Shining; November 3, 2022

Isaiah 60:2-3 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Since verse one is our Verse for the Year, we have been quoting that every Sunday. However, these two verses certainly speak to the situation we see in the world today. The world is indeed a dark place in many respects, and modern technology has made us all the more aware of that fact. News, whether by print or TV or Internet, is preponderantly negative, and much of it horribly so. It’s no wonder clinical depression has been on the rise for a number of years! In such a situation, God’s people shine all the more brightly. Jesus famously said, “You are the light of the world…. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16) We do need to remember that the light doesn’t originate with us; we are no more than conduits, like the fiber optics that are used in everything from data transmission to Christmas ornaments. The point is, if we let God’s light shine through us it will be very attractive, like the ornaments I just mentioned. We also need to be careful that the “data” of the Gospel doesn’t get garbled going through us. We need to demonstrate, as well as express, God’s love, grace, and mercy, in the context of His holiness and power. If we will do that we will encounter opposition, certainly, just as Jesus did, (John 15:18) but those whose hearts are tender will flock to us to repent and believe for their own salvation.

If I were to start listing examples of darkness I would be here all day, and that would just be what I am aware of. I am not to ignore the darkness, but I am certainly not to focus on it. The past two years have been a clear demonstration of how the devil and those controlled by him want us to focus on fear and despair, so that they may in turn control us. They’ve done a shockingly effective job! Those who know the One who is Truth (John 14:6) need to stand firm and refuse to be swayed, allowing His light to shine through us in sharp contrast to the oppressive darkness. If we will do that, people will indeed flock to us, just as this chapter says.

Father thank You for this reminder. I just found out my wife had a relatively sleepless night, but that doesn’t change Your light to and through her. I pray that in the relatively dark circumstances of her hospitalization we would both be faithful and accurate transmitters of Your light, so that people may be drawn to You and not just to us, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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