Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Time to Shine!

In the Bible, we read that Daniel was shown in the end time, there would be a period of great distress, but everyone found "written in the book" will be rescued. The angel who told him this then said:
"Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." Daniel 12:3
Jesus also said that in the end time, after the wicked (tares) are removed:
"Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father..." Matthew 13:43
Those who have insight, and the righteous, will both shine in the end. The righteous are meant to have insight, for the righteous hold to the truth. Concerning the Day of the Lord, Paul told the Thessalonians: 
"But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;" 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
As children of God, we are children of light who are meant to shine. When light shines, there is an effect upon darkness. It disappears. As long as we stay in the light, we will overcome. When the clash between light and darkness occurs, we want to stay in the light. We don't want to give in to a dark spirit--hate, fear, revenge etc. We may feel the emotion, but we don't react in sin. Instead, we continue to shine with truth and love. 

There will be temptations to respond to accusations made against us, or to get sidetracked with the distractions thrown our way, or to take things personally and fight back personally. But, instead of giving in to those temptations, we continue to shine. We shine with the Light of God which has substance and power.

Recently, on Facebook, I got into a discussion where I was accused of being full of hate, narrow minded, knowing nothing, insane, racist, a fool, ignorant etc. I could have responded with personal attacks in return, but I would not shine with the light if I did. The people making these accusations feel that their opinion is truth, where in reality, only God is truth. The truth is what I had to shine with if I really want what is best for them.

We're not in a battle of opinions, it's a battle of light vs. dark; truth vs. deception. We shine with the light and do not allow the darkness of other people's hearts to invade or influence us. Similar to a four year old throwing a temper tantrum and saying all sorts of mean things, we don't get on the floor with them and throw a tantrum back. We stand up and speak the truth. Truth is the only remedy for deception.
"...they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
Those who do not love and believe the truth will be sent a deluding influence so they will believe what is false and be judged. The only remedy for this deception is for them to repent of their wickedness, and to love and believe the truth. This is what we must shine with--the truth. We must love and believe the truth ourselves, and then shine with it to others so perhaps they might receive it.

This deception Paul spoke of to the Thessalonians is sent from God Himself. There is also a blinding that comes from the enemy which he puts upon the minds of the unbelieving so they won't see the light of the gospel of Christ.
"...the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4
Whether it's the enemy blinding their minds, or a delusion that comes because of their rejection of the truth, the answer is for us to remain in the light and shine. We love and embrace the truth ourselves, more than we want to prove we are right. More than we want to prove they are wrong. More than we want to take revenge. We shine in a way that glorifies our Father in heaven. 
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Stay in the light. Live in the light. Walk in the light. It's time to shine!

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