Posts Tagged ‘ Light ’

Let Your Light Shine!

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15 NRSV

MP900178051[1] One of the songs children first learn in Sunday School is This Little Light of Mine. They often sing it with delight, as they raise their fingers up to let their lights shine!

Letting our lights shine is not for children only. Jesus wants us all to do it. In fact, he said it was the only thing that makes sense for his followers. No one lights a lamp and hides it. Light is there to shine!

Today I encourage you to take a moment and enjoy this new version of This Little Light of Mine. As you listen and watch, imagine yourself lighting your light for Jesus Christ!

Click here for today’s music and video.

Light Giver

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NRSV

If you want to know who I am, don’t look at what I do or what I have. Look at what’s inside of me. Most of what I do is soon forgotten. Most of what I’ve got deteriorates and falls out of fashion.

It’s only what’s inside of me that lasts. It’s only what’s inside of me that really matters. Jesus lives in me. The light that Jesus gives me pushes the darkness away, and fills me with life.

That light is the same light that Jesus puts in all who follow him! So follow him, and fill your life with light!

Light

Heavenly Light

…What has come into being in him was life and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:3-4 NRSVMP900433127[1]

Jesus is the light of the world. As we prepare for Christmas, we are preparing to again celebrate his light coming into our lives.

With that in mind, I want to share a piece of music that I think is extraordinary for two reasons. First it comes from a simple poem by Edward Esch. His words, combined with the ethereal sounds of the choir, capture the profound beauty of the light born in Jesus Christ.

MP900430834[1]Second, this recording was made by combining voices from all over the world,  recorded simultaneously through webcams and combined to create a wonderful and inspiring video.

Take a moment to read the poem and let the music unite you with others around the globe who welcome Jesus’ light and love into their hearts!

Please click here to watch the wonderful performance, as singers from around the globe raise raise their voices to welcome the Light of the world!

Lux Aurumque (Light and Gold)
Light,
warm and heavy as pure gold
and angels sing softly
to the new-born babe. Edward Esch

Out of Darkness and Into Light!

But you are a chosen race, a royal priest hood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1Peter 2:9 NRSV

MP900302924[1] There is something I don’t understand about Black Friday. Why do we call it black? Is it in sympathy for all the people who work in retail and have to endure crowds of impatient shoppers? Or is it because many people start the day in the wee hours of the morning, standing in the dark, hoping to get a chance to save a few dollars on the holiday’s hottest items?

MP900402648[1] Whatever the reason, I don’t think Black Friday is a day for celebrating. Maybe it’s  a day when we should take a hard look at ourselves and wonder why, after spending a day giving thanks, we sometimes act like hungry animals hunting for the best deal on our prey. Are we really that deprived that we need to fill our bags and trunks with more stuff?

Of course there was a Friday that was blacker than any Black Friday there has ever been. On that day the crowds were not lining up to get a good deal. They were lining up to malign and ridicule the Son of God. They let their hatred and fear drive them to reject God and God’s own Son.

But God had the last word. Three days later Jesus stood in front of his followers, very much alive. He triumphed over the grave. Now he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords!

MC900436279[1] This Christmas season, God will again have the last word. After all our deal hunting, coupon clipping, line standing and shopping is done, Christmas will come. The night will turn silent, and the light of God will shine bright! Jesus will be born anew in our hearts!

Let’s step out of the darkness and prepare ourselves to welcome the light. Let’s use today, and the days ahead to look to the light of Jesus Christ, and to reflect his light into our world. Let’s show those hungry shoppers a little bit of love. Let’s spread a little bit of joy, and bring some peace into our world. MC900436279[1]

If we all do that, it will begin to fill the blackness that many feel today with the light of life!

Passionately Pursue

The wise are cautious and turn away from evil, but the fool throws off restraint and is careless. Proverbs 14:16 NRSV

I am a passionate person. Once I know what what I want, I put everything I can muster into the pursuit of that goal. That means I gather all the resources I can find, and I focus my energy and efforts to accomplish what I have set out to do.

What I have discovered over time is that passionately pursuing one goal means turning away from other pursuits. That’s especially true when it come to my most important life goals.

MP900400112[1] As a child I listened to a story about a boy who wanted to learn to play piano. He took lessons and began practicing and pursuing his goal. But it wasn’t long before he became interested in other instruments too. He quickly dropped piano, and began studying the trumpet, the violin, the drums, the oboe, the guitar and on and on. In the end, he knew a little about lots of instruments, but couldn’t really play any of them well. He was more a noise-maker than a musician. I never wanted to be that boy.

The writer of Proverbs tells us that fools lose focus and throw off restraint. They follow their feelings. They let every passing whim guide their steps. Their passions end up driving them to destruction.

MP900409317[1]The wise aren’t like that. They are cautious. They seek God-honoring goals. Then they use their passion to pursue those goals. When that happens, their lives become lights for Jesus Christ!

Let’s use the passion God has planted in us wisely. Let’s use it to drive us to an ever-deeper relationship with Jesus, and to a life that is more responsive to doing what he calls us to do! 

Knowing & Trusting

The LORD is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 NRSV

This is one of my favorite verses. It’s a favorite because I find myself going back to it time and time again.

Sometimes when I read Psalm 27:1 I ask myself, whom shall I fear? Well, I can think of plenty of people I fear, or situations I don’t want to be in. I’m sure the psalmist had his share of threats too. Besides that, all of us face the unknown and the unexpected.

So how can the psalmist face the known and the unknown so calmly and confidently? His words gives us a clue. He knows who is in charge. The psalmist knows who holds the future.MP900430489[1]

Of course we know that God is charge. But we still struggle with worry,  and we still feel fear. Maybe it isn’t enough to just know who is in charge. Maybe the key is knowing whose in charge, and trusting them too!

The only problem is that to trust someone, you really have to get to know them well. You have to find out how they act in different situations. You have to get a glimpse into their real nature. You also have to see things the way they do.

If we know that God is in control, then the next step for us is getting to trust God. What do we know that gives us reason to trust? We know God’s nature. The Scriptures tell us that God is love, and that God’s nature is to work all things together for good. We also know that God is greater than any principality or power at work in this world. We know that we are called to love and serve God, just like the psalmist was. God has a purpose for each of our lives.

So, there is no enemy that can rob me of God’s love. There is no situation that can thwart God’s plan for me. I can truly say, the Lord is my light and my salvation!

I know God, and I trust God. I also know that the more I know, and the deeper my trust goes, the less fear I will experience.MP900442905[1]

Let’s join the psalmist and make God the light of our lives. Let’s let God’s love for us chase the fear out of our hearts. Let’s put our trust so completely in the Lord that our worries melt away, and we step forward with confidence into lives of love and service!

Light & Life

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NRSV

Light

God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. John 1: 5,7 NRSV excepted

Walk in Jesus’ LIGHT and enjoy eternal LIFE!