David and I have made it our New Years Resolution to read through the Bible. It may not happen by the end of the year. However our goal is to not just read the entire Bible but to really study and gain a better understanding of God's word along the way so that we will be better prepared to share the Good News with others.
As we travel this journey through the Bible I will try and post some thoughts I have on passages that really stick out to me. I wish I could share more but I will just have to do what my schedule allows for. The New Testament reading from a couple nights ago was Matthew 5:1-20. This is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. [I encourage you to go to your Bibles, or your Bible app on your phone, and read the entire Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). It is very inspiring and words that come directly from our Lord and Savior.]
The one passage that really stuck out was verses 14-18 and one that some of us may have heard many a time before:
"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."
This is one of my favorite verses. We as Christians are the light of the world. We are called to illuminate the Lord's light in everything we do. We should carry ourselves in a way that others look at us and think "that's how a Christian should act."
This is a daily struggle for me. I am a very introverted person. I don't like to talk to people, especially people I don't know. It makes me very uncomfortable. I need to be better about reminding myself of our calling to be the "light of the world."
We need to constantly be in control of our attitudes and our actions so that others will see the good in us. And this attitude needs to follow us wherever we go. Whether it be at home when you're tired and overwhelmed from taking care of the house and the kids and the errands all day. Or at work when someone is giving you a hard time or your boss gives you more than you can handle. Or in the car when someone cuts you off. Or at Wal-mart when people are just being, well, people. If we put a smile on our face and be polite it can really go a long way.
If we go back to verses 11-12 the Lord says:
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Being a Christian and standing up for what you believe in is not always easy. You will be persecuted for standing up for the Lord. But the Lord says "Blessed are you....for your reward is great in heaven." In the times we live in the world tries to force everyone to be "accepting" of every type of lifestyle and every personal choice that a person makes. If you take a stand against homosexuality you are labeled homophobic or a bigot. If you take a stand against abortion you are trying to take away a woman's right to choose what she does with "her body."
However we must stay strong and remember that even though some (or most) may not agree with us, if we let our light continue to shine brightly others will see the Lord through us and give glory to God our Father as v.18 states. Just because we don't agree with a person's lifestyle or choices, doesn't mean we shouldn't show them love. God loves everyone. We are ALL sinners. And we can ALL be forgiven and saved through the sacrifice of our Lord.
What are some challenges that you face that prevents you from letting your light shine on a daily basis? And what are things that you do/say that encourage you to continue to shine bright. I would love to hear from you.
Labels: faith, inspiration