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Let Your Light Shine

JESUS SPEAKING

“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.” (Matthew 5: 14 – 16)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Like a city on a hill, genuine Christianity can never be concealed or remain hidden. Those who have been reborn are no longer shackled by apathy and indifference. Instead, they are compelled to accomplish good works; powerful displays of affection, service, and selflessness that shine through the darkness of the surrounding culture. Openly displaying these charitable behaviors serves but one singular purpose; to bring glory and honor to God. This divine light draws those who are lost to The Lord, and many are converted and receive salvation.

Every evening without fail, the moon rises and a seemingly endless sea of stars fills the night sky. The northern lights splash around and the constellations are easily observed. And yet when the morning arrives, a single powerful star appears on high and shines with such ferocity that it overwhelms the atmosphere; causing the other stars to disappear; but they aren’t really gone; instead they are simply concealed amidst the suffocating rays of the sun; and thus, in its presence, every other bright thing becomes muted and obscured.

Like the Sun, Christians are called to shine so brightly that they are easily recognized by others. Amidst an ocean of indifference, our love must stand out. Having been filled up completely, God’s Holy Spirit will inevitably pour into the lives of those around us. When we serve others, when we practice generosity, and when we display affection for those who are lost, they will see God in us, and be drawn to Him. May we continue to shine brightly, and may God receive the glory and honor He so richly deserves.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and ask for more of Your Holy Spirit. Pour into us, that we might pour into others. Compel us to accomplish good works, to be charitable, and giving; knowing that Your love can transform anyone, no matter how far away they might’ve wandered. As we continue to evangelize, may our lives be a testament to the transforming power of Your Holy Spirit. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Meeting Jesus Christ

JESUS SPEAKING

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” […] The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him. […] And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (John 4: 25 – 26, 28 – 30, 39 – 42)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Having met a sinful woman near a well, Jesus expounded upon her past with supernatural precision (providing her with details that only God could know.) He abruptly identified Himself as the Messiah; prompting the Samaritan woman to re-enter the city and report this miracle to her fellow citizens. Those who believed the woman’s words received a measure of faith, which compelled them to follow her back to Jesus. The curious masses urged Him to stay and He satisfied their desires by remaining with them for two days; during which time He instructed them concerning God’s perfect will. Although the woman’s reports were the initial source of faith for many, those who truly believed were drawn out of the city to meet Jesus Christ. After listening with great enthusiasm, those who had made the journey were fully established in their faith. Those who aspire to live a Christian life will inevitably be led to the words of Jesus Christ; as expressed in the New Testament.

As the story goes, during the 1800’s, an explorer named Henry Mortan Stanley began his journey across the continent of Africa. Initially he chose to bring seventy-three books along with him, in three packs, which weighed approximately 180 pounds. After traveling 300 miles he was obliged by those who were carrying his luggage to throw away some of his books. Which he did. Still, as he continued on his trip, his library was slowly diminished; growing leaner and leaner, until he had but one book left; The Holy Bible. It is said that Sir Mortan read through the scriptures three times before his journey had ended.

The words of Jesus Christ, His messages and His teachings are immortalized within the pages of the New Testament; the only divine book ever translated. Concerning His desires, His Doctrine, and His will, we need not speculate. Instead, like the Samaritans who wandered out of the city to meet Jesus, we need only crack open the pages of God’s word (the Holy Bible.) If we endeavor to meet the real Jesus, we can easily find Him and know Him. Read His words and you will grow in your faith; listen to Him and you will be transformed, and you will know what it means to be a Christian and to walk according to God’s perfect will.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for illuminating our understanding through Your Holy scriptures. May we take solace in the bible, and may we meet the real Jesus as we continue reading. Soften our hearts, that we may receive His message and live according to His doctrines. May our faith be genuine, may our loyalty be unwavering, and may our trust in You be everlasting. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and watch over us as we accomplish Your desires in this place. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

The Rapture

JESUS SPEAKING

    “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of man (Jesus Christ):  For they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all […] even so will it be in the day that the Son of man (Jesus Christ) is revealed.  In that day, he who is on the housetop and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away.  And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back.  Remember Lot’s wife.  Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.  I tell you in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left.  Two women will be grinding together; the one will be taken and the other left.  Two men will be in the field; the one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke 17: 26 – 27, 30 – 36)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    The event Jesus describes in this scripture is known as ‘the rapture.’  In a moment, in the blink of an eye, God will gather up His faithful believers from around the world before pouring out His wrath upon the earth.  Co-workers, relatives, friends, and even complete strangers will vanish in an instant.  Those who are left behind will face God’s judgments.  How then can we be prepared for the rapture?  By cherishing eternal rewards more than worldly possessions (wealth, homes, jobs, belongings, etc.)  Jesus asks us to “Remember Lot’s wife;” a woman who was ill-prepared for God’s deliverance.  In the Old Testament she and her family were led out of the wicked city of Sodom and Gomorrah just prior to its destruction.  Sadly, she disobeyed God’s command by turning around to look back upon the city with fondness and affection.  As a result she was turned in to a pillar of salt.

    Like Lot’s wife, many throughout history have mistakenly loved worldly possessions more than their own lives.  One day while driving with my Dad through the town where I grew up, we passed by a certain building.  He informed me that decades earlier the building had caught on fire and that the owner had foolishly rushed in and went to the basement to collect some of his valuables.  Unfortunately he became trapped inside.  He desperately tried to escape through a basement window but it was too small for him to fit through.  Unable to help, onlookers could do nothing but watch as he perished in the flames.  He died because he valued his possessions more than his own life.

    Similarly, some individuals today value their belongings more than their eternal lives. Those who take great comfort in their worldly possessions are often ill-prepared for the coming Kingdom.  As believers we must be ready for ‘The Rapture;’ an event that could occur at any moment.  To be completely prepared is to love God more than anything else.  We must make truth more important than trust funds and make people more valuable than possessions.  As our values change we will come to embrace the rapture and look forward to it with great joy and remarkable anticipation.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to value the things that are truly important.  Prepare our hearts and minds for the rapture; may our thoughts be continually focused upon Your coming Kingdom.  Strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit that we might accomplish your will and bring honor and glory to your Holy name. We love you Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you!


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