In my book, Larkspur, The Areli are people of light. This light is powerful, almost magical. The light in the story represents the Light Of Christ.
What does the Bible tell us about The Light?
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “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 NIV
“Believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” John 12:36 NIV
“Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” Luke 11:36 NIV
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” Luke 8:16 NIV
So, how do we “Shine Our Light”?
I have four behaviors, or actions, that I would like to share with you that I believe will help us all be Bright and Shining Lights for Jesus:
1) Love One Another
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
This is not as easy as it sounds…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43-44 NIV
Anyone can love the lovable. Jesus calls us to love the unlovable, and to pray for them.
2) Be Courageous
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV
What is courage? One definition is “the state of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or the ups and downs of life with calmness and confidence.”
Where do we find this calmness and confidence?
“…for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 NIV
We have a mighty God, and He is on our side! So take courage!
3) Have Faith
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV
Faith is having confidence in what we believe to be true.
Are you a Doubting Thomas or a Centurian?
“Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
THE CENTURIAN (SOLDIER)
“A centurion came to Jesus, asking for help. “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
The centurion replied, “Lord…just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. Matthew 8:5-13 NIV
4) Stay True to Yourself. Be the best YOU you can be!
“We all have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:6 NIV
Each of us has a special place and purpose, a way to use our God-given gifts for His glory. We should never try to be something we are not. If we do, we will lose sight of the glorious plan God has for us!
You don’t have to have a “bright” personality to be a light for God, you just have to be YOU!
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV