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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 09/22/21

Life Shines: a Devotional Study on Light

When the Son Shines No Sunglasses Necessary! -Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY: Seeking the Son

True sunroofs, those made just of metal, appear to have gone the way of 8-tracks in automobiles, and these days, most sunroofs are really moonroofs—panels of tempered glass, usually tinted, that tilt up to allow a flow of air, or slide back into the roof entirely, giving the car occupants a brief but tantalizing glimpse of life in a convertible.

Our Monte Carlo SS had a moonroof. We loved driving on the open road with the roof open so we sensed the sun on our skin and the wind in our hair. Any cares from this world blew away as we experienced the gift of now—being in the moment. Sometimes we had to wear sunglasses to enjoy the view without squinting. On longer trips, sunscreen was necessary but worth it!

At night, we enjoyed the star-studded sky view and the crisp night air. We heard crickets and tree frogs romancing their mates with love songs. The moon climbed up into the air as the sun disappeared. At the best of times, it seemed like the moon would drop down and kiss the tops of our heads with a blessing all our own.

As I reached my hands out of the moonroof to grasp the gift of now, I realized how much God wants us to reach out to him. His Son shines on us. The wind of his Spirit blows through us. I don’t need SONscreen, because there is no risk of being burned when exposed to his light. I can know the true sense of now when I surrender all of my thoughts to him and allow his light to warm my spirit. All of my worries—all of my cares—are simply a faded memory as I focus without squinting on the Son.

Just as I experienced the day fully when we opened our moonroof, I want to experience my Lord fully when I open myself up to him.

STUDY: Full of Light and Glory

“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” (Matthew 6:22-23 NLT)

  • The eye in this passage is similar to the use of the word heart in other verses. It is the center for our motives and our desires. I like the use of eye because it ties in to the word focus.
  • When your eye (desire) focuses on what is pure (light) then the whole being radiates light. But when it focuses on what is impure (darkness) then it compromises the person’s godliness and growth.
  • How do you ensure your eye (your focus) is healthy?

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. (Proverbs 4:18 NLT)

  • I like thinking about how as we grow in our spiritual formation and our relationship with God, the first gleam of light in us grows brighter.
  • What is the source of light in you?
  • What tends to dim your light?
  • What causes your light to grow brighter?

My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life. (Proverbs 6:20-23 NLT)

  • The rules of our parents cause us to grow and embrace “the way to life.” Once again growth and light go together.
  • This proverb shows us that commands and instruction are like a light and a lamp. Parents, how do you feel, knowing the boundaries of life you give your children can add more light into their lives?
  • It’s not hard to extrapolate this isn’t just our biological parents this verse is referring to. God as our heavenly Father also gives us commands and instructions. How do you see his Word as light in your life?

The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. (Proverbs 13:9 NLT)

  • Do you consider your life godly? Does God?
  • How is your life full of light and joy?
  • What do you think the light being snuffed out in the life of the wicked represents?

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. (Ephesians 1:18 NLT)

  • The word light here is speaking of being enlightened with wisdom and discernment. How do you get flooded with this kind of light?
  • What does Paul want the Ephesians to understand? Why is it important for Christians to understand this?
  • What are the benefits of being in God’s family, based on that last sentence?
  • Do you consider yourself holy? What do you base it on?

STEPS: Turn on the Lights

This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. (Isaiah 58:6-8 MSG)

  1. Represent justice.
  2. Bring integrity to work.
  3. Advocate for those in need.
  4. Share food with the hungry.
  5. Minister to the homeless and poor.
  6. Remember to be present in your own family, too.

Do these things, and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around!

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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