Shine on baby, shine on

I got a reminder from my eye doctor in the mail today.

He wants more money and thinks that if I come in for a check-up that he’ll be able to squeeze it out of my corneas.

I checked just to make sure.

Nope, not a cent is coming out of my eyeballs.

I was going to toss the reminder in the trash with all of the other junk mail that came today, but the bottom of the paper caught my eye (no pun, intended.  Okay, maybe a little intended)

“Under the right conditions, the human eye can see the light of a candle – 14 miles away.”

Wow.

Tell me I’m not the only one geeking out about that?

One small light can be seen 14 miles away.

In a life or death situation, a candle could save a life.

One single flame.

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)

That’s us.

We are that flame.

I find that incredibly encouraging.  In a day when life seems so dark, with governments toppling, economic crisis looming, terrorists plotting unspeakable acts, and on and on the dark parade of bad news continues – that in these days, our light is seen – even from a far distance.

We are that light. . .as long as we don’t let fear cover it up.

No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a washtub or shoves it under the bed. No, you set it up on a lamp stand so those who enter the room can see their way. We’re not keeping secrets; we’re telling them. We’re not hiding things; we’re bringing everything out into the open. So be careful that you don’t become misers of what you hear. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.

Luke 8:16-18 (The Message)

Jesus tells us to shine on so that others can find their way.

But there is a paralyzing sort of fear that tries to grip the heart of every believer.

It is the fear of telling someone else about Jesus.

To some degree we are afraid of rejection but mostly we are afraid that we are doing it wrong.

We are terrified that our brand of evangelism doesn’t come across as graceful as we want it to and we’re afraid we’re gonna look like an idiot and that God’s gonna disown us for failing to memorize the script on how to introduce someone to Jesus.

Guess what?

We are the script.

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (The Message)

God is not looking to meet a quota and you are not a salesperson.  God values life and human will too much to con people into choosing him.  If you are living a Jesus-centric, Spirit-led life, people will be drawn to your light.

And when they are – keep it simple.  Tell ’em that Jesus loves them.  That he died for the sins of humanity, so that it couldn’t separate us from a God who loves us with this crazy, inexhaustible love.  And if they’re open to it, pray with them.

The words will come.

Just be your redeemed self and shine on.

~if you are curious how a person could write the word Jesus this many times without sounding like a sailor, check out the page on this blog – Jesus?~

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