Be the Light

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"If you offer food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness." - Isaiah 58:10

"You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16

Here are seven ways that you can be the Light for this world as you live like Jesus:

1. Forgive -- Just like Jesus asked for God to forgive those who were nailing Him to the cross (Luke 23:34) and like Stephen said to not hold it against those who were stoning him to death (Acts 7:6), so too we must forgive others who mock us, disrespect us and hate us for our faith.

2. Give -- Jesus taught his disciples, the masses, and the world that there is no greater love than giving one's life for another (John 15:13). It might not mean you have to die for someone else, but it does mean that we die to ourselves and serve one another, and like Jesus, lay down our lives for children of God.

3. Love -- Christianity is based on Love. Jesus taught that we are to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us and bless those who curse us. What a tall order (Luke 6:27-28). But if we love as God has first loved us, we can understand that thanks to Christ, we have received a deep and abiding love that should go beyond God and those we like, to even offering agape love to those we struggle to even like.

4. Pray -- Jesus took time to pray each day. He prayed for himself, his disciples and the world. We are to do likewise. But this prayer, like our love, goes beyond those we know and love, we are alto to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45). Christians are called to a higher standard; a standard set and modeled by Christ.

5. Suffer -- Did you ever realize that we're called to share in Christ's sufferings? Not to the same extent as Isaiah 53, but 1 Peter 4:13-14 does tell us that we are to rejoice as we share in the sufferings of Christ, that we might rejoice and be glad when His glory is finally revealed. We are blessed when insulted and persecuted, and when we suffer, the Spirit rests with us.

6. Witness -- Jesus was sent to His own people, but opened up the gospel to Gentiles as well. We too are to witness for Christ to the least, last and lost. We are sent into the world, just as the disciples were sent (Matthew 28:19-20). We must teach and preach and love, just as Jesus taught us, for the kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15).

7. Hospitality -- Hospitality, the expectation that God’s people will welcome strangers with generosity—runs throughout Scripture. It begins with creation; we are all guests of God’s generosity. We exist because of God’s will and grace; we are sustained by God’s abundant provision.
Hospitality was important to Abraham in the old testament (Genesis 18:1-15), Christ spoke about generosity as he taught about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37); and, today, hospitality is expected of us, as we share Christ with all, in whatever context or situation we might find ourselves.

Jesus commands His followers to be forgiving, giving, loving, praying, suffering and witnessing for the sake of the Kingdom.

Lord, open my eyes to the opportunities all around me to give, expecting nothing in return but your promise to flood my soul with Your Light. As you increase my awareness, pour out your compassion through me; give me specific direction, and loving words to speak. Grant me a heart of humility, drawing attention to no one but You. Amen.
Feb 4 2018