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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Shine, Jesus Shine!"

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Jesse and Megan are two children who attend the church we are now serving in an interim role. Saturday evening they were out on their porch watching their resident toad peeking through the flowers in the planter.  They came up with the great idea of feeding the toad a few bugs.  Fireflies are abundant at this season so they fed the toad some fireflies which the toad readily devoured. Then an amazing thing happened; the toad lit up from the inside! Jesse excitedly told me that he could see the lights flashing through the thin layer of the toad's skin.  His family all watched in amazement.

The Scriptures acknowledge God's work in Creation when He said, "Let there be light."  These are the very first recorded words of God in the entire Bible.  It's God's nature to create His light and dispel darkness.

As believers we all have His light shining in our hearts.  The same God who initially created light has "made His light shine in our hearts." The purpose is "to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

This is an interesting verse that I do not recall ever examining closely. (Sometimes for preachers it takes an illustration in search of a text to dig deeper!)  Another version reads, "He is the One Who made His light shine in our hearts. This brings us the light of knowing God's shining-greatness which is seen in Christ's face."  Still another paraphrase states, "It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful."

Jesse's father, who teaches our adult Bible class, observed that the light of Christ shining through us is a result of feeding on the Word.  Today may we all truly let our light shine so that others may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven! (See Matthew 5:16.)

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, You know how much we like to blend in with our Christian peers as we worship and fellowship together.  The light of Your love shines naturally when we're among others who walk in the light.   But You make our light shine brightest when we're surrounded by darkness.  We don't blend into the darkness but instead the light of Your love shines so that those walking in darkness can see the way to repentance. Even as we're able to see God in the face of Christ, may the world see Christ in the face of Christian believers all over this dark planet.  In Your name, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Fireflies (also known in some regions as lightning bugs) abound in our area. A neat sight that just can't be captured by camera are thousands of fireflies in the corn field across from our home appearing like tiny twinkling Christmas lights strung all through the field.  It is a stunning scene. This bioluminescent insect, scientifically known as Pyractomena borealis, is sure an interesting creature and we marvel as a family observing this special creation of God.

Today's message title is prompted by a song titled "Shine, Jesus Shine" (Here's an audio file)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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