Bearers of Light
By Amy Carroll

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.” Psalm 89:15 (NIV)

As a lover of history, I was fascinated by a story that I heard about Benjamin Franklin recently. Franklin had decided that lighting the streets of Philadelphia at night would add both beauty and increased safety to his city. Instead of embarking on a campaign of speeches and writing to persuade the other citizens, Franklin himself bought a large and beautiful lantern and mounted it on a long bracket in front of his home. He kept the glass clean and sparkling, and each evening at dusk he faithfully lit the lantern.

Soon his neighbors began to take notice, and they began maintaining their own lanterns at their residence. Like wildfire, the trend spread throughout the city, and it eventually became a city-wide, city-sponsored program. As the story is told, Benjamin Franklin influenced the entire city of Philadelphia without a word. He simply began to enact change in his own sphere and spread light to all those around him.

As a Christian, I sometimes look around my world and feel horror at the darkness around me. One hour of the evening news is enough to leave the bravest heart running for cover. Stories of child abuse, murder, the spread of deadly disease, starvation, extreme poverty, the heart-break of war and the evil of man swirl around me on the airwaves and churn daily from the printing press. The truth is that we live in a hard world where bad things happen to good people and bad people alike. It’s often a frightening and confusing place.

But there’s another truth that we must not overlook. God is sovereign. Those three words bring hope and comfort to my soul. God is sovereign, and He calls His people to bring His light into the world. I may not be able to change tomorrow’s newscast, but I can be a bearer of God’s light to those around me. I can make sure that my family’s Bible is well used and that my children know about His love for them. I can share His hope and pray with neighbors that are hurting. I can behave ethically in the workplace. I can serve in my church and community and share my time with others.

I John 1:5b says, “...God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” If we are walking with Him, He fills our lives with light that shines on those around us. By our words and actions, we are called to bring Light into a very dark world. Let’s resolve to be Light-bearers to those in our sphere this week and pray that the Light will continue to spread in our community.

Dear Lord, even though I live in a dark world, help me to focus on Your light. As I fix my eyes on You, make me transparent so that Your light can shine through into the darkness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

A Life that Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open your Heart and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God’s Love by Max Lucado

Visit Amy Carroll’s blog

Application Steps:
In a dark room, light a candle. Reflect on how the light illuminates all the corners and dispels darkness. Read I John 1 and John 1 in your Bible.

Pray and ask God for specific assignments to share His light such as starting a family devotion time, serving at a homeless shelter, or helping an elderly neighbor with grocery shopping.

How can I spread the Light without words?

Power Verses:
Acts 5:38b-39, “For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (NIV)

I John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow- What a beautiful message. I have been feeling a bit hopeless with all of the doom around us, thinking "what can I possibly do that would make a difference?". Your post was a great reminder to just keep my light for Jesus shining!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good verse to go along with this is Matthew 5:16 - "...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." God gave me that verse the week before my son and I were to help in our church's micromission - Praise God!

Blogger steph said...

Thank you. I agree with you completely. I am not good at starting committee's or standing up at the PTA meeting to share my opinion. Neither did I want to pull my kids out of school because a lot of what goes on there scared me. I have always just stood firm, taught my kids at home and tried to send little lights into the public schools. My oldest is a Sophomore this year and my youngest school aged child is entering into Jr. High. I now have confidence....they are indeed spreading His light into some pretty dark places. Thanks for then encourgement.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your words encouraged my heart today in the midst of being a mom during a crazy season. That I would "tend to" my girls so that our family could be used by Him and learn from Him.

Blogger Kate said...

What a great message! It reminds me of a quote, I think by Saint Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."

Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman?

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