Are You Reflecting His Light? (April)

Sarah Lee Photography: Ocean Photography

We were in the motel lobby eating breakfast as a family, when an older gentleman walked into the room with his wife. Right away I could tell from their countenances that they were just “different,” – you know, the like-mindedness that you sometimes feel when you meet another believer? As the gentleman crossed the room to the breakfast line, I saw him casually ask my dad about the blueberry waffles. I could tell that he was using this as a conversation starter, and sure enough, a few minutes later we found that we had met some dear missionaries who were on a short furlough from their overseas mission work.

I pondered this “coincidental” meeting all day. How had I known from the first glance that this couple were believers? What was so unique about the casual, yet intentional, cheerfulness Mr. W. had shown?

Upon contemplation, I finally concluded that the fact that this kind Christian gentleman had made eye contact with each person in his path – even during such a mundane thing as eating breakfast! – and was obviously happy. These “simple things” speak volumes to a watching, hungering world. Mr. and Mrs. W. were not self-obsorbed, but instead were overflowing with love for the One they served, looking for ways to share about Him wherever He led. I realized that these seemingly small, basic things are truly great ways to be a shining witness for Christ. By simply showing friendliness and genuine care wherever they went, this couple had opened the doors for witnessing opportunities – they didn’t wait to “pick someone” to preach to – instead their smile and friendliness did a world of “preaching” to anyone they came in contact with.

The news we have to share abroad, as Christians, is no small joy. It is life-changing and must overflow from our hearts of love for our Savior! Carefully read this prophecy by a great man of God, Isaiah. Our Savior, our Light, our Salvation, our Provider, our Protector – He has come!

for thy light is come,
and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
and gross darkness the people:
but the LORD shall arise upon thee,
and his glory shall be seen upon thee…
The sun shall be no more thy light by day;
neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee:
but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light,
and thy God thy glory.”
{From Isaiah 60}

Every phrase of this passage is a beautiful prophesy of the glory of our Messiah and a prompting reminder to live in the light of His incredible love – to show it to a mass of people bound by the darkness covering the world. This is the incredible joy we have been given! How can we not shine for our Savior when His love burns in our heart? How can the countenance of our faces not just radiate with love for the Great One Who has come and redeemed us from darkness? Do we as Christians bear in mind that we are His ambassadors wherever He sends us – whether we be on an overseas mission field or shopping in Wal-Mart?

Do we realize the seriousness of our calling to shine for the Lord? If the lost men and women around us do not accept the Lord Jesus as their path of Salvation, they are headed to eternal doom (Romans 3:23). Our joyful friendliness and witness for Christ can bear witness of God’s truth (Matthew 5:14). But it is not an option, not just a good idea. It is a command for all believers – and a matter of eternal life and death for those around us! Everything I do and every move I make must be for the glory of God and light of Christ to be proclaimed to a dark and dying world. Matthew 5:14 says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us, “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 marvellous light.” Jesus has saved us from eternal darkness and brought us into His light and love. Life is so short, and we may be given only one brief chance to witness to someone.

The Lord has driven home the importance of our witness for Him as our family has been sobered by many sad occurrences. In just the past few weeks, we have heard of numerous accidents and tragic, unexpected deaths…the two young men who were injured in a wreck right on our highway…the family whose all three children were tragically killed in a car accident…the young friend who died of cancer…the 21-year-old young lady who died instantly in an interstate collision…the father who was killed in a storm, leaving behind a grieving family…the mother who is dying of an unknown yet extremely painful disease…the gentleman who was killed in a plane crash a few miles away… The Lord has used these sobering instances to cause our family to look to Him and remember the brevity of man’s breath – the truth of James 4:14,

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.
For what is your life? 
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time,
and then vanisheth away.”

How can we as believers have an infectious, joyful attitude and countenance? The Lord has been showing me through His Word that it all begins with how we view Him. Are we utterly grateful for His Lordship and do we carry the joy of “the God of [our] salvation” (Hab. 3:18)? Are our hearts overflowing with gratitude and love for Him and the sacrifice Christ Jesus has made on our behalf? Do we “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that [we] might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19)? This is where it all begins. We must realize God’s love for us, His mercy, His faithfulness, and our responsibility to live fully for His sake. And then, when we are wholly committed to Him, we will be a shining beacon of joy and love to a hurting world. If you are desiring to know more of the depths of Christ’s love, I would encourage you to read the Gospel of John. It has deepened my love and faith and commitment to my Savior this past month as I have studied it. I am continually awed at the compassionate love which Jesus lived out daily in His earthly ministry – and challenged to live it out myself and to understand it more fully, that I might “love one another; as Christ has loved me”(John 13:34). The world around me is dying and suffering in darkness. Let me feel that burden and Christ’s burden for the Lost, and live radiating His love to all.

“Giving thanks unto the Father,
which hath made us meet to be partakers
of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins.”
{Colossians 1:12-14}

Grateful for my Savior,

NOTE » The internet challenge that I took last month was incredibly blessed! Each day’s devotions were a joy as I sought out the face of God and prayed for wisdom and growth: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). He has abundantly answered, despite my small faith, which has served to increase my trust in Him to fulfill His promises. “Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise” (1Kings 8:56). This has become my theme verse, “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). As we truly seek God with wide open hands, ready to give up whatever it costs to know Him more, He will reward (Hebrews 11:6). This is my prayer for my life: “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” (Psalm 138:8). I can’t wait to see how He does this and am praying for more love for Him. Personally, I am planning to continue a sort of challenge this month as well. I am going to pray for at least 5 minutes every day, as I desire to grow in this area! Please share with me how the Lord has taught you this past month!

3 c o m m e n t s »

SAMANTHA P  Thank you, Sarah, for both March and April’s monthly thought! They were perfect for me and just the reminders I needed! I so often forget that I am Christ’s ambassador, especially when I am out shopping and such. Our Savior truly is our light and the more time we spend seeking His face, the more we will radiate His glory to a watching world. As Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” We will never be ashamed when we look to Christ as our all in all! Last month, I also focused on greatly reducing the amount of time I spent on the internet. It was such a rewarding experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who does not want to make the internet an “idol” in their life! The Lord truly does open the eyes of those who seek Him to the riches contained in the Scriptures! Psalm 27:8 is my prayer – “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek’.” The internet can be very good and helpful, but I found that I often waste a lot of time on it. We have to clean our lives of some “good” things in order to make room for the “best” things. Spending time studying the Word of God, communing with Him, and investing in the lives of our family members are some of the best things you can spend your time doing! Sometimes doing things like spending time with our siblings feels like a waste, but if we only had an eternal focus, we would see that it is not a waste at all. On that last day, when we stand before the judgment seat of God, we will be called to give an account of how we have spent our lives. May that thought encourage us to think more carefully about how we spend our time!

BETHANY COLE Thank you for the challenge to show forth Christ! It has been an encouragement to me to set my mind on things above, and on Christ. If we do that, then it truly will be seen in our faces that we belong to Christ. We are to be ambassadors for Christ everywhere we go.

MRS. LARSEN It truly is a testimony that it is not our dress or our words sometimes but it is the fact that God himself dwells in us. The more we deny ourselves and strive to be changed into His image (sometimes through the trials of life) we emanate the Spirit of Christ. We had a guest missionary at our church and he talked about living for Christ in such a way that people wouldn’t say “They’re probably Christians or they go to church” but “They truly are disciples of Christ!” If we live this way then when the trials of life come we can have joy and thankfulness knowing that God is in control and His promises are TRUE!! Do people KNOW that we are disciples of Christ? So many people “say” they are Christians but by looking at their lives one can see they are not. That is why so many of the Lost look at Christianity and scoff. They don’t see true believers living as Christ did. Lord help us to be pleasing to you! (1 Cor. 1:18-31)

SARAH LEEThank you ladies, for sharing your encouragement and insights on the topic of witnessing for Jesus Christ. May He teach us and fill us with His spirit that we might be bright lights in our age! God bless you each – “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1Peter 5:10).