Let Your Light so Shine (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

One of the very first places that we Christians can inspire and bless other people is in our homes, and to recognize the spiritual light that is in one another in our own families. As an example: In my home, 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, the light of His healing Word, and Jesus Christ 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. I Peter 3:7 confirms to us that we are “heirs together of the grace of life,” in other words, we equally share in a “life of grace” ─ together, as one (Matthew 19:4-6). 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 life’s trials, yet as we look to God’s Word, we always end up being more than conquerors as we let our light so shine forth for God and our Savior. Overall, I would not change anything, because we as a family have worked very hard to build our relationship with God, His Son, and with each other as we have seen the light of God’s love within 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. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “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. Now, how can we get the words of Jesus off the pages of the Bible and begin applying them in practical living? By following Jesus, who is clearly perceived throughout the Scriptures as the light of the world. 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 (a kin to the word “may” above), because God is not demanding that we practice works of any kind, rather this is a loving request from our heavenly Father, and it is only when we decide to walk in them will we turn the light on from within.

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 and His Word reveals Christ, and him we are instructed to follow. He loved his fellow man and encouraged us to do the same. God’s 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 life and goodness that God placed in His healing Word for us to uncover, and to discover, and to treasure, and to enjoy as we effortlessly allow our light to shine from within our hearts.

Following Jesus is one of those good works that God ordained we observe; 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 {so that we may first see, and then enjoy God’s good works}.

Isaiah 60:1:
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

When we became saved, we are spiritually awakened to a new life with (and in) 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, our proof that we have the light of life.

The Amplified Bible* translates good works from Ephesians 2:10 to read: “living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live” for living the good life with God in Christ in us is allowing our God-given light to shine. Enjoy a deLIGHTful life as you let your light so shine!

Ephesians 5:8:
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross~

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

The Crown of Righteousness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

II Timothy 4:7-8:
-7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
-8: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The Apostle Paul, knowing that his life was coming to an end, mentions three things that he was faithful to in his Christian life. He fought a good fight, he finished his course, and he kept the faith. As a result of these three things he literally fulfilled a fourth thing and that was; he loved the coming of Christ and he had great expectation for that glorious day.

Paul had great expectation knowing that he would receive the crown of righteousness. The same crown of righteousness will be given to all believers who love the appearing of Christ Jesus.

I Timothy 5:12 – Fight the good fight of faith {believing faith}, lay hold on eternal life {in your mind} whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed {confessed} a good profession {confession} before many witnesses.

We have received eternal life already, the good fight is knowing this in our hearts and being faithful to our calling by never allowing anyone to talk us out of believing in our eternal life that God has already freely given to us.

I John 5:11-12:
-11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
-12: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Fighting the good fight is to daily walk with understanding that we have God in Christ in us, believing that we are more than conquerors through our steadfast believing and standing with God.

To finish the course is to daily walk with the love of God towards others and ourselves until the return of Christ Jesus.

To keep the faith is to walk with believing God’s healing Word, as well as helping the members of God’s household, our brothers and sisters in Christ to believe the Scriptures with us; this is confessing a good confession of salvation “before many witnesses.”

When these three things are incorporated into our daily adventures in this life we will without hesitation or fear look forward to Christ’s coming because we absolutely will be loving his appearing, and when Christ Jesus does appear we shall receive the crown of righteousness.

I Peter 1:7-9:
-7: That the trial of your faith {believing faith}, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
-8: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing {in him}, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
-9: Receiving the end of your faith {believing faith}, even the salvation of your souls.

The word “receiving” literally means rewarding and restoring one to complete favor because the salvation of our souls is what brings us to heaven, where we may eternally enjoy the crown of righteousness.

Unbelievers also will be rewarded for their unbelief “and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness” (II Peter 2:13; also see the wages of sin vs. the gift God in Romans 6:17-23). But we who daily anticipate the return of Christ to the point that we love his return shall receive a much greater reward, and as it records in Hebrews 10:37: “for ye have need of patience {during these days when we have trials of our own personal believing faith}, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

The promise for the Christian believer who loves with great anticipation the return of Christ shall be the receiving of the crown of righteousness.

To be continued in The Crown of Rejoicing