Saturday, October 23, 2021

What Kind of Light Are You?


Photo by Godot13 2007

As my husband and I sat reading our morning devotionals, I noticed that the motion-activated security light on the balcony turned on in broad daylight, triggered by the antics of a playful squirrel.

Such lights are useful protection against intruders, who in theory would be frightened away by the bright light if they ventured too close to the house with some nefarious purpose in mind. They are also useful to illuminate a dark entry if we return home late at night, protecting us from falling or being bitten by mosquitos as we search for our keys.

And yet, as in the case of the squirrel, the motion detector light lacks the discernment to distinguish an intruder from a harmless visitor, or our return home from a moth flying near the sensor, so some energy is wasted. Eventually the bulb burns out and the batteries lose their charge and both need to be replaced.

Other lights turn on only in the darkness, so they save energy during the day, or even store it if they are solar powered, and emit light only in the dark. Yet even in Florida, solar lights often fail if it is a cloudy day, or if trees block the direct sun, or even if it is too hot and humid for the solar cells to operate at optimum efficiency.

Other lights, like the strings of festive Christmas lights meant to lift our spirits and remind us of Jesus Christ, the true Light of the world (John 8:12), are set on a timer to shine only at night. This saves energy, but seeing the unlit plastic bulbs and tangle of electric cords and switches during the day detracts from the decorative effect.

Still, unlit Christmas lights are not as bad as the inflatable snowmen or Santas on timers that melt into a flat, plastic puddle by day – a disturbing sight for children enjoying their lifelike appearance at night!

And finally, there are security lights, often inside near the entry of businesses, visible through the glass doors to deter break-ins. These are always on, for maximum security, yet at the cost of higher energy bills and need to replace the bulbs more often.

These different types of lights got me thinking about our Christian life, once we have been saved by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6). Jesus said that we who are born-again (John 3:3-8) are also the light of the world, and that our light must not be hidden under a basket, but set high on a lampstand for all to see and glorify Him  (Matthew 5:14-16).

To me, that sounds like our light should always be brightly burning. In the wilderness tabernacle and later in the temple, the golden lampstand (Exodus 25:31–39; 37:17–24) was always to be filled with oil and burning continually, as it was the only source of light in a room without windows. It was also a reminder and foreshadowing of God’s light illuminating our lives, through His Word (Psalm 119:105) and through His Son Jesus Christ Who is the true Light.

Jesus referred to this symbolically in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, in that we are to be like the wise virgins who kept their lamps trimmed and filled with oil while awaiting the return of the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). We too must be ready for Christ’s imminent return at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-54), for once the trumpet sounds, it will be too late to be filled with the Holy Spirit, if we are not already by having asked Jesus into our heart to be Lord of our life (Ephesians 1:13).

But sometimes it seems we are more like the motion detector light, turning on only when we think someone is nearby to notice and appreciate our illuminating comments or behavior. Jesus spoke harshly of the Pharisees who made a big show of wearing religious garments and speaking pretentious prayers in public, yet whose heart was far from Christ (Matthew 23).

Or sometimes we are like the darkness-activated light, quick to shine a spotlight at the first sign of evil in someone else, to criticize their flaws and draw attention to our own self-assumed holiness. It is true that men love the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds are evil (John 3:19). Yet Jesus said we are not to judge others, lest we ourselves be judged (Matthew 7:1-5).

Then there are the Christians who seem to be on a timer, being all sweetness and light in the Sunday church service, yet darkened by a bad attitude, words, or behavior as soon as they drive out of the parking lot. Rather, as the apostle Paul said, we should be ready to preach the Word at all times (2 Timothy 4:2), which we can hardly do if our lifestyle discredits our testimony.

So how can we keep our lights brightly burning at all times, to encourage ourselves, to be a blessing to others, and to bring the Gospel light into a dark, sin-filled, dying world? Only by being constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, by yielding to His power and not grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching Him by disobedience, disbelief, or indifference (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Physical lights need constant replenishment of their energy source and bulbs, yet the power of Almighty God (Revelation 11:17; 15:3; etc.) is limitless and infinite. God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). If we allow His power to flow through us, our light will never burn out, but will always burn ever more brightly for Him! (Philippians 4:13)

We should be like the eternal flame, perpetually burning to honor the memory of a fallen soldier, just as our life can honor the memory of our Lord and Savior Who sacrificed Himself for us. Or like the Olympic torch, carried from one race to the next by faithful runners, just as we are to run the race set before us and light the way for those running with us (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1).

Or like the trustworthy lighthouse, set on the rugged cliffs to warn all of impending danger, we can caution against the eternal dangers of hell and damnation while beckoning others to the refuge (Psalm 46:1) and eternal life (John 3:16) we have in Jesus Christ!

What kind of light are you? Yield to the Holy Spirit and He will not only illuminate you like a candle that never burns out, but allow you to pass that flame on to others, to brighten their world until He brings us home to His everlasting light! (Revelation 21:23)   

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.   

© 2021 Laurie Collett


Tanza Erlambang said...

Hope, I am not light which flame the others...

Thank you for sharing your post

Laurie Collett said...

Tanza, I think you shine brightly! Thanks for your comment and God bless,

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
You mention those on a timer who has a sweet personality whilst in church, but all of that evaporates once having driven out of the parking lot.
One true life experience involved "a lovely Christian couple" with their young son. A few years ago, he arrived at our house to collect us to take us back to his home for lunch together. We all had a great time, including me giving some advice to him to help enhance their marriage whilst Alex was in another room chatting joyfully to his wife.
Then, before taking us home, he insisted we have a worship session in his lounge. We found ourselves singing praises to God for a short while. Finally, we made our way to his car.
As we approached a junction, another car suddenly appeared on his right, forcing him to brake. Then he spewed some angry words towards the other driver.
Strange. Not only I wasn't any longer impressed by his level of spirituality, but somehow I also felt that something had died.
So far, we had not seen them since.
I suppose we all let our guard slip from time to time.
God's blessings to you and Richard.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thanks for sharing this experience, which is an excellent illustration of the Christian "on a timer." It is easy to ruin our testimony by a fit of temper, no doubt provoked by a situation orchestrated by Satan, resulting in losing credibility with the one to whom we were trying to witness. Perhaps if this man had apologized to you and Alex, things might have been different, but it sounds like he was embarrassed and just decided to cut off the relationship.

May God grant us the grace to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, including self-control, so that we can effectively witness to and encourage others.

God bless you and Alex,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
a nice post to share about what is the true light we have been given to share, each must endeavour to do whatever has been given them to do. There was an absolutely beautiful program on the television on Sunday. A pastor in a church somewhere in the UK had a very large part of the church where he fed and helped people who were homeless and trying to come off drugs. Many of the people that the were being helped were crying and giving their testimonies, and some said that without the help of that pastor they would have committed suicide. They were actually being brought to Jesus through the love and kindness that pastor was showing. He did not want a title, and anyone could see he was a genuine disciple who cared about all people. God bless you for sharing.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
It is truly a blessing to see those in whom Jesus' light is burning brightly. Thank you for sharing the story of this pastor, a Godly example i n this fallen world.
May God richly bless you and your lovely ministry,

Tanza Erlambang said...

Have a wonderful day...
May God bless all of us

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Tanza, and may you have a wonderful week and God's blessings!

Susan said...

Thank you for this post Laurie, you mention the wise and foolish virgins which has been a point of topic that often crosses my mind. I love the analogy of the light on a timer. We have one on our back door. I believe that we cannot by our own efforts keep our lights burning, but if Jesus is in us, His light does not go out and His battery never runs out of juice. That gives me hope because I know that my efforts can never measure up to what is needed from my life to be successful in the eternal scheme of things. When we are not able He is able, that is my source of comfort and joy. ❤️

Sateigdra knowles said...

Hi Laurie, It's been so long since I've visited blogspot and read from my favourite bloggers. This post was really convicting and edifying. Thank you for writing it. God bless you.