Shining Brightly


            “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 provides light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mathew 5: 14 – 16.)


            It is impossible for a true Christian to remain unrecognized.  To stay hidden is to fail to fulfill God’s purpose.  Every true believer is called to be different; to stand out; to be set apart; loving where there is no love; giving where selfishness reigns; faithfully encouraging others; nurturing those who are sick; caring for the needy; filling the hearts of others with hope and joy.  Genuine faith produces an abundance of good works.  God’s people are set apart; they are a light in a dark world; they are divine objects that point toward a loving and everlasting Father.

            Of all the planets and stars outside the earth’s atmosphere, the brightest is the North Star (it is actually the planet Venus.)  Nearly all stars travel across the night’s sky; yet due to the Earth’s spin, Venus remains fixed; a characteristic that made it useful to ancient mariners who sought to navigate the open ocean.  The North Star’s brightness also made it the easiest star for sailor’s to recognize.  In a sea of stars, it outshines all of the others.  It cannot be confused with the thousands of dimmer stars that fill the heavens.  [Some time ago, I was walking through Wal-Mart, browsing.  The store was filled with people.  I was smiling at people as they passed by (as is my custom.)  Suddenly a woman who was inspired by my positive acknowledgement, stopped and came back up to me and said, “Thank God someone is smiling in this place.”  After our brief interaction, she continued forward.  She had seen in me the joy of the Lord; the light of Christ; something peculiar and rare, but refreshing and welcomed.]

            Like the North Star, the believer is by far the brightest object in the lives of those around them.  In a sea of (dimly lit) non-believers, the followers of Jesus Christ standout; they are different; they can be easily recognized; they are filled with love, charity, and compassion.  Their hearts overflow with kindness, joy, and peace.  They orient others by pointing them upward toward God (who is the source of all love and mercy.)  If you have received the salvation that is from God, then you are different; do not seek to remain hidden.  Instead, let the light of The Lord shine through you; so others may see your good works and know that there is a God who loves them. 

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to be different.  We desire to be more loving, more caring, and more giving.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, and help us to shine brightly in this dark and unloving world.  May others see our good works and be drawn to You; the God who loves them.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.    

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