Our cell phones are becoming like Swiss Army knives. You can talk, text, search for answers, use as your Bible, play music, take pictures and record videos. They do all of that, yet one of the things I’m most thankful for is that someone figured out that you can turn the camera’s flash into a flashlight. I’m getting to the age where I have to use my phone’s flashlight to read the menu in a nice restaurant or walk through a dimly lit place. I never thought I would use the flashlight as much as I do, but having a readily accessible light whenever I need it comes in quite handy. There’s more times than I can count that I’ve needed it’s light to help me see a message or to help me get where I’m going.
I don’t know if Jesus would have used a cell phone as His example if He were to give the Sermon on the Mount today, but it’s possible. As He stood on a hill beside the Sea of Galilee teaching the people, I’m sure He looked out across it and saw little towns on the sides of the other hills as He said, “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” (Matthew 5:14-15 NLT). Are you and I lighting the way for others to find God? Do our lives give enough light for them to see His message written on our hearts?
When Jesus gave this sermon, the lights in these cities He was pointing at came from lamps that held oil. I was given one on my last trip to Israel. I came home, put oil in it and lit the wick. They give off decent light, but I’ve found that you have to keep filling it with oil if you want it to keep working. You and I can’t be the light He’s called us to be unless we are continually refilling our lives with the oil of His presence and His Word. The power of the light doesn’t come from the clay lamp, but the oil. In the same way, our flesh is simply the holder of the oil, but we must be on fire for Him and continually do the things that puts oil in our lamps. There is a world full of people stumbling around in the darkness who are depending on you and me to be the light God has called us to be. Make sure you’re living for Him in the open where all can see.
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
One of the consistent things I’ve heard in recent years is how many Muslims are having dreams of Jesus. An Arab pastor in Israel was telling us that he went to a conference in the Middle East and people were given the opportunity to share their testimony. One after one stood up and shared the same thing. They were each visited in a dream by Jesus and gave their heart to Him. He said after several of the same testimonies, he prayed and said, “Why are you visiting them in their dreams?” He heard God say, “Because the Church has disappeared.” He knew then that he needed to do something to be visible in the Middle East.
One of the things I talk to leaders about is the importance of visibility. When leaders are not visible, people don’t know who to follow or start following someone who is. When the Church quits being visible in the market place, in the arts, in public, in communities or wherever, people lose the ability to follow Christ. The Early Church was great at being visible, and they knew the price of that visibility. It’s time now more than ever for us to be visible once again. Without our light, it’s the blind leading the blind. We are to be the light of the world so that the invisible God will be made visible for people to come to.
Colossians 1:15 says, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God” (NLT). You and I bear His image and are even named for having that image as Christians. When we hide our relationship with Him from others or pull out of the market place, we hide Christ, the visible image of God, from them. It’s time for us to let our light shine so bright that others may see the visible image of Christ in us. We can no longer afford to be invisible in the world. We know the Way, it’s time for us to show the Way. Seek God today and ask Him to show you where and to whom you need to be more visible to. You may be the only Jesus someone sees. Make sure He’s visible in your life, in your actions and your words.