Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” [Emphasis added.]
Several years ago I did an early morning training run in preparation for a half marathon. As usual, it was dark outside, and I was running alone. In one particular area, the street light was out, and I did not see the uneven crack in the sidewalk. Yep, down I went. I didn’t stop to look at the damage. Instead, I got up and finished the rest of my route. Once I completed it, I saw that I had a huge, bloody mess. The bruise and abrasion took weeks to heal. Both could have been prevented if that street light had been working.
It doesn’t matter if you are a spiritual person or not, people know that darkness fills our world. Take a look at the movies that draw people’s attention. Thematically they are filled with horror, revenge, betrayal, and violence; lives and relationships are destroyed by drugs and alcohol. The cinematography alone is dark and gloomy. Contemporary music isn’t much better. And people like this stuff. What does that say about the condition of our hearts?
Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT) tells us, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”
The Why questions that people ask indicate further darkness.
Why is my boss so difficult?
Why can’t I make enough money to care for my family?
Why do innocent children suffer at the hands of evil?
Why does disease ravage our bodies?
Why doesn’t anyone like, or love, me?
Why did God let my loved one die?
Why did my friend take his own life?
Why should I continue living?
And the list goes on. People are living without hope. While we can’t provide answers for these questions, we can give them hope. When Jesus lives in us, we get to shine His light into the darkness—exposing the pitfalls of life and offering rescue to friends who may have fallen into them. Everything we do can point others to Him.
By sharing our resources with those in need.
By being patient with difficult people.
By encouraging friends who are struggling.
By forgiving people who have hurt us.
By being a friend to the lonely.
By being there for ones who are grieving.
Simply stated, we give hope by showing love and kindness in our words and our actions, especially when we have had similar, painful experiences. During those times, we are uniquely equipped to meet the emotional and physical needs of those who are struggling (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Ephesians 5:8-9 (NLT) “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”
Philippians 2:12-15 (NLT) “…Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NLT) “For God, who said, “‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”
There is not a sweeter experience than leading someone out of darkness and into the light. To THIS, we were called!
Fresnel lenses are designed to magnify and intensify their light sources so light can travel greater distances. Some of the older ones are as tall as 5 feet or more. If you have never seen a Fresnel Lens, you are missing something spectacular! Check Lighthouse Friends to see if there are any on display in your area. If so, plan a trip! You won’t be disappointed.
Candlepower is an old measurement used to measure the intensity of light. One candlepower is equivalent to the amount of light emitted by one candle. Originally, the third order Fresnel lens shown here produced 23,000 candlepower with an oil vapor lamp as its light source. That was later increased to 230,000 candlepower when the lamp was replaced by a 1,000 watt bulb.
- Rate your candlepower as you shine for Jesus. On a scale of 1 to 10, where do you fall?
- If you are not at full candlepower, why do you think that is?
- Do you ever feel like hiding your light? What is going on when you feel that way?
- What can you do to increase your candlepower for the Lord?
The lighthouse at Bolivar Point is a ferry ride across Galveston Bay from the tip of Galveston Island to the Bolivar Peninsula.
The Galveston Jetty lighthouse used to sit on a platform built on a jetty that extended into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In the early 80s, the lighthouse was deactivated. In 2000, the structure toppled into the ocean during a strong storm.