We used to live in a fairly conservative community. In fact, the area in which we made our home is often referred to as the “Bible-Belt” of California. There seemed to be more Christians than not, and like-minded people were easy to find. But then, as so often happens, we were uprooted and moved to a new area. I must say, it is beautiful where we now live. We are close to the ocean as well as a beautiful city and the rolling hills in between are covered with grape vineyards. But another thing I’ve noticed while living here is that the people’s viewpoints are somewhat “varied”. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many God-loving, Christ-centered people here, but there is also a shadow that threatens to discourage even the most faithful.

The world in which Jesus walked as a man was not unlike our own.  There was crime and violence, hunger and disease.  Political unrest, religious bigotry and immorality were rampant.  And also like today, people looked to false-gods to try to satisfy their longings and desires.  But, have you ever noticed that when things seem completely dark, the tiniest of light is able to be seen more clearly?
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5).

When Jesus came into this world He became our Guiding Light.  He brought healing and hope to the downtrodden.  He restored souls and broke the chains that kept people locked in darkness.  Jesus still does this today; I am living proof.  I did not always see things as clearly as I do now.  His Light opened my eyes and restored my soul!

The other day, I was tempted to be discouraged by the troubles in our society.  I was disheartened to see the dim eyes and frustrated lifestyles of my fellow sojourners in this life.  But then, our pastor said something so simple and yet so profound, my mood instantly changed.  He said, “Sometimes it is in the darkness Christ’s Light can shine the brightest.”  Wow.  So true!  Jesus tells us that we are to be the light of the world.  In the midst of strife and struggle, we can shine brightly for Him!  We needn’t succumb to the ways of the world or hide the hope we have in Christ behind closed doors.   Instead, we can reach out in love to those around us.

“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.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Let’s be living examples of Christ’s love and light.  Rather than sequestering ourselves away from those who don’t know Him, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus and bring hope to a troubled world.  Let us share the joy we have in Him by the way we live and express our faith.  Then Christ’s light will be visible for all to see! 

Joyfully His,

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