Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Little Light Of Mine, I'm Gonna Let It Shine

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“This Little Light Of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine”

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

“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 it 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.


Last Sunday morning at our church, the kids group sang a fun rendition of “This Little Light Of Mine”.  As they were singing, it was so cool to see them singing this song they had practiced and how much fun they were having doing it.  We all have some laughs at what some of the kids were doing.  When kids are on stage, there can be some funny moments and very precious moments as well. 


As I kept thinking about that song, it made me think of how much I’ve sang that song from when I was a little kid up to even now.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve sang that song and enjoyed it.  But when I think more about the words, I wonder, “How much have I really let my little light shine for God?”  All these years I’ve sang it with others and watched kids sing it, how often are we REALLY excited to share that light with others?


In Matthew, we read that we have the Light of God and the world needs to see what we have to share and offer.  We wouldn’t light a candle or turn on a lamp and then cover it.  That would completely defeat the purpose.  We are meant to carry the Light of God and shine for all to see.


As we all celebrate the Christmas season and look forward to a New Year very soon, let us consider how we can live this out, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”  As Matthew states, we are the light of the world.  God wants us to shine!


Next time you hear a child or a group of kids or even adults sing this song, remember how God has called us to REALLY let our light shine!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

We Are ALL Sinners

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“We Are ALL Sinners”

Romans 3:23 NLT

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.


The other day, while I was on my way to work, I was coming to a roundabout and I saw a minivan on the left coming at quite a fast speed.  I wasn’t even going to try to beat them into the roundabout.  I just let them go through and I watched them drive very quickly around and down the road.  As I kept driving, I just watched them drive and go around vehicles.  My first thought was, “Wow, they need to slow down!  Too many crazy people driving like that!” 


After this thought went through my mind, I immediately remembered how sometimes I am not the greatest driver either.  It’s so very easy for me to criticize other people who are driving crazy and going off on them verbally for their stupidity, but so often I am honestly the same way.  I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true.  I get frustrated in traffic and get in a hurry.  As I thought about this more, I thought about how I need to take the log out of my eye and not be a hypocrite.  I’m not saying I’m a crazy driver all the time, but I have my moments.  Don’t we all??? 


As I kept driving, I thought of this verse and how it explains we are all sinners in need of God’s saving grace.  None of us are exempt from needing Him.  We have all messed up and fallen away from God and we desperately need Him.  It’s so easy to judge what someone else is doing and forget that we so often have our bad moments just like the people we are criticizing.  It’s so true!


As we approach Christmas coming up and even beyond that, may our hearts be ever full of grace and not judge so quickly.  The same God Who forgives other people who act so idiotic in our eyes, is the same God Who forgives our idiotic times as well.  Let’s practice love, even when it’s so hard to give. 


We didn’t deserve His love, but He gave it on the Cross.  He also died for others as well, so let’s start practicing some better love.  Be more understanding of others on the road. Maybe that person driving the minivan so fast was having a bad morning.  We all have bad mornings and days sometimes!


I once heard a story of a person in a coffee shop that had an encounter with another rude customer.  Instead of fighting back with mean words, the person offered to buy their coffee and mentioned them having a bad day.  Wow, could we be that person when others are being rude?  I hope so!


Remember friends, we are ALL sinners and we ALL need God’s forgiveness.  None of us are exempt from needing Him.  Next time you get mad at someone in traffic, remember you’ve most likely acted that way, too.  Instead, pray for the person and ask God to bless their life.  

Monday, December 11, 2023

Simple, Yet Powerful Reminders

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“Simple, Yet Powerful Reminders”

Matthew 28:20b NLT

And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.


One day last week, I remember having a tiring and frustrating day at work.  As I’ve started a new job at a different company, some days have been rather challenging.  This particular day, I was tired and overwhelmed.  The next morning, as I went out to leave for work, I saw a beautiful sunrise.  I don’t always catch good sunrises, but this one took me by surprise and I remember looking up and saying “Thank You, Lord!  I needed that today!” 


I wish I could say that the moment took all my stress away that I was feeling that morning and all overwhelming feelings.  However, it was a great and simple reminder that God knew I needed as if to say, “Don’t forget how amazing I am and how little your issues are compared to Who I am.” 


It’s so often easy for us to become overwhelmed with all that is going on in our lives and forget that God is ALWAYS more greater and powerful than anything we experience.  God has ways every single day that show up to remind us He is there and guiding us.  We definitely all need these reminders all through our day as we sometimes experience stress and unexpected frustrations. 


There’s nothing earth shattering regarding this devotional, but a reminder that God is always doing something every day, through our days, to remind us that He is there and always with us.  Are we seeing these reminders each day that He gives us?  Sometimes we get so overwhelmed and God knows we need a sunrise, sunset or some other form of His majestic beauty to remind us of how Awesome He Is! 


I am so thankful for these simple, yet powerful reminders.  Again, they won’t take away all our problems or frustrations, but He gives us these moments to remind us that He is with us and that He is so much bigger and greater than anything that overwhelms us in our daily lives.


This passage is found right at the end of the Great Commission, where Jesus promises the Disciples that He will always be there with them.  That’s a promise He made to them and it’s a continued promise to us today.  He is always with us and shows Himself to us in so many ways, big and small, each and every day. 


I hope that we all notice these reminders each day!