Have you ever stumbled through the darkness? I did yesterday. You see, I was searching through a storage
closet cavern at church for some decorations for a Girlfriends event (coming up this Thursday!). In my infinite wisdom, I chose to rely on the sliver of light coming from a cracked door at the other end of room, rather than flipping on the light switch. So, I climbed over stacks of chairs, maneuvered around stage lights, and slid past a portable baptistry – in the dark. It wasn’t easy. I twisted my ankle a bit and earned a small tear in my sweater. Let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t on candid camera. As I was groping in the dark, I couldn’t help but laugh, though, since I had just listened to Blake Stanley (our Executive Student Pastor at Mountain Lake) teach on LIGHT.
Blake taught and challenged us all with the words of Jesus in Matthew 5: 14, “You are the light of the world.” Jesus was speaking to His disciples, explaining how He wanted them to live. Don’t miss this: when Jesus described who He wanted His followers to be….how the church was to act….He used the imagery of LIGHT. Do you know what light does? It portrays with clarity an image that would otherwise be in darkness. Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that most people in this world live in darkness. Depression, despair, divorce, job loss, addiction, confusion, death, disease – all of us have faced darkness. But, for those of us who know Christ, we have hope for help! Jesus didn’t leave us to wander in darkness. No, HE is our light! Because of Him, we can overcome the trials and tribulations of this world, and then we have the honor of shining our Light to help other people find their way, too.
Do you want to know the way Blake challenged me most yesterday? He said, “Really, there’s no such thing as darkness. Darkness is just the absence of light. The reason there is darkness is there is no light shining.” Do you see the spiritual ramifications? Do you see that if we, as followers of Jesus, shined the light of His love we could dispel the darkness? It’s true. If we have been changed by Jesus, we have what our struggling families and friends need. We have THE answer, and His name is Jesus.
So, how can we shine our light this week and point a hurting world to the saving grace of Jesus? Well, Jesus told us in Matthew 5: 16, “In the same way, let you light shine before other, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Who can’t do that?! Who can’t be kind and do good deeds for the people around them? By loving people enough to serve them, we’ll earn their respect and trust, and over time, they’ll listen to what we have to say about Jesus. Simple, really. Let’s not overcomplicate it. Love people, do good deeds, share Jesus.
God used Blake yesterday to inspire and challenge us to be bold in our faith in 2011. You’d be missing out if you didn’t watch his entire message, so click here this week or in the MLC archives after that. And, then get out there and shine the Light!