Effective Light

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You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltines be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, 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 who is in heaven. 

~ Matthew 5:13-16

A few months ago, I was down in Brazil on a mission trip to a Children’s Home for two weeks. While there I was reminded of a few things:

  • The World is a Dark and Hurting place
  • Sometimes we have to get outside of our small comfortable bubble to realize this
  • The truth is there are hurting people in other countries, but there are also hurting people in the cubicle next to us, in line at Wal-Mart, and across the street
  • We just have to have eyes to see
  • Jesus said that, us believers ARE the light of the world
  • Not that we should be, or if we get a chance to be to do it but that we ARE
  • You see light makes what was once unseen now seen
  • Light is only effective in the midst of darkness 
  • When you turn on a flash light in a well-lit room it adds no benefit
  • When I was walking back to my house at night in Brazil, a flashlight was a huge benefit
  • As Christians we love simply hanging out with each other, so all of our lights are together, essentially turning on a flashlight in a well-lit room
  • For light to be effective it must be shown in the darkness – in order for Christ light to shine in the World, His disciples must go out into the world
  • Sometimes that means jumping on a plane and traveling thousand of miles away, and sometimes it means meeting your neighbor where they are
  • We do this to shine in the darkness, so that the world can be shown Christ
  • We shine our lights so others may see and give Glory to God

 

Read this last week as I’ve continued to think over all that the Lord showed me this summer:

Charles H. Spurgeon – Morning and Evening Devotional

Morning September 6th

“In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” 

— Philippians 2:15

We use lights to make manifest. A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week without knowing the gospel. His conversation should be such that all who are about him should clearly perceive whose he is, and whom he serves; and should see the image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions. Lights are intended for guidance. We are to help those around us who are in the dark. We are to hold forth to them the Word of life. We are to point sinners to the Saviour, and the weary to a divine resting-place. Men sometimes read their Bibles, and fail to understand them; we should be ready, like Philip, to instruct the inquirer in the meaning of God’s Word, the way of salvation, and the life of godliness. Lights are also used for warning. On our rocks and shoals a light-house is sure to be erected. Christian men should know that there are many false lights shown everywhere in the world, and therefore the right light is needed. The wreckers of Satan are always abroad, tempting the ungodly to sin under the name of pleasure; they hoist the wrong light, be it ours to put up the true light upon every dangerous rock, to point out every sin, and tell what it leads to, that so we may be clear of the blood of all men, shining as lights in the world. Lights also have a very cheering influence, and so have Christians. A Christian ought to be a comforter, with kind words on his lips, and sympathy in his heart; he should carry sunshine wherever he goes, and diffuse happiness around him.

Gracious Spirit dwell with me;

I myself would gracious be,

And with words that help and heal

Would thy life in mine reveal,

And with actions bold and meek

Would for Christ my Saviour speak.

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The Reward of His Suffering

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Thoughts from Haiti

Last Friday, I returned home from spending a week in the Mountains in Haiti, I have been meaning to post an update just haven’t got to it until today.

Let me first just start with the fact that has been so evident in my life over the past few years that God is Faithful! He is Faithful, in ways He uses us and answers our prayers. Over the past few years I have found myself praying, “Ok, God if You want me to go somewhere, please show me where and provide the means, time off work etc., and I’m there.” And He has been faithful in answering that request. And for the second year in a row He sent me to Haiti, to a group of people who I have absolutely fallen in love with.

As I was praying first of this year for an opportunity to go somewhere, I got a call from a Ministry that I went to Haiti with last year, asking me if I would be willing to lead a church from Crossnore, North Carolina back to Haiti. One of those times where you don’t have to pray long about it, because the Command to Go has already been given to all believers, not just the special select few who are “called” to be missionaries. As believers, we are all called to go, whether around the world or across the street we are all missionaries. Charles Spurgeon says:

Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.

In Spurgeon’s mind, and I agree, we can’t separate the idea of being a Christian and being a Missionary, they are one in the same. As a believer we have a story that God has done in our lives, and we see God for who He is, so we go and tell! We go and share the good news that Christ has commanded us to go, and we go in the His promise that “He is with us, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

So two Fridays ago I landed in Haiti, 373 days since I was there last, hoping the trip would be as great as last years, hoping and praying that God somehow and someway would use me to help show His love and His grace to all He would put in my path.

The trip didn’t disappoint. Once again, God is Faithful! We were there to do a VBS with the kids there and then in the afternoons do whatever it was they needed or asked us to do. So we put on a VBS, we cleaned their school, unloaded bricks, played cards, played soccer and basketball, ran electrical wire for lights throughout all the property, and mostly loved and served the people there at Canaan Christian Community, in Haiti. The people there have become very special to me, it was a blessing to be there again to love and to serve.

Here are a few highlights of the trip, and things God was showing me:

1. Was there maybe 15 minutes and heard, “Nick!!!” my heart leaped knowing that many of the kids there remembered me from last year.

2. Loved throwing my phone in my backpack for a week and being disconnected from the world, focused on the Lord and loving and serving the people He sent me to.

3. The team was a blessing, that I was asked to lead. Made friends that will last.

4. Highlight of trip: God allowed me to be part of Him drawing someone to Himself, when He saved a member of the team. Sent a member to Haiti to serve Him and saved him in the process. God’s love and pursuit of us always amazes me

5. That as believers wherever we find ourself that is our mission field, and we are to serve it well. We don’t have to wait to go to Haiti to serve Him, but that He has a plan and purpose for us everywhere we find ourselves.

6. God kept asking me, “Where are all the dads/men? The ones who are supposed to be spiritual leaders?” As it seems most trips I go on and know of going it’s mostly moms and college aged girls. When will the men raise up?

7. Experiencing a church service in a different language and grasping the fact that currently there are people all over the world worshipping and praising God in their language and He understands and meets with all of them.  Also the first time I can ever remember singing, “This is the Day, the Lord has Made” and there was actually joy in the room. They were actually rejoicing in the fact that God had given them another day.

These are just a few thoughts, from my trip. It was a great week, I absolutely love the people there and can’t wait to go back!

 My Boys! Love these guys!

Praying like crazy for Yolde, for healing!

It was a great week! God showed me a lot, and continues to show me a lot from it. I’m sure I will be sharing more over the next few weeks, and already praying for a return trip. One last thing that God showed me on this trip was a quote from a team member as she was leading our devotional the first night:

When stepping into the mission field, you don’t have to be afraid because you are stepping into your calling.

~ Whitney Boone

God had this on my heart and mind all week!