Be yourself. ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.’ St. Catherine of Siena.
Nicole’s sketch “The Invisible Woman” brings a powerful message of hope to every taken-for-granted woman in today’s world. Inspiring and encouraging for all the mums out there!
A Carthusian Monk once said “The world has given up of the knowledge of God.”
Today, right now we can start reversing that trend! We reveal God! We reveal Him through our actions and responses. We reveal God through the demonstration of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, through our hope and through our commitment to justice and all things good.
We are called to live a transformed life – one that sets us apart. What we do should reflect our faith and reveal Christ in us! By being who God has called us to be we might show someone a glimpse of our God – We might just start someone thinking about God!
“You are the Light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
“You called, you cried, you shattered my deafness. You sparkled, you blazed, you drove away my blindness. You shed your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for you. I tasted and I now hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I now burn with longing for you.” St Augustine.
That is what an encounter with God is about – He touches our lives in such a way that we long for Him even more.
Let God sparkle and blaze His way into your hearts today, this week, this year! As you go about your business, your daily lives – He is there walking alongside you ready for you to see and encounter Him!
Let your hearts burn for Him!
“Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road” (Luke 24:32)
SHREK – Ogres are like onions.
DONKEY – They stink?
SHREK – Yes– No!
DONKEY – Oh, they make you cry.
SHREK – No.
DONKEY – Oh, you leave ’em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sprouting little white hairs.
SHREK – No! Layers! Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it. We both have layers.
DONKEY – Ohhh. You both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. Cake! Everybody loves cakes! Cakes have layers.
SHREK – I don’t care…what everyone likes. Ogres are not like cakes.
DONKEY – You know what else everybody like? Parfaits. Have you ever met a person, you say, “Hey, let’s get some parfaits”, they say, “Hell, no, I don’t like no parfaits”? Parfaits are delicious.
Regardless of whether you are like Shrek and would compare yourself to an onion or prefer like Donkey to draw more palatable comparisons to Parfaits and cakes, there is one thing that we all have in common – we all have layers. Layers of personality, emotions, mindsets, beliefs and habits. For us as Christians removing these layers is the pathway to greater intimacy and fruitfulness with the Lord.
The famous statue of David by Michelangelo was a result of thousands of thousands of perfectly directed hard and soft blows. And these blows yielded a work of unparalleled beauty. Michelangelo had chiseled away stone and revealed David. Likewise, God works on us to chisel away what covers us and to let the real us emerge – new aspects of our personality, new talents, fruit and more importantly more of Christ in us.
While God identifies what requires removing, we influence the strength of the blows required to remove the layers. We can deal with them proactively, privately and promptly, thus limiting the pain or we can wait until God has to deal with them when they are bigger issues and more public, this making the removal much more painful. It is rather like choosing to deal quickly with a niggly sore tooth resulting in a small filling fixed at a convenient time or procrastinating until the damage to the tooth is much worse and must be dealt with immediately.
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Songs 2:15)
So what are some of the layers that need removing?
When you look at the Tabernacle you see a transition from the outer courts to the inner courts. Behaviour that was acceptable in the outer courts is not acceptable in the inner courts. As we get closer to God, the more that is expected of us, so some things must die. What was acceptable in the outer courts is not acceptable in the inner courts. Others will be able to get away with more than you can. Movies that others can watch without any check in the spirit, begin to make you feel uneasy. It is not that what the others are doing is wrong, it is that God has different expectations and standards for you as you continue to grow in intimacy.
Any time that God draws our attention to an aspect of our lives, we need to look beyond the discomfort that it brings and the desire to bury the issue. If we want to be transformed into Christ’s likeness and live a victorious life, we should take the challenge and like Job be sifted.
As Christians, we’re light bearers – we carry the light of Christ where ever we go, and even in the darkest situations our light still shines and makes an impact. Think about that – you’re a light bearer and even without a word as you pass through your day you will leave a mark, a trail of light. Perhaps that person beside you on the bus or the person behind you in the queue at the checkout will be warmed by the light of Jesus radiating out…Darkness can’t overcome light – it cannot reduce it, it is a law of nature. But light always impacts and wins over dark.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Let your light shine this week!
Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
But He also said “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
We are to reflect Jesus. We are to reveal Jesus. He has entrusted that to us. We are to let His presence be made manifest through us.
How? By reflecting His spirit, His peace, His favour, His provision when the world is under fear, recession, anxiety.
As we reflect the Spirit of Jesus we will be like a city on a hill drawing people through us to Jesus.
Just as a light bulb needs to be connected to a power source to go, we need to make sure we remain plugged in to THE power source – Jesus. He empowers us to shine.
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