Several months ago during one of our Sunday morning church devotions, my husband chose to read from Matthew chapter five, but verses 14-16 really spoke to me, which says:
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
I really spent a lot of time meditating on these scriptures, but even more specifically on verse 16. A scripture that I have read over and over again, had new meaning. My light should shine before others through my deeds, which should point them to the Father. I felt like my whole world was rocked with verse 16.
I believe that most fellow believers could list several good deeds that they have done in the last week, but what really captivated me, and what I felt God ask me is, “What good deeds am I doing to point others to Jesus?” It’s a question I spent a lot of time reflecting on. I talked to close friends and even my pastor about what this meant to them. I believe it is something God is still unpacking for me. In my spare time, I have been researching scripture on being light and scripture on good deeds; there is so much to learn. For now I feel God wants me to tell you something he showed me over Thanksgiving week.
Since my kids were out of school and we had family in town, my husband took a day off work to chauffer us around on the water. We went to one of my favorite places here in FL, Egmont Key. One of our favorite things to do when we get to an island is to take a walk and look for shells and sharks teeth and Egmont is known for both; so that’s exactly what we did. We walked all the way down to the end, and as we got closer to the bird sanctuary I noticed there were several palm trees that had been knocked down over the years and all that remained were the shell of their trunks. I thought these might make for a neat little tide pool, so I went to investigate. It was kind of dark in the hole and not thinking I whipped out my phone and tried to use it as a flashlight. Of course, it was the middle of the day and there was plenty of sunlight so my flashlight did absolutely nothing; I had to laugh at myself for thinking otherwise. In that moment I felt God tell me there is a lesson to be learned here, especially since he has been revealing things to me about being the light. The next few days I spent some time thinking about this silly experience and asking God what he wanted me to learn and this is what I got. Are you trying to shine your light brighter than God’s light? WOW! Ok God. I got the message loud and clear. I am admittedly a doer. I like to come up with a plan and execute it. There are many times I sign up for something that I clearly should not have, but because there was a need and it was for a good cause, I signed up for it. I can find myself so busy doing good deeds and living out my faith that I do not wait on God’s assignments for me, I see an opportunity to be Jesus and I take it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place that just being Jesus is what we are supposed to do, but I’m talking about signing up for a big project without even consulting God, because it is a good thing to do. Our culture shouts, “Just be a good person and do the right thing.” So for me, I have to resist the temptation to say yes. I have to resist the temptation to let myself get in the way of God and what he wants to do in me and through me.
Let’s face it, we all want to be used by God, and he wants to use us. He wants to do something great through me and through you, but it is not going to look like your neighbor’s assignment. He has something just for you. Jeramiah tells us that God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. For me, I have the most joy and peace in my life when I know I am working on his assignment for my life. Have you taken time recently to ask God what your daily, weekly, monthly, annually, or long-term assignments are? He is the one with all the answers. He wants us to seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness. I want to pray for all of us today.
Lord, you and you alone are good. We are nothing without you. May we live in a place of surrender and a place of peace knowing that we live for you. Use us God to do your will today and every day moving forward. Teach us God to rest in your goodness. Teach us to not strive and keep us from trying to outshine you, because your light is so bright and you are so perfect. Stir within us a desire to spend so much time in your presence that our faces shine just as Moses did. Lord may it not be about us and what we do but about you. May you use us to point others to you. Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you sacrificed your only son. May we show the same extravagant love to those around us. It is in Jesus name I pray Amen.
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. I Peter 2:12
Will you prayerfully consider helping us shine God’s light to the women and children all around the world? ...... Sierra