[ecko_quote source=" John 8:12"]Jesus spoke saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life[/ecko_quote]
Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining. We cannot be of great use to others without a cost to our own selves. Burning suggests suffering. We shrink from pain.
We are apt to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service.
When we are called aside and can only suffer; when we are sick, when we are consumed with pain, when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are of no use any longer and that we are not doing anything.
But, if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing the most of our work. We are burning now and shining because we are burning.
The glory of tomorrow is rooted in the labour of today. Many want the glory without the cross, the shining without the burning, but crucifixion comes before coronation.
We take a candle into a room to dispel the darkness. Likewise, the Light of Jesus Christ has to be taken into the darkness of sin which engulfs the hearts and lives of those who are not following Him. That is the condition of having this Light—that we follow Him. If we do not follow Him, we will not have this light, this truth, this eternal life.
A Father went into a toy store to buy his son a Christmas present. The salesman showed him a new educational toy. It came unassembled, but no matter how the child put the pieces together, they would not fit. You see, the toy was designed to teach the child how to deal with life. Such is the mess of a person without God. He is never able to put his life together without Him. A life without Christ is a life of futility.
Receive Jesus as your light. Continue to look to him as your light. And then let him shine for you and through you. AMEN!
[ecko_quote source=" Matthew 5:8"]Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God[/ecko_quote]
Offended people are present everywhere! They are not just in the world but are found in the church as well. No matter where you go in life, you can meet someone who is upset and offended.Because the offense is such a widespread problem, Satan uses it as a tool to detour believers from what God has called them to do.
The Greek word used for offense in the New Testament is skandalon, which can be translated as "trap stick," or bait stick. The best way that I can communicate the purpose of a bait stick is to tell you about a program televised by the Discovery Channel demonstrating how the natives of one particular culture caught monkeys.
The natives placed a cage in the jungle containing bait sticks that the monkeys desperately wanted. As the monkeys approached the cage, they saw the bait inside and reached through the bars of the cage to grab it. However, as long as their fists were gripped around the bait stick, they could not pull their hands out of the cage. Although the animals could have been set free from the trap, they desired the bait so badly; they refused to let go of the stick, making their seizure effortless for the locals.
When the natives approached with their clubs, the monkeys began jumping up and down and violently squealing, still unwilling to release the bait. They could set themselves free anytime by simply letting go of the bait stick and pulling their hands back from the cage, yet they would not. The closer the natives came to the animals, the more fierce their shrieking became. Fully aware that death was imminent, they stubbornly refused to lose the counterfeit treasure. The predators simply approached their target and clubbed them to death. The monkeys literally held life and death within their grasp.
It is a perfect illustration of what happens to those individuals who takes hold of an offense. Whether you realize it or not, the offense is Satan's bait stick which allows him to destroy your life. As long as you are determined to cling onto the offense, your freedom will escape you in the same way it escaped through the monkeys. While you desperately cling to the bait, the devil effortlessly moves in with death and destruction.
What is it that offends you? Is it what others say about you? Perhaps someone will not allow you to do what you want. Or possibly you are offended by the bad rumors which are spread by others. Once the devil knows what offends you, he will continually send that particular thing into your life, hoping to lure you into his trap.
Sometimes harboring an offense can feel good to your flesh because you are looking for the opportunity to take revenge. You know that you are seeking revenge when you mentally plot and scheme to get back at someone who has offended you. No longer seeking payback is evidence that you have let go of the offense.
However, as long as you cling to the offense- like the monkeys in the illustration which held on to the bait stick- you can scream, you can jump up and down, you can even pray, but you will be snared by the devil's trap. Even though an offense and thoughts of revenge might feel good for a while, they will soon bring ruin into your life.
All that was necessary for the monkeys to be set free was for them to let go of the bait. The only real thing that hindered them from freedom was their own intense desire. James 1:14 says, "Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." In reality, the only thing that stood between complete freedom and ruin was the monkey's strong desire for the bait. A simple decision to 'let go' brings life. In the exact same way, anyone who willing to make the decision to release the offense can live in complete freedom.
Source: Jonah Ravinder- UEC Ministries; Cutting Edge