“The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” (Revelation 21:23 NKJV)
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (I John 4:8 NKJV)
Each day as I get older, I take a look at all of the chores that I have to do in life and I figure out how to do them more efficiently with less energy, less resources, and less time.
I have allowed this practice to spill over into my Christian walk as I also get older and older. I dissect how I operated as a young Christian and I learn from my mistakes and misconceptions.
When I first became a Christian, it was just after the turbulent 1960s. There were a lot of books written about the end times that were engrossed with the dark things that were happening in the world. This set me in motion to take a look at every disaster that took place in the world as a harbinger of the tribulation period that was prophesied. I was fixated on the darkness rather than the light. Jesus does not want us to dwell on the darkness, but only be aware of it. Instead, He wants us to be the light of the world:
“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 NLT)
Another thing that drained my early Christian walk was ‘working for the Lord’. I was so caught up in the things that I was ‘doing for the Lord’ that I failed to see the needs that were all around me in a dying world. Jesus never designed us to strive to please Him by our exploits. He designed us to allow Him to live through us to touch the world:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV)
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10 NLT)
“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (John 7:38 NLT)
As you can see, we were not designed to go through life in drudgery ‘working for Jesus’. Paul and Silas proved to us that we can sing even in the midst of awful conditions as they did locked up in a cold, damp, dark prison after being beaten severely (Acts 16:22-25).
Jesus wants to be so alive in us that the things of the world will not deflate us. He wants us to operate in light and love. He gave us the signs of the end times. He told us that we would know when the time is near. He compared it to birth pains (Mat 24:8) which get more and more intense, and closer and closer together as time passes. He commands us not to be distressed, but to look up and rejoice, not because of all the calamities, but because He is soon to return and set everything right:
“Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:26, 28 NKJV)
I do not know where you are in your walk in life, but Jesus’ advice is very simple. Stop striving and allow His light and love to flow through you. As soon as you do, people around you will notice the difference. They will no longer see a religious person. They will see someone who has been touched by the Master’s hand, spreading life to a dying world.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)