Key Passage: Isaiah 60:1-3
Key Text: – Isaiah 60:2 – “but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you”
If you have ever been in pitch darkness in a stuck elevator with complete strangers, then you would appreciate the incredible power of a simple spark of light; at least you can start to make out the faces, you can protect your personal belongings and begin to re-orientate your self. Light is so vital for clarity, for direction, orientation and for positioning. Can you for one moment think of a world with no light in it? What kind of feeling would that create in us?
I once travelled to the Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean and we decided to go and see the active volcano somewhere in the remote parts of the Island. As we drove, it got really dark, there were no streetlights and we could hardly see the roads. Then, suddenly we came up to a police checkpoint and they advised us to turn back because the volcanic activity was a bit violent that night and it was unsafe to go and see it. You can imagine my disappointment after travelling for about 2 hours only to be told I could not see what I set out to see.
We promptly turned back and began our drive down the pitch-black road, when suddenly my friend who was driving stopped the car, switched off all lights and asked me to step out. A mixture of feelings went through my mind. Are these people planning something sinister? Am I in grave danger? I thought, well they would have to really be ready for a very big fight if they are planning anything bad. Then I dismissed these evil thoughts and asked the simple question, why are we stopping here? Is there a problem? My friend said Pastor step out and come and see something. God is full of pleasant surprises!
Then I stepped out of the car, my friend said look up and as I did, I saw what I can only describe as the most beautiful, heart stopping, awe-inspiring star filled skies I have ever beheld. I have never seen so many stars and so many formations in the skies. I felt transported to another realm. Hundreds of thoughts rushed through my mind. I thought about Abraham and the vision God gave him and how He used the stars in the skies to illustrate this. Then my mind settled on a thought that when it is darkest, then light shines at it’s brightest. I thought about diamonds on black velvet and I gained some insight. I then realised why God said we should Arise and Shine.
As the world gets darker and sin gets more pervasive, the children of God, also called the children of light are to light up the world for those in darkness to see. The little deeds of kindness, the acts of mercy, the refusal to sin and compromise, the show of integrity, the passion for the truth, the commitment to our spouses, the fidelity we show, the grace we carry and give freely away, the kind words and encouragement we give to those who are in pain. These things though to us might be inconsequential, are shinning the light of God into darkened hearts and giving people another dimension, they are not aware of.
A few scriptures come to my mind and I would like to share them to encourage you to rise up and shine.
Daniel 12:3 – And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Matthew 5:15-16 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Philippians 2:15-16 -Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.
Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. 3 And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
There is no greater time to be a Christian that is a ‘full on’ one. Not closet, not ashamed, but a bright and shinning light. There is a lot of darkness in the world and we children of God are called to be the lights of this world. Last thing, in a dark tunnel, with no light, the person with a flicker of light becomes the most sought after and automatically becomes the leader. That’s why God says Arise and Shine, for your light has come.!
Let’s Pray: Father God, I want to thank you for the grace to bear Your light in a dark and perverse world. Please forgive me for not allowing this light to shine and concealing it with compromises and fear. Kindly grant me the courage to stand up for the truth and exhibit the character of Christ so people can see the light and You are glorified. In Jesus name I pray. Amen