Thursday, September 06, 2007

Shine

I've taken up rereading through the gospels because I have recently made the decision to listen closely to God, to meditate more in His word, and to obey what He has for my life. Lately, the word "shine" has been on mind a lot lately. And when I read in Matthew 5 yesterday, the purpose that God has been hammering into my skull became crystal clear yet again. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Shine your light before all men that they might see your good works and praise your Father in heaven." 2 things instantly popped into my head the moment I read this.

1. Why am I hiding?
2. To whom am I shining?

I often complain about the church's lack of shining. And yesterday I wondered why Jesus said that "a city on a hill cannot be hidden". What was being hidden? What was the city on a hill representing? Could it be that Jesus was seeing what I'm seeing? A lack of shining? A church that is not shining in the world, but hiding? And of course when I complain it often reflects me. And then I started thinking, "Well, am I shining?" "How am I living my life to shine?" "What am I doing to shine?"

I looked up the word shine and there are a lot of definitions but I think 2 apply here.

1.to give forth or glow with light; shed or cast light.
2.to be bright with reflected light; glisten; sparkle.

The first is how God shines in us, how His glory and love and mercy is cast on us. The second of course is our shine. The only reason we shine is because it is reflected from God. And when we shine on others it is easy to think that our light shines to them, but really it is merely God's light reflected on us that shines to them. Don't miss this. When we take control of shining and do it for our benefit merely to make ourselves look better, we're not really shining at all. Instead, we are attempting to steal the glory from God. But God's going to get the glory anyway so why not just go along with it?

So people of God, bride of Christ, the Church, may you shine like the stars in the universe, reflecting the light of the light-maker for all to see that they may, in turn, reflect the light of God to others and light up the world for the glory of God.

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