LET IT SHINE


LET IT SHINE
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When I was little, I would always go to Church in the morning and go to Scripture Union in the afternoon, our mum made sure we don’t miss it for any reason even though sometimes I wouldn’t feel like going. During those times, one of our neighbors would see me coming back from church and he would run and hide till I pass with my bible. I was worried about that. When I asked an elder what that means he said “when sinners are running from you, it means you are a true believer”. I smiled, I felt I was a good believer, at least my presence was chasing sinners away and I started enjoying it, I felt I had become so righteous as God that my aura can’t behold iniquity anymore!
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After I had grown up and started studying the bible for myself and from a different perspective I discovered that I was making mess of Christianity. I was not representing God’s brand as I ought to, I discovered it was lies from the pit of hell that sinners are supposed to run away from me! Looking at the entire scriptures, I discovered that even God himself doesn’t scare sinners away, you can imagine God saying in Ezekiel 33:11 that he doesn’t take delight in the death of the wicked but wants them to come to repentance. I also saw the religious people calling Jesus a friend to sinners in Matthew 11:19 and I wondered what would have prompted that! I didn’t see anywhere in the scriptures where Jesus was condemning sinners, in fact Jesus said in John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
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I discovered how useless Christianity would have been if it was another religion, another group of people who are hard on law breakers. I imagined what the case would have been when they brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, he would have risen up instead of bending down to write, he would have looked at the woman in utter disgust and say “you are a disgrace, you have disgraced the people of God! You’ll be stoned to death!” but no! Jesus isn’t like that, Jesus is love personified and he had to bend down, it was touching his heart, he was compassionate… I’d like to say that Jesus was an emotional being when he came to earth as a man. The accused woman must have been beaten and thrown right at his feet and the worst of it was that she wouldn’t bring up any defense, first she is a woman, and secondly she was caught in the very act! There was nothing to say but just keep quiet and watch them stone life out of her, she was ready to die and she thought to herself that she deserved to die, she may have even thought God wants her dead too! Well, Jesus didn’t think so… After dealing with her accusers, Jesus said to her “I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more!”
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It hurts me when I see people make mess of our brand, I mean Christianity. Just to clear you in case you don’t know, Christianity is God’s brand. It is easy to find believers accuse sinners and condemn them out rightly; it is easy to find them sounding so judgmental as though they got saved by their own efforts. Yet on the inside they are worse! Some believers condemn people for wearing a certain design of cloth, making a certain style of hair and all that! They reduce Christianity to mere fashion limitation! Who even told them that is what Christianity is all about? I remember a young man in Church some years ago giving a terrible look because I was walking with a lady who wore trouser and had make ups! I said to him “you will need to give me that look all your life because I actually can’t work with people whose Christianity is in shabby dressing!”
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I later got to know why my neighbor would run away because I was able to create a different impression and got close to him. He said “most people who carry bible are known for being judgmental! They will condemn you for not going to Church on Sunday, for having a certain style of haircut… I thought you were like that and I just couldn’t stand your sight!” You see that? If people should run at the sight of us, how then do we save them? How do we come close to them and influence their lives?
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Jesus said concerning us “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
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As believers in Christ, there is this light in us that the world is yearning for! People need to see the love of Jesus through us and we can be sure that when this love spreads from us to them, they can surely say that “God is love”, many of us have created an impression of a wicked God, a God who hates us because of our flaws but that is not who God is, that is a lie about the nature of God! God is ultimately love. Being the light of the world is not in dress or makeup… It is in what we do here.
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We need to be as passionate as Jesus in our dealings with people, when you come across people who are facing rejection, punishments and abuse for the crime they committed or didn’t commit, do you join the bandwagon to condemn them or do you stand by them and gradually walk them out of that mess? When you see someone living in a style you feel is very ungodly, do you walk up to them, condemn them and abuse them just like everyone else would do or do you show them the light through love?
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Can Jesus really trust you with souls who are still growing or will you throw them away in lack of patience? Jesus was never hard on sinners; he dealt with sin himself on the cross! But, he wasn’t soft with religion because religion creates a wrong impression of who God is!
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I think it’s time we stop playing religion and really start living out who we are! We are lights of the world; we can only win with love and not with condemning people. It doesn’t matter how bad people have been, we all have been bad and it only took an encounter for us to walk up to Jesus, in the same manner the world is waiting for you to lead them to Jesus. Letting our light shine isn’t by talking, anyone can talk… It is by living in love and passion for souls.
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This is how we can let the light shine, by living the way Jesus lived. There was no record of sinners being uncomfortable with Jesus but every sinner who ever met Jesus saw love personified and they couldn’t resist the change that came. Even if there is need for correction, it must be done in love!
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When people are down, be the reason why they can stand tall again! Let it shine!
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#GracefulGeorge
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