“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16
Strings of Christmas lights. I remember dragging out boxes of them each year as a child, untangling them to ready for weaving around our Christmas tree or placing them outdoors on our home. My father was gifted artistically, so not only did he light up our house, he designed Santa’s sleigh to glide across our rooftop and his reindeer to fly between our home and giant, aged firs. All were lit with white light and Rudolph, of course, with his red nose.
The focus at Christmas in our home was never Jesus—it was dressing up for a Christmas Eve party and having all our relatives over to celebrate with appetizers, cookies, candies, unlimited alcoholic beverages, and gift giving; and my, the gifts! My father was a doctor, and in the 1950’s, money was good. The base of our tree overflowed with them. My focus as a child was, “What am I going to get?”
The Lord, however, pursued me, as He does each of you. He had a better plan for my life, as He does yours. Two and a half years into my marriage with my husband Terry, he took me (with heels dragging I might add) to a non-denominational Christian service. There I first heard the gospel clearly preached as well as my first hymns—“The Old Rugged Cross” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” My life was forever changed.
Now when I see Christmas lights, I let my imagination loose. Rather than reindeer, I picture each bulb as a life that has been saved by Christ. Each is lit with His Spirit, and each shines forth while shouting, “Our Messiah has come! He lives! Hallelujah, Almighty God! Death has been defeated, and one day there will be no more tears!”
I think about my first days after accepting Christ—my excitement—my wanting everyone to experience the love and freedom I was experiencing in knowing Jesus as my personal Savior. I became a lit Christmas bulb! Excitedly I went from door to door in my neighborhood taking evangelistic cassette tapes with accompanying worksheets to each of my neighbors; some even listened to them! What a joy that was!
YOU, BELOVED, ARE CHRIST’S LIT BULBS as well! Let us never become dim, but keep pursuing brightness through growing our faith, trust, and personal relationship with God. None of this will happen without first putting forth effort—daily reading and meditating upon God’s Word, listening to sound Bible sermons, fellowshipping with other Christians in church, listening to and singing worship songs, praying, and listening to God’s voice in our hearts; but remaining bright is a goal worthy of pursuing, thus becoming God’s beacons of light to others in our darkening world.
Verses: John 8:12 “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’ ”
Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”
PRAYER: Father, please open my eyes to Your truth. How is my bulb shining? Am I a bright light—a 5000 lumen LED bulb, or has my bulb dimmed, becoming more like a 40 watt incandescent one? Help me see myself with Your eyes, then grow me so I may better honor and glorify Your name. You are the great I AM, yet You sent Your only Son to die for me—FOR ME! Incomprehensibe! I simply have to say one more time, “Thank you Father for saving me!” I know You still have work to do in my heart so I may better represent You, but I thank you for gradually changing me from a “What can I get” child to a “What can I give” woman. You lifted me out of the pit of mud and mire, placed me on solid ground, and gave me a new song to sing. Now that’s a Christmas gift! Thank YOU with all my heart!
Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other 'teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.