Matthew 5:14-15 NKJV – Let your light shine

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

There are people who are called design engineers. My brother worked in that area of engineering for many years. I will tell you, these are some very gifted people. I can speak in absolute confidence that design engineers have very creative minds. But not only that, they can envision things that sometimes don’t even exist and with the help of sophisticated computer software, they can create things of function and beauty. My brother has even been awarded US Government Patents on some of his work to make our lives easier. (I’ll let you in on a secret) He helped the banking industry in the early stages of ATM machines with some of his design work. And you know how we depend on ATM banking. Am I talking to someone out there or am I the only one who drives up to get some quick cash?

Far better than design engineers, God also has designed us for His glory, created for good works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV) Our Heavenly Father, before the foundations of the earth were laid, had a designed plan for all of us. He created us in His image to do good works according to His grace. God formed us in His beauty and for a specific function.

Now that we understand that, there comes with that some responsibility. God designed us to be lights of the world. As Jesus Christ calls Himself the “Light of the World” (John 8:12 NKJV). All Christians are “light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8 NKJV) and must shine as lights. We are all workers together with Christ. The world sits in darkness and Jesus Christ gives us His light to shine in the world.

What good is a lighted lamp to us if we keep it lit in a dark closet? Or as Scripture says above, “put it under a basket”. Jesus gives us His light for a reason; to push back the darkness of this world. As lights of the world, we should be illustrious and conspicuous. I like these words. Illustrious, as Webster’s defines, “Notably or brilliantly outstanding because of dignity or achievements or actions”. Whoa! Conspicuous, as Webster’s defines, “Very easy to see or notice”. God’s light should shine in us so brightly…I’ll just let God’s Word say it, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV)

Let’s reel this in and get to how this is connected to Prayer. Prayer connects us with Jesus. Prayer completes the circuit with Jesus. Let’s go back to the lighted lamp. Lamps generally have a power cord, or at least mine do. This power cord needs to be connected to something to provide the electric energy to light up the light bulb. The light bulb in this illustration is you and I. The power cord is our prayers. The source of power is Jesus. When we connect our prayers to the power source, Jesus, the light comes on. The lamp is no longer dark. The problem we are facing is no longer dark. The healing we need is no longer dark. The restoration we desire is no longer dark. When we connect ourselves to Jesus in prayer, His POWER and His LIGHT shines in us and through us. It shines in our hearts, our minds, our thoughts, and our actions. Without our connection to Jesus and His Power in prayer, our prayers are simply just words. Glory to God!!!

Friend, I have to tell you that Power filled prayer from our source, Jesus Christ, can say to that mountain, “Be thou removed.” Through His Power, we can expect everything and nothing is too big. Whether you are crying out to Jesus for yourself or holding hands with someone else in need, you can believe that Jesus hears you and will answer you. That miracle you are waiting for may only be as close as “Plugging into Jesus”, the “author and finisher of our faith”. (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your light. You are the Light of the World and You give us Your light so that the world can see us as different. Help us Lord to be partakers of Your light and share that light with a lost and dying world. Guide and direct us Holy Spirit to encounters with others where we may allow Your light to shine brightly. There is nothing impossible for You Lord, so may our prayers be great big prayers to a great big God. May we connect with You and Your Power. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 18:28 NKJV – Pushing back the darkness

For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

It occurred to me some time ago, that a very small light will illuminate a very large space. Where I live, it is a frequent occurrence that our power goes out. Now this is not a condemnation of our electric company, it’s just a reality. Something seems to happen on a regular basis that causes our lights to go out anywhere from an hour to about 4 hours. Some of the power outages are a result of storms, while others are not. In those instances, when I have called the electric company, they have told me that some driver hit a utility pole and knocked out a power transformer.

Well what generally happens is that my wife goes to the coat closet and pulls out our “Coleman” fluorescent lantern. The kind used for camping and such. Well, I have this little pocket flashlight. It’s rather small but it sure throws out the light. It has LED lights and it seems to last a very long time. This act of getting out my flashlight led me to some thinking one night when there were no lights. That little flashlight with its little bulbs pushes back the darkness in the room.

Think about that statement for a little bit – pushes back the darkness. I thought, “I bet that if I were in a very long tunnel that was completely dark, that little light could be seen for nearly the entire length of the tunnel.”

Now let’s think about this a little deeper. God’s Word says that Jesus is the Light of the World (John 1:8-9) and that night when my power was out, God revealed to me that when we pray, it too, pushes back the darkness. The darkness of the enemy. Prayer brings our need into God’s eternal light. Prayer brings the needs of others into God’s eternal light. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NKJV)

As part of our church’s Prayer Ministry, my wife and I give out little LED flashlights and we share with those wanting to be a part that their prayers push back the darkness of the enemy. And every time they take out their little flashlight to use, it should remind them of that fact. Prayer brings God’s eternal light into any and all darkness. So go out to your toolbox or into your junk drawer and find your flashlight. Turn off all of the lights and see what transpires when you turn on the flashlight. Or better yet, go out to your local hardware store and pick up a little key-chain LED flashlight and keep it with you. Use it as a reference point to pray for whomever the Lord places on your heart. Keep the light shining for where there is light there cannot be any darkness. Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” (Psalm 112:4)

Dear Lord, thank You that You are the Light of the World. Thank You that Your light surpasses all darkness and we find Your glory within it. Help us Lord to be a light in this dark world by pushing back the darkness in prayer. Hear our prayers Oh Lord. Enable us and strengthen us to remain steadfast in prayer each day. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 119:105 NKJV – The Lamp, the Light, the Path, the Way

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

I have always been a firm believer in having enough light to do whatever I need to do. What I mean to say is, enough light so that whatever you are working on is clearly illuminated OR there needs to be enough light in the room in the evening so that as you traverse between rooms there isn’t the spine tingling sound when someone has just stubbed their toe.

I remember when we first were married, my wife and I each tried to settle in and learn each other’s idiosyncrasies. We wanted to learn what made each of us “tick”. So we watched each other, listened to one another, and then finally gathered enough information so that we could feel somewhat comfortable in any circumstance together. But there is still one thing that I just can’t figure out. You see, my wife can work and walk and cook and do just about anything in the lowest light possible. She said when she was growing up, there wasn’t any light turned on that wasn’t absolutely necessary. I, on the other hand, believe the more light there is, the better. So one thing led to another, and we have night lights placed in strategic locations around the house to help ME see and to keep ME from having an accident. I know this may sound like a lot of joking around, but seriously, light is beneficial.

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God’s Word promises to be the lamp and light we need to clearly see. Clearly see what you may ask? It illuminates that which we cannot see by ourselves. God’s Word shows us what is amiss, it directs us in our work and in our way, and without it the world would even be darker. It is a lamp which we may take up ourselves and carry for our own use. It must not only be a light unto our eyes, but also a light unto our feet and our path to direct us.

The cool thing that came to my mind while writing this is that it’s God’s Light. His Word. The illumination coming from it cannot be measured. The Glory of God resides in it. Hallelujah!!! Now that’s what I call a well-lit path.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word which brings light into a dark, dark world. Thank You that I can carry this Lamp and use this Light to instruct me, to guide me, to teach me, to restore me, to encourage me. Help me show others Your Light in my life so that they too, can follow the path that You have designed for them. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Matthew 5:16 NKJV – A blazing fire or just a flicker

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The light of Jesus shines in all who believe in Him. It’s our choice if we want it to be a blazing fire or just a flicker. Scripture often uses light as a symbol of the people of God, and especially the manner in which believers are able and required to reflect the glory of God in a dark world of sin. It is the light of Jesus that pushes back the darkness of the world and what better way of doing that but to walk and live and minister in the light of Jesus.

We are called to live in His glorious light. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NKJV) The light of Jesus demonstrates our belief in Him and the grace Jesus has poured out into our lives. This light shows others that we are different. Scripture even says that we are peculiar. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV) Yes, into His marvelous light.

Light is often used in Scripture as a symbol of the presence of God in the world. It is often especially associated with the word of God, the salvation brought about by God, or the person of Jesus Christ. Light is a symbol of God’s purity. “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5 NKJV) Light certainly is a symbol of God’s glory. “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” (Revelation 21:23 NKJV) And light is a symbol of Jesus Christ. “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NKJV)

That which is visible on the outside may reveal the true person, but is sometimes misleading. Judging by it and boasting in it are typical of sinful humanity. God sees the inner reality. And God desires that His light shine from us so that the world sees Him in us. It’s never about us; it’s always about Jesus. People take note of our outward appearance and attitudes. The world is quick to judge. The world is constantly judging believers to see if we have flaws that the world can take advantage of. Yes, believe it or not, we are imperfect. We sometimes look at our flaws as being something fatal, but God looks at our flaws as a portal to allow His light to shine from us. And God has poured out His light in us so that the Father may be glorified.

So I have to ask this question. Would you rather live out Jesus Christ alive in you and His wonderful light and be a blazing fire to a lost world? OR Would you just like to live out His wonderful light in your life just being a flicker? I say I want to be that blazing fire that others seem to be attracted to. I want to be that blazing fire that glorifies God. I want to live my life in Christ making a difference and demonstrating Jesus Christ alive in me. Believers are to glorify God in their lives, as Jesus Christ glorified Him in His life. The light of Jesus should be so bright in and through believers that people are attracted to what we have in us. But we have a choice to make. Yes, another choice. Blazing Fire or just a flicker?

Dear Lord, thank You that Your light shines in us. Thank You that You live in us and when we live our lives glorifying You, Your light will be a blazing fire in us. Lord, we are imperfect and have flaws, but Lord when Your light shines in and through us, those flaws are portals for Your great light to shine through. May all we say and do give glory to Your Name. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 119:162 NKJV – The great treasure

I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.

The word of God is filled with great treasure. Each time I spend reading and studying God’s word, I am challenged and changed; uplifted and encouraged. That is exactly what this verse is speaking about. The psalmist, David, rejoiced in the word of God. He took pleasure in reading it, hearing it, and meditating on it. Matthew Henry, renowned commentator said this about the word of God, “The more reverence we have for the word of God the more joy we shall find in it.”

That is absolutely true. It is for me. The more time I spend reading the word of God, the more real and alive God becomes in my life. It revives me. The word of God brings me back to life; a personal regeneration through the work of the Holy Spirit. And the more I read the word of God, the more I long for God. The more I meditate on the word of God, the more I hunger for it. Meditating on the word of God for me is spending time alone with God and pondering His love, His mercy, and His amazing grace. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2 NKJV)

God is alive and He sustains life in all people. “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is with those who uphold my life.” (Psalm 54:4 NKJV) God sustains all life and the more we know about Him and the more we meditate on His word, the stronger we become. That is why His word is a great treasure. No matter what we face, no matter what we encounter, no matter the circumstances, the word of God is powerful. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV) The power of God’s word reaches the deepest recesses of a person’s being.

Friend, the word of God says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV) Scripture is intended to lead believers to maturity in faith. The word of God enlightens believers. God’s revelation in His word provides the insight to guide us and direct us. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NKJV) And God’s guidance is promised to those who genuinely desire it and seek it. David sought after the word of God. He rejoiced in it and took pleasure in studying it. David was after God’s heart. Studying and meditating on the word of God is life giving, life changing, and life sustaining. And the word of God is the heart of God.

Dear God, thank You for your Word. Thank You that as we study and meditate on your Word, you give us life. Your Word is given to us lead us into spiritual maturity. It is a light unto our path. May the power of Your Word reach the deepest parts of our hearts; to reproof, to correct, and to instruct us. Thank You for Your treasure. I rejoice in it. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 103:2-3 NKJV – Bless the Lord, O my soul

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases.

We see the compassion of God; an aspect of God’s glorious nature which is reflected in His loving and sympathetic understanding of human weakness and His gracious restoration of those in trouble. Bless the Lord, O my soul! God is at work in all that happens to us. He is at work whether to warn us of harm or draw us unto Him. God is at work in the daytime and at night. God is at work while we rest or while we labor. God is even at work when we sometimes forget of His presence.

As believers, we don’t warrant any blessings we receive. But God continues to bless us, and forgive us, and heal us, and restore us, and renew us, and deliver us. Why? Because God loves us with an everlasting love. A love that cannot be taken away. “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV) If God has drawn you, you are valuable to Him. If God has drawn you, you matter to Him. If God has drawn you, He will love you and keep you. That is the kind of everlasting love I’m talking about.

Forget not all His benefits; Love, Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, Healing, Deliverance, Eternal Life. Hallelujah! Remembering all that God has done brings us to a place of praise and rejoicing; a hope for the future. God even remembers. He always remembers His covenant. “Remember His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations.” (1 Chronicles 16:15 NKJV)

God always remembers His promises. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV)

God always remembers His people. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NKJV)

Let us rejoice in praise and song. Let us raise His Name above all other Names. Let us give thanks to God for all He has done and for all He is. Worship is turning to God in awe, praise and joy, as we realize how wonderful He is. Prayer is a natural part of worship; to know God is to worship Him and pray to Him. Prayer embraces praising God for who He is, thanking Him for what He has already done, and looking forward with joy to what He has promised to do in the future.

Heavenly Lord, bless Your Holy Name. O my soul, bless Your Holy Name. I will not forget all that You have done and all that You promise. I give You praise and thank You for Your gracious mercy. We deserve nothing yet You give us everything. You give us life and eternal life through Your Son, Jesus. Glory to Your Name. We worship You O mighty Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Matthew 5:14 NKJV – Walk in the light

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Scripture often uses light as a symbol of the people of God, and especially the manner in which believers are able to reflect the glory of God in a dark world of sin.  God is the source of the light.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NKJV)

Believers are called to live in His light. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NKJV) We are able to walk in the light of Jesus because of the shedding of the blood of Christ; His voluntary substitutionary sacrifice that paid in full God’s penalty for sin.

It is important that believers bear witness to Jesus Christ in the world.  The world needs to see the light of Christ in us.  The world needs to see that believers are different; that we are set apart and carry with us the love of Christ who gave His life for us.  It’s important to remember, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

Jesus Christ’s total giving of Himself, shown supremely in His obedient suffering and death on the cross, reveals God’s amazing love for sinners.  And the world needs to see the love of Christ in us in order to push back the darkness of the world so that the light of Christ is illuminated.  I know and have known people of faith that when they enter a room, the light of Jesus Christ causes everyone to stop.  My eyes are immediately fixed upon them.  They walk in the fullness of God’s light.

Friend, the power and the fullness of God rests in all of us as believers.  We possess the light of Jesus Christ and God desires that this light shine brightly.  The responsibility of every believer is to represent Jesus Christ in the world.  So in our times of prayer and intimacy with God, let’s seek ways for the light of Jesus Christ to shine brightly in our lives.  Let’s ask God to show us where His light can touch others around us.  Let’s ask God to guide us to those who He desires for the love and the light of Jesus to impact them.  Let’s ask God to fill our days with opportunities to demonstrate that Jesus is alive in us and we are a city that is set on a hill that cannot be hidden.

Dear Lord, thank You that Your light pushes back the darkness of this world.  Thank You that You gave Your life for us so that we too can carry that light in our lives.  Lord, we pray that Your light would shine brightly in us and touch a world.  Open opportunities for us to reach those who are lost.  May Your love and light catch their attention.  May we be obedient and share Your love and light with them.  Help us to always walk in the light as You are in the light.  In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!