7 05 2020

There is a story told of an American who went over to Paris, and wishing to buy his wife a little gift, he purchased a phosphorescent, mother-of-pearl match-box container; and the beauty of it was that in the dark it was said to radiate a wonderful light. He packed it in his trunk, took it home to the U.S.A., and after the family welcome dinner asked for the lights to be put out. In the dark he took the match-box container from his pocket to present it to his wife, but, when he looked at it, it was as black as the darkness around. Then he said, “That is just what they palm off on us clueless foreigners. I’ve been swindled.” Next day his wife, a bit curious, discovered that on the box there were a few words written in French. She took it down to some friends who had a French maid and had it translated. That night, in the darkness, it was all aglow, for she had followed the instructions written on the box, which said: “If you keep me all day long in the sunlight, I will shine for you all night long in the darkness.”

I fear that too many Believers have packed themselves away during this pandemic, so much so that they have lost their godly glow. This world and the life we live this side of heaven is not capable of keeping our lights ignited bright. Like batteries that we put into our transistor radios, what energy this planet provides us doesn’t get stronger as we play the music, but weaker with each hour it is left on. To conserve its precious power, we hesitantly go without when what we really needed was for it to be on full blast! Our fuel as Christians must be the Holy Spirit of God, or sooner or later, the bulbs of the body of Christ will flicker and eventually burn out just when we were needed to be the illuminating rays of our Savior for the surrounding shadows.

Much like the moon does not generate its own glory but reflects what radiance it receives from the sun, so we too need to stop trying so hard to be dazzling disciples and simply surrender our hearts humbly and fully to the access of the glory of the Son of God! Isn’t it ironic that we could do nothing to save ourselves from our sin and we willingly received the finished work of Jesus on the cross by grace through faith to purchase our salvation but now, somehow, we behave like it is up to us to live holy and righteous lives? This is why so much Christianity is defined by what we don’t do rather than highlighted by how God is at work within our daily behavior. Just because someone knows the Bible inside and out intellectually doesn’t equate to an individual who is madly in love with the Lord. There are many who have been properly informed but they are are still missing the supernatural work of the Spirit in their souls to be transformed. God promises that He will make us more like His Son when we choose to follow Him. It doesn’t occur by freestyling. We must constantly long to dwell in the shadow of our Shepherd.

Growing up, I was my Dad’s right-hand man. I was Little Rudy and he was Big Rudy. The moments I was right by his side were my happiest and most courageous memories. It didn’t matter what was happening around me, I was always secure and satisfied when I was next to my Dad. I found my identity in the presence of being around him. We need to do the same thing with Jesus. We can’t go off on our own and try to figure out how we are going to live a life of faith if we are not in the proximity of the One that we claim to be the servant of. The reason we run out of gas is because we try to attempt to make God-sized works happen without the Miracle Maker even in our midst. If Jesus is not in the neighborhood, don’t expect to feed a crowd of 5000 with a young boy’s lunch! Those feats only occur when we know that our feet are marching in the steps of our Savior.

Do we believe that God can still do awesome lifechanging happenings through His church even while we are locked out of our sanctuaries? Do we believe that God can use us to impact those around us if we will only truly trust Him and accentuate what we are able to accomplish rather than get all frustrated about what we aren’t able to participate in right now? How about the precedents set in Scripture when the God of the universe still showed up with Joseph in the pit, Daniel in the lion’s den, Paul in prison and John on Patmos? Has our ability to live the word of God been taken away from us? Can we still love our neighbors and pray for those who might think differently than we do? Don’t we serve the Lord who created all we see with just a word? Maybe we need a little less whining and complaining from us and a little more constructive input from the One who can really affect the output! Is God on the disabled list? Can any human government really hamstring the holy omnipotent power of our indescribable Lord?

And they’ll know we belong to Jesus by our buildings, our choice of Bible, our hot worship band, our beloved theologian? Nope! We can even have the kind of faith that moves mountains, we can give away money, food, possessions, and speak in a tongue that makes angels jealous, but it is all bankrupt if there is not the unconditional, life altering, no strings attached love of God enabling the acts of His devoted followers. I pray every day for Cape May County. I am not just praying for those who believe like me. I pray for those who don’t believe anything at all. Like the very trees all around us that provide life giving oxygen without prejudice or bigotry, so the grace and mercy of God should be flowing to us to go right through us to touch all that might be in our paths. As long as the Holy Spirit dwells within us, the light will never go completely out. Let’s live like we don’t need any other power source to provide our daily needs.




2 responses

7 05 2020

Thank you Pastor Rudy! We know we are His light and I so appreciate your constant encourage to SHINE brightly. Please help us Lord!

7 05 2020
mark turkaly jr

Thank you sir, definitely needed that

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