Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
As I looked at our Christmas tree one year, God spoke to my heart and showed me an image of Christ as the source of all light and disciples of Christ as the fibers shining the light of Christ into the world. What a simple way to explain a complex and detailed work.
In Genesis we read God’s first spoken words, “Let there be light.” And there was light. In John we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1:1-5. If we read a little farther we see that John the baptist came to witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
It arrived in the form of a baby, born of a virgin, a baby whose name was Jesus. Which brings us back to the Christmas tree. Everyone gets so upset because people try to outdo one another with Christmas lights and I must admit that some people really do go overboard. However, as I looked at the lights this year, I was once again reminded of the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus, the light of the world, came into the world on a holy night. It seems fitting that we announce to the world with bright lights that Jesus has been born.
The funny thing is that many of the people who decorate their homes with lights may not even know the reason for the celebration. They are celebrating a season of giving, or a time of happiness and gift giving not really knowing what has prompted the celebration.
As Christians, it is up to us to show the light of Christ to this dark world. But how can we show it unless we know something about the characteristics of this light? What does the light of Jesus look like?
We know that this light came from God, he is the one who spoke it into existence. In order to have a relationship with God, we have to come into his light. We have to embrace the light that shines from him. But caution is urged in running toward the light because scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. How then can we know if we are in the light of Christ? What red flags are we looking for and what exactly are we to be aware of?
One of the first things that I thought about when I realized that Satan masquerades as an angel of light was “televangelists.” You know those guys on the Christian networks who make their living from the goodwill offerings that people send to their ministries. They offer prosperity and blessings if you support them, they receive glory for the healings they perform. There are many who try to persuade us that they have an inside track to God.
Paul told the believers in Corinth, “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other then the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted...” your minds may somehow be led astray.(2 Corinthians 11:4) A very wise woman once told me, “If someone tries to tell you that they know more about Christ than what the Bible teaches. Or if they have another book for you to read or a new revelation other than what the Bible says, run away from them as fast as you can.” They are masquerading as angels of light and only want to lead you astray."
So how do we know what Jesus’ light looks like? We read about him in the Bible and see the things he did. It seems that everywhere Jesus went he spread love, he healed, he shared the love of God and people were encouraged and blessed. Basically, he produced good fruit.
What kind of fruit are you producing? Are people blessed when you walk into a room, do they want to spend time with you? Are you speaking encouraging words over those around you or are you negative and full of despair? To be a reflection of the light of Jesus, we have to reflect the qualities he had.
What happens when we reflect these qualities? Is anything changed? Sometimes we don’t see the changes that we make in others lives when we shine on them. But sometimes God lets us witness the growth and see the transforming power of his love.
My husband is an example. When we got married, he was a marginal believer. His family life did not have a foundation of a belief in Christ Jesus, his parents never attended church. I was raised in a family of believers, we prayed before we ate, we attended church every week, my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were devout Christians who passed on their faith. As the years passed and the light of Christ was shone on him year after year, the day came when he made a commitment to Christ and began to have a personal relationship with him. I have seen the transformation with my own eyes.
The key to transformation is to just keep shining. No matter what your circumstances, no matter what life gives you, no matter how you feel or where you are - Jesus is still your source of power and his light never stops shining.
You are so awesome and so amazing, we give you praise and we thank you for the example we have in Christ Jesus. We want to stay close to him and we want his love to shine through us everyday, everywhere. Protect us from the evil one who would like to deceive us and lead us astray. May we only show your light and your love. In Jesus name. Amen.