritual gifts, personalities and learned skills. 

We don't all shine the same way, because our Creator made us as unique "holders" for His light and He has given us individual experiences.
We shine best for God's glory when we cooperate with how He made us.
Oh, how I wanted to be the intense light of a laser earlier in my walk with the Lord. But it was silly.

A flashlight will never be a laser beam (even though there might be moments they feel the same). No one wants a laser when a flashlight is what's needed at the moment (and vice versa)!

Today, more content and not comparing, I am learning to sing, "This little (flash)light of mine ... I'm gonna let it shine ...."

How are you reflecting the Light of the World—Jesus? Are you shining in your own unique way, with the creative design and perspective that make the Creator smile?


Graphic of flashlight - Image courtesty of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

2/17/16

When I am Most Unbecoming



Just thinking ... 

The times I've been most unbecoming are when I wasn't becoming more like Jesus. 

Life really boils down to focus, doesn't it? 

Am I focusing on myself and how I can be a "star" in life, or am I looking to the One who created the stars and discovering how He might want to change me?

The "light" we are to shine (Matthew 5:16) isn't OUR light ... it's His. Maybe when we shine our own little lights, the world can't see "the light of the world," Jesus (John 8:12).

And that's sad, because when we are focusing on lighting up ourselves, the world won't see their need of the Lord, and they won't see His glory in us.

Just thinking ...

2/11/16

Unplug and Be Still

Stressed and struggling last week, I turned to my cell phone for relief. I perused a couple of blog posts, scanned my friends' Facebook status posts and played a game of Solitaire.

I felt relaxed ... a bit. And then I heard this voice: "You will not come to me. I want to give you rest."

I recognized that loving, chastising voice. It was the Spirit of God speaking to my heart. The true rest I sought was in the Lord and His Word.

Dr. David Jeremiah made a valid point in his Turning Point devotional today, "Be Still." We are losing our ability, he said, to be still and know our God. 

The prophet Isaiah wrote,
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; 
in quietness and confidence shall be your strength" 
(Isaiah 30:15).

It's a crazy-busy world out there.
We have to learn to retreat from the world into a retreat with the Lord.
It's not that we need to toss our technology, but it needs to be in the proper place in our lives.

As Dr. Jeremiah said, "...keep your phone, but unplug it long enough to be still and know that He is God."

Resting with the Lord is always a wise choice!

Are you struggling, stressed, in need of rest? What can you do RIGHT NOW to find your rest in God?

2/9/16

God Defines Marriage, Not Us!

I admire the courage of those who, in spite of the pull of the culture, adhere to and promote the truth of the timeless Word of God and don't attempt to "fit" the scriptures to the changing morals and ethics of society.

Either God is God or He is not; and He has the right to define, describe and command anything pertaining to how we are to live.

I read this quote today by Dr. David Jeremiah, pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the preacher on Turning Point radio and television: "Though the world comes along with fads and new ideas, we owe our allegiance to a higher power, Almighty God ...."

Many people get hung up there. They neither feel or pledge any allegiance to the Creator God of the Bible.

The Psalmist wrote, "Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his" (Psalm 100:3a). The Lord has the right to do as He pleases with His creation. It is pride that causes us to refuse His authority.

Dr. Jeremiah continued, reminding us that it was God "... who invented marriage and put it into operation back in Genesis.

Marriage goes back to the creation of the first man and woman (Genesis 2:20b-24), and the marriage relationship truly is a wonderful "invention."  (Marriages that are not wonderful owe their pain and struggle to our selfish sin nature.)

May we always choose according to the scriptures, and not try to redefine, subtract from or add to what God has already clearly defined.

2/3/16

The Power of the Tiny "Yes"

I read a post by Sharon Jaynes at the Girlfriends with God blog. In "Big Assignments Begin with

Tiny "Yeses," Sharon shares how she got into ministry. It's not what most people would expect.

She said countless "yeses" to what many people would consider insignificant, even demeaning tasks (like cleaning bathrooms at a ministry office).

Her life was a lot like the humble shepherd boy, David, who was found faithful in the little things. God was preparing David to lead an entire nation!

I know just what Sharon means. More than 40 years ago, I said "yes" to going to a revival team when they had nothing but a desire to see revival in America. And I mean nothing. Not even a vehicle to transport us to churches!

People thought I was crazy, but it turned out to be a wonderful and exciting time of discovering more about God and ministering in churches.

I've had my share of other humble beginnings before the Lord gave me bigger tasks to do. I was determined to honor God in each situation, and He blessed me every time.

I like what Sharon said:

"We don't obey God in the seemingly small assignments in order to get the bigger ones. However, God will never entrust someone with a big assignment who has not proved herself trustworthy in the small. ... Big assignments begin with a thousand tiny 'yeses.' Small steps of obedience become beautiful sweeping moves of faith."

I don't think we realize the power of the tiny "yes."
  • It releases us from fears.
  • It brings us freedom and peace, knowing we are in God's will.
  • It motivates us to take the next step... and the next.
  • It sets us up for great adventures with God.
In her book, Following God One Yes at a Time*, author Connie Cavanaugh wrote:

"Following Him (the Lord) requires the simple trust and immediate obedience of a child who believes God will make the way to Him simple, immediate and possible." 

Just a thought . . . is NOT following the Lord a sign we are afraid to trust or too stubborn to obey? And if He is Lord, why would we NOT trust and obey by saying "yes"? (Luke 6:46)

Connie describes six barriers to saying "yes"  fear, pride, guilt, shame, comparison and doubt.

Yes, I recognize some of those in my own life:
  • The assignment I didn't take because I was afraid I'd fail.
  • The task I thought was "beneath" me because it "wasn't my spiritual gift."
  • Remembering how I'd failed the Lord in the past.
  • Thinking I could never do the job as well as someone else.
  • And questioning God's call, wondering, "Lord, are you sure you've got the right gal?"
But you know something?
Whenever I've said "yes" to the Lord, He has opened up new adventures I never could have dreamed of myself
It's been an exciting way to live.

Some yeses are easier than others, but God is always faithful. 

And He rewards us for our faithfulness (Matthew 25:21: Luke 16:10a; 1 Corinthians 4:2).

The little "yes" you think might not amount to much might be the very door that could lead you into a ministry you could never imagine. Don't despise small beginnings! 

But even if a new door doesn't open, remember this:  God notices every faithful yes, and someday, He will likely say to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant! (Matthew 25:21)

Is the Lord asking you to follow Him in a new task today? Will you say "yes" to Him? If not, why?

 * Connie Cavanaugh, Following God One Yes At a Time (Harvest House Publishers, 2011) p. 14.