Skip to main content

Let his light shine

There are definitely times when the struggle to just continue on mount and mount.  The pressures seem to be unnecessarily complicated and kind of like weights around our necks.  When it comes to standing up for Christ, we often just don't have the stamina to face it because all the other stuff just gets us so overloaded, we think one more thing will be our undoing.  Paul was an apostle in the New Testament church, founding new churches in the first century just after Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.  His mission was to be "on-duty" for Christ 24/7.  He was a tent maker, but he didn't fall back on this trade unless a church he was working in could not help to support him while he was there getting them established.  I can only imagine he faced many a day himself when the mounting pressures of balancing work life, church planting, making disciples of new converts, and the like were just about to overwhelm him.  He has an interesting attitude though - he calls himself a "servant of the church" because God "gave him a special work to do".  I wonder if we might have our faith bolstered, energies renewed, and attitudes adjusted if we developed a similar perspective wherever it is we are planted today.

I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do. This work helps you. My work is to tell the complete message of God. This message is the secret truth that was hidden since the beginning of time. It was hidden from everyone for ages, but now it has been made known to God’s holy people. God decided to let his people know just how rich and glorious that truth is. That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives in you, his people. He is our hope for glory. So we continue to tell people about Christ. We use all wisdom to counsel every person and teach every person. We are trying to bring everyone before God as people who have grown to be spiritually mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:25-28 ERV)

I am grateful for Paul's work in the New Testament church, because I think he may just be reason many of us are believers today!  In fact, had he not been faithful to reach out to the far reaches of the earth with this message of hope, we might just be living in spiritual darkness right now.  He was a pioneer of the faith - a founding father of the church - and a faithful disciple of Christ.  He wasn't in the "inner circle" of Christ's twelve, nor was he a consistent follower of Christ while he was alive on this earth, but from the moment he made his decision to put his faith in the finished work of the cross, Paul's life changed. It took on new meaning and he pursued his calling with passion and determination.

There is something in Paul's message we all need to appreciate - he opens the door for us to understand the truth that Christ lives in us - this gives us hope for glory.  To some, this may seem like a trivial thing, but for just a moment step into this picture of what it might just be to experience Christ's glory fully within us.  I might begin by explaining the significance of light - for without light, darkness prevails.  Where darkness prevails, growth is stifled or limited to something which dies when light reaches the recesses of these dark places. When I spent some time underground in caverns deep beneath the surface of the earth, I am amazed to find "life" within the darkness.  Cave crickets and bats can survive deep within the confines of the cool caverns.  They are made for the darkness - bring light into their midst and they don't really know what to do with it.

Christ's glory within us is kind of like that at first.  We find our lives are kind of like the cricket born into the darkness of the cavern.  We live our lives well-adjusted and well-suited for the darkness which invades every area of our lives. When light begins to come into our lives, we can be almost "blinded" to what is happening around us at first.  Why?  It takes away what we are accustomed to "seeing" around us.  We are accustomed to the darkness - something which becomes a comfort zone for us.  When light comes, we skitter and hide.  Why? It isn't because the light is bad - it is because it is something we are not accustomed to.  At first, the limited light of the flashlight in the cavern seems blinding to the tiny cricket.  As more and more light is introduced, he develops a sense of 'acceptance' of the light and doesn't flee from it quite as much.  He might need to adjust to it, but he isn't as frightened by it as he once was.

God's glory within each of us is made known little-by-little because we need to adjust to the "brightness" of that glory.  We need to develop the capacity to stand in the presence of the fullness of the "light" he brings - instead of skittering away to hide from his revealing light.  Glory isn't just something God "radiates" because he is a supreme deity.  It is something he brings into the lives of those he meets with on a regular basis until they become more and more saturated with that light.  I liken it to the reflective dial on my watch.  It only glows at night because it has soaked up the light around it in the daylight. We only radiate God's glory because we spent time in his presence.  Glory is reflective - it is life-altering - and it is life-giving.  We should not run from his glory, nor imagine life without it, but rather bask in the light his presence brings and the liberty which comes from darkness being driven far from the recesses of our lives.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…