Friday, October 9, 2009

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE


"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

Back in early 2009 I wrote this short story to help the members of Valley Baptist Church understand that God expects us to take the light of his glory, that he has placed within us, and go out into our dark communities and shine so that Christ can receive all the glory. I share this with you now in the hopes that it will motivate you to be more intentional about engaging the community with the good news of Jesus Christ. Read it and go do something about it!

"In a world filled with darkness there existed a large elegant building with beautiful renaissance architecture. The inside of this building was bright with a brilliance that is almost unimaginable. It was so bright that there was not even a shadow that was able to be cast. It seemed as though the light came from every direction. The reason why it was so bright was because inside this building lived hundreds, maybe even thousands, of individual lights that illuminated at different degrees of brightness.
These lights usually spent their time trying to outshine each other. One light would get up on stage and begin to show how bright his light was only to have a different light stand up and try to out shine him. These lights looked for creative ways to shine their lights. Some would get up on stage and shine their light in such a way that it seemed that a choir was singing a beautiful cantata but others would display the brilliance of their light by gathering a few other lights around them and make it seemed like they were teaching the great lessons of the century. Other lights shined in ways that seemed as though the greatest chiefs were creating a delicious and delectable multicourse meal. It seemed as though the only reason for their existence was to try and outshine each.
Then one day one of the younger lights was wondering around the building exploring when he came upon a room that appeared to have been closed up for a very long time. He opened the door and found lots of old books and files just stack up in the four corners of the room. They were stacked high and filled most of the room. There was only a very small place for this young light to stand. Being young and curious this young light began to look through all the stuff. There were all kinds of things. There were birth certificates, legal papers and books with stories. But as he was looking through all the boxes he came across a book that looked older than all the rest. A he opened the book he read the first line, “The official manual on how all lights are to conduct themselves as they go out into the darkness and shine.” That really got this young lights attention. He had never heard of any light ever going out into the darkness. He thought the only reason for lights to exist was to try and outshine each other but now this book was saying their purpose was to go out into the darkness and shine where the evil and scary unlit wicks lived. As the young light read farther into the book it also said that they were to not only shine but also do good things for these unlit wicks because they are cold, lost and afraid. This young light at first thought this book must be some practical joke but then he saw that this book was signed and had the official inscription mark of the FIRST AND BRIGHTEST LIGHT. It also stated that the teachings of this book were to be followed and obeyed completely. The first light was also the light from which all other lights were able to be lit. He was not only the first light and the brightest light but he was also the creator of all lights. He knew all things, heard all things and could do all things. This young light had always been taught that all other lights were to obey the first light totally and completely. With this new information this young light became very concerned because he realized that for as long as he could remember the only thing all lights ever did was stay inside their nice, warm and beautiful building and try to out shine each other in new and creative ways. Never once had he ever heard that they were actually to go out into the dark world that existed and shine. He had never heard of any light ever doing that.
So this young light decided he needed to show this very important and old book to the elders so that they could know that the lights have not been doing what they were supposed to be doing and that they needed to go out into the darkness and shine brightly. Bu when he shared with the elders about what he had found and what they needed to do they all said in one accord, “We cannot go outside where it is dark! We don’t know what’s out there or what will happen to us. It is scary outside. No, it would be better for us just to stay inside our nice warm, bright and safe building and keep on trying to outshine each other.”
But something in the heart of this young light knew that was not the right thing to do. He had this pounding conviction that he needed to go out into the dark world and do what that book said they were to do. So he got some of his friends and shared with them what he had discovered and asked them if they would be willing to join him on this adventure out into the dark world outside. Most of his friends were too afraid and refused to go with him. But his best friend, who was a very bright and brave light, said they would go and together they would face the challenges and the unknowns of the dark world outside. So shoulder to shoulder they walked to the front door, a door that had never been opened that they could remember, and opened it. All of sudden everyone in the building stopped what they were doing, stood perfectly still. They just stood there and stared at these two young but brave lights as they stepped out into the dark world. In amazement all the lights stood at the entrance of the beautiful building looking with amazement as these two young lights began to go farther and farther into the darkness. The other lights began to scream and holler, “Come back! Come back!” But it was too late they were so far into the darkness they could no longer see their lights shining. Everyone feared the worst. They thought that these two young lights had been lost in the darkness.
As these two lights walk together they began to notice two things: First, they noticed that wherever they went the darkness seemed to run away. Each time they took another step the light that shined from them began to illuminate the way and there would be no more darkness. Secondly, they noticed that there were others who were out there. They were not alone. These others were different from them because they did not have any light but also in some ways they were very similar. They weren’t exactly sure how but they just knew inside they were a lot alike. Some of these others would run away and hide when these two young lights began to shine on them but others seemed to be gravitated to the light and would come close. As these others came close it was apparent that they were sad and in need of help. So in little ways they began to do whatever they could to help these others. As they did the others asked them why they were being so kind. So the two young lights began to tell them about the FIRST LIGHT, how he is the giver of all lights and how he commanded them to come out here into the darkness and do good to those they found. Some of these others asked, “Can we be lights also?” The two young lights replied, “Well the first lights knows all things, hears all things and can do all things so I guess if you call out to him and believe in him you to could also be a light.” Some of the others believed what the two lights had said and called out to the first light saying, “We believe in you! Would you give us also the light that shines?” All of sudden something happened! A flash of light exploded and the others who had cried out to the first light began to shine with a brilliant light. The two young lights stood in amazement as they saw these others now shining as bright as they. The others began to sing and rejoice because now their life was bright and filled with hope. They shouted praises and thanks to the FIRST LIGHT for the wonderful and powerful thing he had done.
The two lights said to the new lights, “You must come back with us so that we can show and tell all the other lights what has happened with you and how they can come and join us as we all together go and light the world and chase away the darkness." by Jay Moore
Jesus said that we are to be the light of the world and to do good deeds in such a way that it brings glory to God our Father. Too often we fail to do good things for other people. We have become insensitive to the needs and hurt of others around us. We walk past people on the street but never really look at them. We don’t smile or even acknowledge their presence. If that is the case how can anyone expect us to help others in need? But that is exactly what Jesus is asking us to do. It is time to get out of our comfortable church buildings, homes and offices and engage people in the real world. There is a lot of darkness in this world but we have the ability to ignite a light that can chase the darkness away.
Some people are not able to shine a light into the darkness because they have no light to shine. Their life is filled with nothing more than darkness but it doesn’t have to stay that way. If you feel that you are walking around in spiritual darkness and desire to see the truth of the light then I invite you to discover THE FIRST AND BRIGHTEST OF ALL LIGHTS, JESUS CHRIST. He will se t your life on fire and help you to shine brightly for His Glory. Developing a personal relationship with him can totally transform your life from one of darkness to one of light.
If you already do have the light of Jesus shinning in you where do you shine that light at? Are you hiding in some nice building that you call a church. Remember this: Jesus did not call us to be the light of the Church, he called us to be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. I want to challenge you with the same challenge Jesus gave us, “Let your light so shine before men, in such away, that they see your good deeds and glory your Father in Heaven.” GET OUT INTO THE REAL WORLD – WHERE REAL LOST PEOPLE ARE AT AND LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE.

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