Monday, April 20, 2015

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” — D.L. Moody

My wife, son, and I live in a country where being a Christian can cause your death at the hands of another.  It has happened here about thirty times in the past three years, but it is nothing like what is happening in Egypt, Syria, and Kenya.  In the dormitory shootings in Kenya, the killers asked the students if they were Christian or Muslim and the Muslims were released and the Christians killed.  What no one seems to talk about is that so many of the students proudly claimed their Christianity.  Many of the students killed in Kenya proclaimed their Christianity knowing it would mean their death.  In our world today, especially in the Western World, being a Christian has more to do with going to church, Bible studies, Sunday School, and prayer meetings than with living lives that preach the gospel with the way people lives their lives on a daily basis.  I would like to think that I would have just as proudly proclaimed my faith as those students in Kenya, but I don’t know since I’ve never been put in that position.  Of the over two billion people who call themselves Christians in this world, only a tiny, tiny proportion will ever find themselves in such a life or death situation.  Yet, how we live our lives, day by day, is indeed a life or death situation if we have given our lives to Christ.  There is an old question, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  If I quoted all the passages printed in red (I’m a “red letter” man, I pay close attention to the words spoken by Christ himself) this blog would be way too long to print.  Let me just remind you some of the evidence that you are indeed a Christian:  don’t keep your light under a bushel (see quote above), turn the other cheek, forgive your enemies, bless those who curse you, feed the hungry, remember the widows and orphans, walk the second mile, do not judge—this is not a complete list, but I must add, “Love one another as I have loved you.”  In this quote, “one another” means everyone in the entire world, not just those in your church, or your family, or your neighborhood.  Christ called us to love the unloveable, to love those who persecute us, to love the ugly, the odd, the poor, the maimed, and the social outcasts.  There is a song I used to love to sing at church camp, and it is still one of my favorites, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”  The question for each of us, is--will they?  As it says in the book of James, “Faith without works is dead.”  What mother says she loves her child but will let it lie crying in pain in its crib for hours on end.  If we love, we show that love through our deeds.  We must each be a lighthouse for those struggling and drowning in the stormy seas of life.  The harder our own lives are, the more brightly our light shines through the darkness and shows others the way to Christ.  To quote another favorite song, “Let your little light shine” knowing full well that there is no such thing as a “little” Christian light. 
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