Welcome to Songs of Salvation!
Join Christian authors as they share their "Songs of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
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And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
Revelation 12:11 NLT
Light It Up!
“In the beginning…God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3). This theme of light and Creation intrigues me. If you turn to the New Testament, the book of John opens with similar language. John 1:1-9 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…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.”
If you’re a writer like me, you probably love words. When Jesus is mentioned as The Word, you take notice. He’s not just a word, but the First and Final Word. Because I live in the Pacific Northwest, a land of diminishing light during winter, I’ve come to value sunlight more than gold. In fact, I’ve invested in therapeutic lights to substitute for the sun’s rays in the winter months. Compared to real sunlight, they don’t come close to radiating the same intensity or quality. It makes me think of how many times we look for substitutes for The Word, the authentic light of the world and always come up short. It was Jesus himself who said “I am the light of the world.”(John 8:12). Then He took it further when He said, “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14).
Wait a minute. It’s one thing for Jesus to say He’s the light of the world, but me? That’s mind-blowing, especially since my light seems more like the dim light bulb they show hanging from the ceiling in old movies with interrogation room scenes, flickering, about to burn out. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He said we are to let our lights shine. No one covers a lamp. Notice he didn’t say if it’s a dim, dingy light, better to keep it hidden. He didn’t leave it open for debate or excuses.
That compels me to share the light of Jesus, but how? I’m not an eloquent speaker. In fact, I’m an introvert. Sharing the Gospel with strangers is not something I’m gifted at. However, it’s easy for me to write about God’s grace and forgiveness in my stories. In fact, many of the faith challenges my characters deal with were inspired by my own struggles. While I may not be good at street ministry, I can share my faith through my writing. Similarly, people who are gifted in other things like music, serving, showing mercy, or are good in business, athletics, etc. can use their abilities to point to The Light.
If we are the light of the world, how do we sustain that light? I have a solar-powered watch. It needs direct sunlight occasionally in order to recharge. The Bible says that after Moses was in the presence of God, his face radiated so brightly that he had to cover it with a veil when he was with the people. (Exodus 34: 29-35). A friend of mine recently said that’s a problem we all want to have. When we spend time in the presence of God and read His Word, we are recharged by the power of the Holy Spirit and enabled to share God’s love and grace with others in new and exciting ways. But like Moses, the more time we spend away from His presence, the dimmer our light becomes.
We also have to respect that power and use it wisely. I recall when my younger sister was a toddler. She had disappeared in our house, then suddenly we heard a loud zap and the lights went out. When my mother found her, my sister was holding onto the plastic ends of two diaper pins which she’d inserted into an electrical outlet. The metal points of the pins had melted and welded together inside the socket, but because she’d held onto the plastic ends, she was okay (this was before child safety plugs for outlets). Needless to say, we were all greatly relieved. Like electricity, God’s awesome power is not something to trifle with. We must follow His user’s manual, The Bible, and use it as it was intended, not for our own gain or glorification.
Now as winter solstice approaches and the days grow shorter and shorter, I find myself checking the weather for the next sunny day and moving my favorite chair to the best window for maximum sunlight. However, even on the darkest days, I can be illuminated any time I want just by reading God’s Word and spending time in His presence. No matter how dark it is outside, I always have access to the Light of Christ that never goes out. Yet many have never experienced the life-transforming power of this eternal Light.
So I’m pulling the shade off and dusting this light of mine. What about you? What if we brought our tiny, faltering lamps out into the open? Maybe it would bring warmth to a friend or neighbor in need, or sight to someone stumbling in the dark. Perhaps, the hidden world around us would come clearer into focus. So what do you say? Let’s flip on the switch and shine.
Gracious Father, help us to be Your light in a dark world. Show us who needs Your grace and salvation and help us to love them as You love us. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen.
“You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” —Matthew 5:14-16.