Shine for Jesus

(published in Cordele Dispatch 7/28/11)

When was the last time you went outside on a cloudless night to look at the expanse of stars in the night sky?  They stretch across the sky in countless numbers, each twinkling as if to say, “Hey!  Look at me!”
Many of us tend to think about the sun as a bright ball of gas traveling through the sky each day, but the sun is actually a star, average in size and temperature.  The difference in it and other stars is that it is our source of heat, light, and energy.  It is vital to our survival; therefore it is a special star.
God reveals much about Himself to us through his marvelous creation.  When I think about the sun and its job in the solar system, I am reminded of Jesus Christ, God’s son and how we are completely dependent on Him for our every breath.  Psalm 147:4 (NIV) says, “He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name”.  Just as God knows each star, He knows each of us intimately – better than we could ever know ourselves.  He created each of us for a specific purpose to shine for Him here on this earth. 
Just as stars give light and direction in the dark, we are instructed to do the same.  We are commanded to live Godly lives and to be an example of Christ, not just at home or church, but in the work place and everywhere we go.   In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.  Matthew 5:16 (NIV). 
It’s sad to say, but sometimes we may feel like we’re not making a difference for Christ in any way.  Maybe we are struggling with something ourselves.  Maybe we don’t feel like we can make a difference for Christ because we don’t have it all together.   We may feel that we are ineffective and even unwelcome in certain places.  But John 1:5 (NIV) reminds us of one very important lesson:  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.   You see, stars always shine – day or night.  But where are they the most effective?  In the dark!
My pastor is a former science teacher.  He reminded us of this in his sermon Sunday morning.  It’s the perfect way to illustrate how I sometimes feel.  Just like many others, I struggle to always do “what Jesus would do”.  Living the Christian life is not an easy task, but it’s my goal for each day.  When I make a mess of things, I’m so grateful that my Heavenly Father forgives me and helps me to start again.  It’s much easier to shine for Jesus among other stars (like at church), but it’s really hard to shine when we’re thrown into a dark environment where there are few if any believers.  But just like those stars in the midnight sky, we can count on Jesus to hold us in the palm of His hand.  He won’t let us fall and because we are truly His, we will always have a little light left in us.   

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