“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
I’m sure you’ve noticed it. You’ve felt it.
The world has become a darker place. It can be hard to describe, but we somehow know that this isn’t right. It’s not the way things should be.
Our face to face and online interactions focus exclusively on the differences in people. We argue, we criticize, and rarely do we find any common ground. We’re supposed to love people and use things but we typically do the exact opposite. It’s easy to blame social media, but if we’re honest, we know it started in our own hearts.
Even when we’re put into a position to help the person right in front of us…well… most times we simply look past them. I’ve done it, you’ve done it. Every time this happens the darkness gets a little thicker and harder to see through.
I think we’ve forgotten a very important truth.
As followers of Jesus our lives, and how we live them, are supposed to be the first invitation to something very different – a counter to the darkness.
Listen to what Paul says:
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” Ephesians 5:8-9 NLT
With everything that is happening, with all of the darkness we are experiencing, what we need now more than politicians, athletes, or social media celebrities are those who are willing to be people of light. We need people who are not looking for fame or notoriety, but those who want to honor God by helping people created in His image. Those willing to love their families, their neighbors, and the most vulnerable. What’s so ironic is that these good deeds, even when done in secret, always leave a bit of light in their wake.
It can’t be hidden. It transcends the person who engages in the action. It can inspire others and compels them to live in a selfless way. It can conquer doubt and move people to sacrifice in faith rather than live in fear. And you can do this right where you’re at.
As the Daytona 500 top 5 finisher Michael McDowell has said “That area between your feet – that is your mission field”.
It’s not complicated. It’s actually quite simple. Today you can take the first step to shining the light of Jesus. Small acts of kindness, tiny sacrifices, love that requires no payment – these are the things that will begin to change hearts. These simple deeds carry with them a weight that will send ripples throughout our communities for years to come. Here’s what I know: God has already prepared you for these good works in advance. He knew exactly what your neighborhood and community needed. That’s why He placed YOU there. You already have everything that is needed to be a light – so go and do what Jesus has asked of you.
Each good deed is like lighting a small candle; it may not seem like much at the time. Yet as more of these candles are lit, they will light a path that will lead others to the person of hope: Jesus.
May you use the light given to you to show the peace and kindness of God to an anxious world one person at a time.
Palm Coast Community Church
Love God. Love People. Live it Out.