DayBreaks for 06/10/13 – Conspicuously Present

DayBreaks for 06/10/13 – Conspicuously Present

matchlightLuke 8:16 (NLT) – No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

While I was in Africa on my recent mission trip, I was having my quiet time one morning and I came across Luke 8:16-17 which will serve as the text for a few days. 

It is amazing how much Jesus could pack into just a few words!  First he states the obvious: no one lights a lamp (which would have been an oil lantern-type device filled with oil with a wick running out of the spout) just so they can then hide in under a bowl or a bed.   It is ludicrous to even think of such an activity!  The purpose of lighting the lamp is so that it can shine!  Once lit, it is placed on a stand so it can light the entire house.  Jesus is the one who ignites the wick of the lamp.  We are to be the willing recipients of the light so that we can shine.  

What is Jesus trying to tell us?  That as believers, we must be conspicuous!  We must let the light out and not hide it.  We have to be conspicuous so that those who are in the darkness can see the way.  John 3:19-21 (NLT) says “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20  All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21  But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”  Putting these two passages together we get another insight: left to our own ways, humanity will choose to remain in the darkness for the simple reason that we people love darkness more than light.  This is why it is so important that in our being conspicuous, we must also be attractive and not obnoxious.  The light, when properly shining, is a source of joy and not revulsion!

How much light do we have to emit?  Not much.  The light from a single match being lit on the top of a mountain on a moonless night is visible to the human eye from a distance of 50 miles.  But even that amount of light can’t be seen if we put it under the bowl or the bed.

One more thought: fire is not diminished by giving itself away.  It is rather contagious in the sense that it lights other things on fire, too.  Our light will not be diminished by sharing it!

Jesus is waiting to light our lamp.  We don’t have to be a bonfire like a Mother Theresa or Billy Graham or Luis Palau…we just need to let him put the flame to us and let it light us up!

PRAYER: Jesus, we confess there are times we feel intimidated and we cover up our light.  We are sorry that at times we have been conspicuous, but obnoxious.  Help us to welcome the flame that comes from you and to let it be visible at all times in a conspicuous, beautiful manner!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 03/23/12 – In the Darkest Night

DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – In the Darkest Night

33 “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. Luke 11:33

Have you ever sat in a lighted room at night, reading or talking, and suddenly the lights go out? What’s the first thing you say? Usually everyone says, “Who turned out the light?”

In this age of electricity, light is something we take for granted. Few of us ever experience total darkness. In the city, we have street lights which come on automatically as soon as it begins to get dark. In the country, most farms have a mercury vapor light that stays on all night for security reasons. Consequently, most of us never get a good look at the stars as we used to when all the lights went out at night.

Some of the soldiers who came back from the first Persian Gulf War told about the absolute darkness they experienced in the desert. One soldier said, “The darkness on nights with no moon or star light was so total you could have been standing right next to someone and not known it.”

This text from John’s gospel is about darkness and light: “And this is the judgment,” John says, “that the light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”

When I read about the experience of the troops with literal night-time darkness in the Persian Gulf War, being unable to see someone standing next to you, I was forced to consider how often someone has stood or sit or walked right next to me and never knew I had light because I had put it under a bowl so no light shone out of my life.  I didn’t like the answer I heard inside my head.  I want to be a brighter light for Jesus.  I hope you do, too!

PRAYER: Break whatever devices we use to hide the Light so that never again will someone walk beside us and not see the Light!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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