A Nugget from New Life Network
(by Brian Sharp, Pres., World Ministry Fellowship)
Scripture for the Day (November 23, 2018)
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
Due to Adam and Eve’s slip-up, darkness made its entrance into our world, and it’s getting darker every day. What better time than now to shine! We who are in ministry must make the choice that we will shine bright with the love and power of Jesus and lead others to do that as well. After all, Jesus said that not only He was the light of the world, He declared we are, too! (John 8:12; Matthew 5:14)
As I was thinking about this fact, I was struck with the notion that we are like God’s flashlights in this world on several levels. A flashlight only fulfills its purpose when it shines. We were created by God to shine for him as we witness in love and power. You and I cannot and will not fulfill our purpose unless and until we determine we will shine for Him bringing light to the darkness.
Flashlights are usually used when there is no other source of light, or at least not enough light. Everything of human origin that people hope and think will bring light and life simply doesn’t. Many people are having a “power failure” in their life so they’re groping around desperately needing direction. (Matthew 5:14-16)
A flashlight cannot produce light on its own. It’s useless without batteries or at least a good charge. We require a power source outside and beyond ourselves in order to accomplish God’s purposes.
A flashlight can grow dim. We’ve all had the experience of the lights going out and grabbing our flashlight only to find the batteries are dead. There are three common reasons a flashlight grows dim, if not dead altogether: It must be recharged. We must be “re-energized,” receive new spiritual batteries, by spending personal time with God as well as receiving ministry from others.
Dimness can result if a flashlight isn’t used for a long period of time. Using a flashlight for the purpose for which it was created somehow keeps the batteries fresher. Not actively, consistently working in some kind of ministry can cause our spirit to grow dim.
Acid leakage will not only destroy the flashlight itself, but another good battery sitting next to it. Sin or anything else in our life that is not good for us is the “acid” that can not only erode our God-given life-purpose, but can also negatively affect those around us. (i.e. Philippians 2:14-15; I John 2:9)
Finally, a flashlight is designed to be pointed, or focused in a certain direction. Like John the Baptist, we need to always be pointing to Jesus as the answer to all of life (John 1). Our main focus should never be only on ourselves, our ministry, our gifting, our accomplishments, etc. but on the love and power of Jesus Who makes any and all fruitful ministry possible.
Now, there’s a bigger picture of all this that gets very interesting. A lantern radiates in all directions while a flashlight focuses in one direction. So, which one are we supposed to be? Scripture declares we are both! Just as we are to not hide our light (“lantern”) under a bushel (Matt. 5:14), and we shine “like stars in the sky” (Phil. 2:15), we are to, like John the Baptist, point to Jesus as the sole answer to all of life.
I have a very powerful LED flashlight that has the ability to both flood and spot, which is a great example of what we’re talking about here. We can summarize all this by simply saying that radiating Jesus is who we are, and pointing to Jesus is what we do!
With Thanksgiving here and Christmas right around the corner, we are reminded of The Light who came into our world. That, my friends, is not only a reason to be thankful, but a commanding motivation to be the light He’s created us to be.