SHINE!

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. —Matthew 5:14-16

When you go out into the dark you can bring a flashlight to illuminate your way. The light dispels the darkness. Light overcomes the darkness and darkness can only exist in the absence of light. You have never heard of a flashdarkness to darken your way in the daytime. Just won’t happen. Darkness cannot exist when light is present.

According to the passage above, followers of Jesus are to “shine” in this dark world. When the light of believers does not exist, only spiritual darkness exists. Just take a look at countries where Christians are few or where the government seeks to limit the freedom of the followers of Jesus. Look at life in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea— all these are spiritually dark nations because of their intentional squelching of the Light of Jesus Christ. There is lack of freedom.

Now, take a look at the U.K. and the United States. These counties, and others in the West, were historically Christian Lighthouses in the world and there was freedom. The U.K.’s light is dimming quickly and the United States is headed down that same slippery slope toward darkness as well.

Praise the Lord God Almighty! He has his people all over this world and those who seek to extinguish the Light of the Gospel will never be able to do so. God’s plan will come to pass and puny man will not stay His Hand! Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in persecuted lands and thank God for them that they are able to shine in such dark places. Oh, that they hear the words from Jesus one day—“Well done, good and faithful servant.” May it be so!

For we who live in countries, like the U.S., where we have more freedom to share the gospel, at least at this time. May we be doing so in a great way! Freedom in America is waning and as we continue in the direction we are, we will end up being like other nations of the world seeking to stamp out the followers of Jesus.

The world can never take away the true freedom that believers have in Jesus. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (II Corinthians 3:17). Where the Spirit of the Lord is not, there is bondage and destruction. After Alexander Solzhenitsyn spent 50 years working on the history of the Russian Revolution, reading hundreds of books, collecting hundreds of personal testimonies he said this— “But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened” (Templeton Address, 1983). The world can only be dark when the Light of Jesus is absent! Let us shine!

Dear Father, I am grateful to know that You will never leave we who love You and that You will never forsake us, but that You will be with us until the end of the age and then we will be in glory with You. Oh, may we shine in such a way that many others will come to know you as well. May it be so!

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