This week was the first time I went to the shops during National Lockdown. My husband previously took on that duty as I was with my toddler at home. That day as I was walking between people, having to keep a safe social distance, I was hit by the impact facial expressions, body language and social interaction have on others.
As a psychologist, I am fully aware of how nonverbal cues can influence communication. Smiling is a big component of establishing contact. People looked detached and emotionless with their face masks on. Like they were being silenced deliberately. It sent a definite message of distance, unapproachability, and a barrier to connecting with others. No more open faces and smiles. It actually brought tears to my eyes, and I felt sad because communication and connection have been severed.
At that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me that people needed to hear that God loves them and that there is hope. When sin damaged the relationship between God and mankind, Jesus reconciled us back to God through His death and resurrection. Today, as we feel disconnected from each other, Jesus remains the answer. He said:
John 8:12b AMP “ I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
Matthew 5:14-16 AMP ”You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus is the Light of the world, and we are His light to the world. We have our part to play in bringing people out of the darkness and into the light. God’s message of love, hope, peace, and grace needs to be shared with all. Especially now when people feel disconnected, afraid, isolated, and negative. Through our good deeds and trust in God, people will see Christ, and He will receive the glory. We need to be that beacon of hope, even if it means shining in ways that take us out of our comfort zone. God is prompting us: “This is no time to be discreet or silent. Be bold. Be brave. Be loud for the Lord and the Gospel.”
The image of a lighthouse built next to the coastline, or on a rock in the open seas comes to mind. The shape of the oak tree was used as a prototype for all modern lighthouses after the 1700s because of the oak’s ability to withstand the most violent weather conditions. In the Bible we are also called “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3 NIV). A lighthouse is anchored on a strong foundation, and built with concrete and steel, to stand secure during hurricane conditions. Its purpose is to navigate or warn ships through the darkness, fog, and storms. Its light source can be seen more than 30 kilometers away.
Visualize this with me. You and I are lighthouses. You and I are oaks of righteousness, built on the Rock that is Jesus Christ. We were planted by God to reflect His glory. We can be resolute because of Jesus, the foundation of our faith, and the relationship we have with Him. From this position of trust, we can stand in victory and share Christ’s message of love, hope, and peace with boldness. Shining as bright beacons of hope!
No two lighthouses are the same. They each use different light signatures or flash patterns. In the same way, we all have different strengths, talents, or gifts. Thus, we can all shine our lights in unique ways. I encourage you to use your gifts boldly. Tell the people that God cares for them, saves them, and loves them. What do you have to offer to spread the message of love and hope to others? How can you make a difference to draw more people to Christ?
Share with others on social media platforms how faithful God has been.
Do not be shy to share your testimony or praise report.
Encourage others with His Word and messages of love and support.
Make the time to contact friends and family and hear how they are.
Pray for others and continue praying.
Write, or sing a song of praise or worship, that will uplift a friend’s heart.
Do not complain, but be grateful for all you have.
Be grateful for all that is happening in the spiritual realm now, but not yet revealed.
Write a message of encouragement that will give a friend hope.
Do the shopping for someone who is unable to do so due to isolation or illness.
With the changes in what we are allowed and not allowed to do, keep your eyes and spirits open for the smallest blessings around you.
Show your gratitude for people who give of themselves to serve as first responders, health workers, the police, military, government, store employees, etc. Say thank you.
Look for opportunities where you can give and be a blessing to others. Give time, give food, give clothes, give a kind word, give money, offer your services, and give grace.
Share the Gospel with people you do come in contact with. Tell them about His love, hope, and peace.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will make us sensitive to others. May He open our eyes and ears to the opportunities where we can share the Gospel, God’s love, peace, and light. May we stand strong and be a beacon of light to the lost and hopeless. We proclaim that darkness can never win the Light. The enemy is defeated and the glory of the Lord will cover the earth. May God make us strong so we can shine brightly for Him. Amen
Shine resolute my friend.
VERSE IMAGE OF THE WEEK