Let Your Light so Shine (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

One of the very first places that we can inspire and bless people is in our homes, and to recognize the spiritual light that is in one other in our own families. As an example: In my house I am the dad, however my two children also know me as their brother, because God is our Father. This understanding alone has opened wonderful moments in our family’s relationship. Sometimes our conversation becomes so open and exciting that it causes me to be thrilled with complete thankfulness that we have allowed God into our lives.

My wife, my helper and companion is also my sister in God’s household, and this understanding has made it possible for us to become and stay the best of friends. Still, I would also like to point out that not every moment is like living in paradise, we are only human and we certainly have our share of ups and downs. We do not float around on clouds reading and thinking about the Scriptures at every moment because there is this thing that keeps popping up called life. Nevertheless, I still would not change anything, because overall we as a family have worked very hard to build our relationship with God and with each other.

One of the greatest gifts that God has ever given to men and women who believe is spiritual light. With this light, the eyes of our spiritual understanding begin opening to the life that Jesus called the more abundant life, for it is eternal life (I John 5:10-12). Jesus Christ made this life available to us by sacrificing his own life. As we personally come to know and experience Jesus Christ who dwells in our hearts (Colossians 1:27), and who resides within every fiber of our beings (Colossians 3:4), the greater the experience of “the more abundant life” becomes. John 10:10 says “I am come that they {believers} might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The word “might” in the Greek Text is the word for “may” and the meaning is that we have Jesus’ permission to enjoy the more abundant life. This is the very reason and purpose why Jesus Christ came in the first place, so that we may experience the abundant life, which is not just an abundant life, but – life – MORE ABUNDANTLY!

John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

“The light of life” is the necessary spiritual light needed to enjoy life more abundantly. How do we get the words of Jesus off the pages of the Bible, and begin applying them in practical living? In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are his {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The word “should” is an interesting word because God is not demanding that we practice works of any kind, rather this is a loving request from our heavenly Father. God designed the “good works” from the beginning. He, being the Creator of life, has given to us the blueprint for living life in the way He designed it, and the blueprint is His Word. His Word contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3-4). When and where we try to apply Scripture we will experience the true goodness that God placed in His healing Word. Following Jesus for instance is one of those good works; in fact, it is a wonderful work because in doing so we will recognize that we have access into “the light of life.” The guidance of Scripture is always requesting that we follow Jesus Christ, for he is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father (John 14:6, Hebrews 12:1-2).

Ephesians 5:14 – Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light (see, Isaiah 60:1).

When we became saved, we are spiritually awakened to a new life with Christ: this is the meaning of “arise from the dead.” In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Jesus did not say to pray for more light, or to struggle through life trying to keep it burning. Rather he said “let” and the reason for this is that we already have light and we are encouraged to allow this light to shine by enjoying the “good works” which shows us that we have the “light of life.” (The Amplified Bible translates “good works” to say: [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].)

The Word of Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Once God’s healing Word begins to permeate our hearts, and our thoughts begin to reflect that which is written in the Scriptures, then we will begin realizing that we have indeed received the actual Word of life from the heart of God. Paul said in Philippians:

Philippians 2:12 – Wherefore, my brethren, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

The believers were obedient to the Word of life, irrespective of whether Paul was there personally watching over them, because the Word itself began to uplift them. The Word of God was changing them from the inside, out, for God’s Word is pure (Psalm 12:6). The word “salvation” does not relate to our already God-given salvation, but rather salvation means to be made spiritually whole and entire. The Word of life freely gives to us inner spiritual completeness as we continue to accept it with a believing heart that they are God’s words. The words “fear and trembling” literally means to have reverent respect for the Word of life, and to become obedient to the words that will bring our hearts closer and closer to God’s heart.  We become ever more connected to our heavenly Father and His Word of life proportionally to our inner respect and obedience from belief of the Scriptures. Verse twelve shows us what we can do for ourselves, while verse thirteen (below), shows us what God can and has done for us, giving to us not fear and trembling, but good pleasure to walk hand in hand with our Savior and with our heavenly Father.

Philippians 2:13 – For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

One way that God works within us is through His words that we have placed within our minds. God works via two specific avenues. The first way is to help us have the “will” to do His good pleasure and since God designed life and gave us freedom of will – His words in our mind can be the inspiration and energy of our wills. The second way is that God also gives us the spiritual ability “to do” that which will give both God and us glory and “good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:14-16a:
-14:  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
-15:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke {from God}, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
-16a:  Holding forth the word of life;

To do “all things without murmurings and disputings” is a great way to live, for we need not have any fear as we daily walk before our heavenly Father. We are totally “blameless and harmless” before His loving eyes. Indeed, we are the “sons of God” and although we live in a spiritually perverse society, we today do “shine as lights in the world.” In the Scriptures the word “sons” is an all-inclusive noun for male and female. Then, God’s Word shows us a wonderful privilege, and that is: that we may enjoy a completeness within our own hearts, and walk within the good pleasure of the words of God that are both light and life, and they are freely given to us to share one with another.

Many Crowns

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

There are many treasures that become the believers’ simply because they belong to God, such as eternal life (I John 5:10-13), and being heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). There are also treasured crowns that we can receive in heaven for our believing actions that we take on God’s healing Word today. The Bible explicitly states that there are at least five spiritual crowns which each believer may receive by following the instructions and guidelines written in the literature of eternity!

These are the crown incorruptible, the crown of glory, the crown of life, the crown of righteousness, and the crown of rejoicing*.

Revelation 19:12a – . . . His {Christ Jesus} eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; . . .

“His eyes were as a flame of fire” does not mean that Jesus’ eyes were burning, rather the word “fire” represents a spiritual cleansing because Christ in the Book of Revelation returns to cleanse all that he sees. “And on his head were many crowns,” this represents authority, power, and majesty that he has in many areas or categories.

For instance, some of the Kings of Egypt had several crowns, one for upper Egypt, another for lower Egypt, and others for other regions that Egypt conquered. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords, he has conquered the realms of darkness, and in the Book of Revelation he is the King reigning upon the entire earth, and it is he who cleanses his kingdom.

Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is {now} set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus Christ endured great suffering on his cross, yet he looked beyond the moment, beyond the suffering, and beyond the shame and looked to the end result that all his work would accomplish.  Jesus also had so much joy in his life to be walking with God, sharing His Word, and blessing His children, and he finished the work God gave him to do. Remember Jesus said, “it is finished” when he was dying on the cross in John 19:30?  What was finished? The redemption for all humanity!

In Luke 2:49 Jesus, as a boy, said, “I must be about my Father’s business,” and when all of his Father’s business was completed Jesus said, “It is finished.” God, his Father, rewarded him richly, giving him the privilege to be the King of kings and bestowed upon him many crowns.

In Hebrews 12:2 (above), we are instructed to look to Jesus as he is our perfect example of how to walk with God.  God’s Word shows us how to receive many treasures ─ and at the end of this life we, too, can receive many crowns like our example, the author and finisher of our believing faith, Jesus.

Revelation 3:11 – Behold I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

“Hold that fast” means to watch over, to take care of what we have worked for. This warning comes with an exhortation “that no man take thy crown.” The question arises: How can someone take away one’s crown? Colossians 2:18 reveals, “Let no man beguile you of your reward.” The Amplified Bible quotes this as “Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize.”

Unlike eternal rewards and spiritual blessings that have been given to us because of the work of Christ, the spiritual crowns that we can receive are earned by our steadfast believing in and doing what God’s Word instructs. However, if someone tries to teach us that we are totally unworthy to receive God’s blessings and future crowns, then they obviously know more than God Himself Who has made us worthy and equal to the task of receiving these blessed crowns.  God’s will is for each believer to receive the crowns, which He desires for us to have for eternity.

Romans 14:13 – Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

We certainly can help one another receive the crowns, however, each believer is responsible with their own actions to put in the actual effort and believing that will afford us the joys of receiving them. The crowns are eternal and will grant us great riches, responsibilities, and privileges in the next life.

Our heavenly Father designed an easy way to receive these crowns, which can help us to daily walk with great power and understanding as we look to Jesus.

*See our Bible Bytes, titled: The Crown Incorruptible, The Crown of Glory, The Crown of Life, The Crown of Righteousness, The Crown of Rejoicing, and The Vine and the Branches.