Friday, September 18, 2009

#47 No Ability to Shine

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

I can recall going out once and buying some candles for something while I was overseas in Iraq. There on the base in Mosul, Iraq were several shops ran by local nationals from both Iraq and Turkey. They sold all sorts of stuff from movies to candles and from various beverages bottled in-country to super cheap electronics; cheap in price and manufacturing. These shops were a blend of strange, new things from the local culture and items made in China and around the Middle East. The shops also sold pre-paid calling cards for use with Iraqi cell phones that with a little work you could procure easily enough. There was even a shop on the base where you could have a suit custom made. I had two suits made while I was there and the Turkish tailors did a great job and had them back to me in about two weeks.

Back to my candles. I bought a box of candles to use for a ceremony at the chapel. When I got the candles out of the box and set them up I noticed something odd about them. They were all missing the wicks. So here I had a bunch of useless candles. In fact, without the wicks they were not even candles. They were just sticks of wax. Without the wick they had no ability to shine.

The Christian life is much like a candle. You see, Jesus comes to the door of our heart and He wants to come in (Revelation 3:20) and live within us. Jesus longs to change us from the inside out. He wants to empower us with the Holy Spirit that we might tell the world about Him and the sacrifice that He made on our behalf. Before Jesus comes into our lives we are like those wickless candles: we have no ability to truly shine. Without Jesus we are just bundles of clay that have little hope in life beyond the few years we can manage to live out here on earth. But with Jesus we are like candles that have not just one wick, but one that has multiple wicks. With Jesus in us we can fulfill the commission that He gave us to let our lights shine before men. Jesus wants us to shine that we might bring glory to the Father not ourselves. There is nothing good that comes from us unless Jesus puts it there in the first place. And it would do us well to recognize that like those candles without a wick were not really candles, if we are not shining our light before the world for Christ then we are not truly Christians. But when we let the Lord come into our hearts and turn us around we can and will shine for Him, and not only that, but we will have hope beyond this temporary life. When we are sold out to Jesus then we can have hope to know that we will live for Him through eternity because of what He is doing in our lives.

Today, I challenge you all to let the love of Christ come into your hearts in a renewed way. I challenge you to evaluate your walk in this life and to ask yourself if you are trying to shine without a wick. If you are, take the time just now to either make or renew your commitment to the Lord Jesus, and ask Him to equip you to shine for Him that the Lord might be glorified through your life.

Dear Father God,

As we come to You just now I pray that we recognize how awesome and mighty You are. Please teach us to let the Holy Spirit come into our hearts afresh each day. Please teach us to shine in such a way that our lives become something that glorifies You. Please forgive us our sins and make us more like Jesus today is my prayer in His holy name, Amen.

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