They say things come in three’s and for the third time in a few days, I’ve been impressed with specific illumination for the year 2017.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mathew 5:16 NIV)
What does that involve? Are there specific things you must do so others will see your light? Is my light shining bright enough or does it flicker here and there? These are some of the questions I have thought about relating to the repeated theme.
I first heard the prompt to shine your light when a friend called my cell while I was in the grocery store on December 31st, 2016. She announced that she was a great-grandmother of a baby boy and that she wanted to pray for me. She prayed specifically that I would be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing to glorify God and added a request not normally used in her prayers for me:
That I would shine my light and point others to Jesus.
Would you believe within a half hour, I did exactly that?
I put the groceries in the trunk, entered my car, sat behind the wheel and prepared to head home when I noticed a young lady in the car parked in front of mine, was upset. She mumbled a few things and slammed a door, then proceeded to look on the ground for something she apparently dropped.
I said a prayer for her and looked over in her direction again before I started my car. She was shining a light from her phone that not only was dim but too small to see well enough to find the item she lost.
I reached for my cell phone, pulled it out of my purse and pressed the LED flashlight app on the home screen. I walked over and offered to help her search.
She seemed relieved to have some help and commented how bright it was as she continued to search for a key.
She explained her predicament, “It must have dropped off the key chain after I opened the car door. My grandmother is waiting for me to pick her up and I can’t do that until I find the key to start the car!”
I tried to reassure and comfort her with the fact that I had just prayed for her before I came to assist her with my light. I empathized with her plight of being in the middle of an anxious frantic search. I told her, “These situations don’t get any easier as you get older. I still have moments where I get upset when I misplace something that I need and have to stop and pray for help.”
She searched again on the ground and rummaged through the numerous bags laying on the front and back seats and rear floors. It wasn’t until the third time going over each step since losing the key, that she finally found it.
“Thank you, Lord”, I exclaimed as I looked up. I then said to her, “He answered prayer!”
She replied, “Heaven knows.”
She thanked me as I returned to my car.
I wished her a Happy New Year and paused in prayer once more before starting for home.
There have been more occasions to shine my light since the encounter with the young lady who searched for a lost key. And there is more than just shining your light applications that come to mind when reflecting on this story.
Basically, I want to list additional suggestions that I have been challenged with and that we as Christians can do to shine our light for Jesus.
- Stay plugged into the source to become brighter. Loving God with all your heart mind, soul and strength is essential.
- Pray without ceasing. Pray for: our leaders, others in need, the sick, our military, our schools, family, loved ones, neighbors, missions, unsaved people and your own personal list.
- Meditate on God’s Word. Read a devotional, start a Bible reading plan or write a Devotional yourself.
- Avoid listening to or initiating Gossip.
- Be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to anger.
- Be who God created you to be and ask for His help to keep moving in the direction He is pointing you to go.
- Speak the Truth and balance it with love.
- Praise God for His answers to prayer and count your blessings.
- Do your good deed for the day as God opens an opportunity to help a stranger. Little random acts of kindness preceded by prayer cause you to glow outwardly and inwardly with His love.
- Eliminate complaining. If you find yourself falling short in this or another habit/s, as I have, ask forgiveness and begin again with items 1, 2 and 3. God is merciful to forgive and help us grow into becoming more like Christ. Staying close through humble communication and obedient submission is key.
Maybe your list may look differently than what is posted above or you have a few things to add that would be helpful.
Be encouraged with the hope of a great new year filled with wonderful opportunities to connect with others and help them pursue a closer, abundant walk with Christ.
We are both privileged and blessed to partner with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Shine Your Light!