Let Your Love Light Shine (Lent 32, 2017)

Display on the outside what’s on the inside.  Consider it like truth in advertising.  No one prefers those chocolate bunnies at Easter that you bite its head off and there’s nothing but air inside.  We all like something solid, something true, something reliable, and something that communicates on the outside what is truly on the inside.  You know, authenticity.  Kind of like what the Apostle Paul says about love.

Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

I think that’s what bothered me so much about the past year or so (during the election and now even afterwards).  Christians and Christian leaders—(YIKES!) all of whom are supposed to know that sinning is what everyone does and therefore it’s no surprise—pointing in judgment instead of offering counsel, grace, and forgiveness to our political leaders, not to mention our friends, and our contacts on social media.  We did an absolutely terrible job of displaying what we know to be true by faith:

No one gets into heaven on the basis of their own works. 

While we can judge deeds, pray, and vote, we didn’t let our light shine with authenticity.  We didn’t love our neighbor or display forgiveness…and that was a travesty.

Let’s aim to do better, okay?  Let your love light shine.

Fun Fact of Light: BioluminescenceNational Geographic writes, “Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism. …The appearance of bioluminescent light varies greatly, depending on the habitat and organism in which it is found. Most marine bioluminescence, for instance, is expressed in the blue-green part of the visible light spectrum. These colors are more easily visible in the deep ocean. Also, most marine organisms are sensitive only to blue-green colors. They are physically unable to process yellow, red, or violet colors.”

For Further Thought:

  • Do people see on the outside of what you claim to believe on the inside?
  • The church demonstrates our belief that the Son was sent by the Father…how?  By our unity (John 17:21). 
  • The work ahead of us is to believe (John 6:29). 
  • And we demonstrate our love (John 14:15) for God by our obedience (1 John 5:3). 
  • How are we doing?  What sins can we give up in order to become more unified?

Father forgive us for being such terrible reflections of You.  Forgive us for being loveless, selfish, arrogant, and recalcitrant.  Forgive us for not forgiving others.  Teach us what it means to forgive and to leave no debt outstanding.  Help our Christian leaders to model Christ’s teachings with authenticity.  Thank You for not designing heaven to be something we could try to earn.  Thank You that it’s all by the grace of our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 5, 2017

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