Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12). He said to His followers: You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people ...

 

Light Your World (Matthew 5:14) and more...



Light Your World (Matthew 5:14)

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Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12). He said to His followers: You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put in on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

Jesus calls us to a life that allows His light to shine through us. In the context of the two verses above, I pondered what it might mean to be a light of the world and thought of the song "Light Your World" by New Song. Click on the following link to hear the music and see a few examples of how we can light up our world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j_mkdYD1d8

Think About It
As Jesus' followers we want to live our lives pleasing to Him. We want to do what He says. One way is to be light in this world's darkness.

Pray About It
Heavenly Father, help us to be more like Jesus. Help us to be a beacon of your light to people in our world. In Christ's name, Amen.

    
 

God's Gift To Us (Luke 2:7)

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God loves us so much that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

God the Father set the example for when we love we give. When I give, I wrap my gifts in tissue, wrapping paper and bows. God did it differently.

When I visited Bethlehem, which means "house of bread" in Hebrew, our Jordanian guide taught us that shepherds in Bethlehem raised sacrificial lambs and wrapped them in swaddling cloths. Jesus, the Lamb of God-our sacrifice for sin, was wrapped in swaddling cloths at birth (Luke 2:7). After He died on the cross for our sins, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took Him from the cross, wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and anointed Him with myrrh and aloes (John 19:38). 

The good news is the grave could not hold our Lord. He rose, left behind His swaddling cloths and rolled away the stone. Because He did, we can live with Him forever.

Think About It
Jesus is more than a gift wrapped in cloths. He is the bread of life (John 6:35), and the light of the world (John 8:12). He is my Lord and Savior; my hiding place and fortress. He is my joy and hope and blessing. If you do not know Jesus in this way, be sure that He wants to be your Friend. Admit that He is Lord. Believe in your heart that what He did on the cross was for the forgiveness of your sins and confess these things with your mouth (Romans 10:9). It is a glorious life now and forever.

Pray About It
Thank you, Father God, for your gift of love. Help us to believe and to be more like Jesus each day. In His great name, Amen.

    
 

What is it I Cannot Live Without?  (Mark 5:1-20)

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Jesus stepped out of the boat into the country of Gerasenes. A man who had an unclean spirit lived there in the tombs. He was so strong that no one could control him, even with shackles and chains. He saw Jesus, ran out to meet Him and fell at His feet. Demons spoke through the man saying, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please don't torment me."

Jesus said, Come out of the man, you unclean spirit! What is your name? 

The man said his name was Legion because there were many demons. He begged Jesus not to send him out of the country but into a herd of two thousand pigs feeding on the hillside. Jesus gave them permission and the demons entered the pigs, and they rushed down a steep bank and into the sea.

The herdsmen told everyone in the city and in the country what happened. The people came out to find the demon-possessed man dressed and in his right mind. They begged Jesus to leave that place. 

Think About It
I have often wondered why a herd of pigs would be found in Israel since Jews do not eat pork, but this happened in a Gentile region. I also wondered why the people were so opposed to such a great deliverance. It is because the pigs were their livelihood. Where would they be able to obtain such a large herd? Where would their income come from? How would they survive? Before I judge these Gentiles for being less than compassionate, I have to consider what it is I cannot live without. Home? Car? Possessions? Health? Family? This year people in Texas, California and Montana have lost everything due to storms or fire. How would I survive in the same situation? Would I resort to my own wisdom and strength as I have done in the past? Or would I trust God to lead me through? Even though I have chosen my ways too many times, God has always been with me. He has never left or forsaken me. I will trust Him because He cares for me.

Pray About It
Heavenly Father, forgive me for choosing my ways too many times, which brought only destruction and despair. I will trust you because you are Mighty to carry me through any disaster. I love you and I am yours.

    
 

Are You Looking for a Sign?

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The religious leaders of Jesus' time were always testing Him with tough questions. A good example is in Matthew 15-16. Jesus spent three days with a crowd of more than four thousand. He had compassion on them and fed them from seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Again, as with the feeding of  five thousand, the people ate until they were satisfied and there were leftovers! 

After Jesus dismissed the crowd, He got into a boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan. The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Him and asked Him for a sign from heaven. He said, "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be give it except the sign of Jonah" (He referred to His coming death and resurrection) (Matthew 16:4).

The only sign people needed then and that we need today is in Jesus Himself. After John the Baptist spent some time in prison, he sent one of his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus said, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me" (Matthew 11:4-6).

What Jesus said is fulfillment of Isaiah 35:5-6. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Think About It
Jesus' miracles are the sign that proved Jesus was who He said He was. Why didn't the religious leaders get it? Blinded by their expectations of what the Messiah would be like, they missed their Savior.  

Pray About It
Father God, I pray for those reading this post. Surround them with your love and make Yourself real to them. Let them hunger for more of You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    
 
   
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