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[Shine] Being Light

(You can hear the recording of the talk here)

Shine

Being Light

As we prepare for the Joyfest week, we’re spending three weeks looking at Jesus’ command that inspired the event, from Matthew 5:14-16.

“You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Today, Dave talked about what Jesus means when he says we are to be light?  What does being light mean?

  • How have you understood this idea? Dave suggested sometimes we think of John 3:19-20 and think it means confrontation and judgement. This is an idea we often have about evangelism, that it means confronting people with what they have got wrong and so, unsurprisingly it’s an intimidating idea!

Light also allows us to see beauty and Dave talked about being light to show God-colours to the world. This means to display to a broken world qualities that we find in God’s kingdom – things like the fruit of the Spirit – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)”

Joyfest is about how we can do something for someone to show them this – to expose them to a God-colour in their everyday life.

We then looked at Jesus’ advice to his followers when he sent them out to prepare the way for him.  We read in Luke 10:1-2 & 5-6:

The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.

“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.”

To understand this for our context would be:

  1. Pray
  2. Go out to where people are (our work, neighbourhood, our commute, our friends)
  3. Do an act of joy – the blessing of Luke 10:5 and the good deed of Matthew 5:16
  4. Say it’s part of Joyfest – so, as in Matthew 5:16 they will give the credit to God, not us
  5. See what happens. If they’re open to God (the blessing will stand) perhaps they’ll ask a question or be curious.  If they’re not (the blessing returns) then don’t worry, move on and try someone else tomorrow

Our role is to go and do the act of joy – and then be attentive to what happens next.  If  opportunities arise we can take them. f not, don’t be discouraged, move on and try again. We’re commissioned to work with God – this means we are on a co-mission with him – so we only want to work where he is working, there’s no point worrying about someone’s apathetic response, it’s just not their time.

Ultimately, God’s the one who does the heavy lifting, so we don’t need to try to force or manipulate anything. Go with what he’s doing and enJOY yourself!

  • Joyfest won’t just happen – have you thought about what you might do?
  • Who is around you as you go through the week? Who can you do an act of joy for? You will have lots of different sphere’s of influence and sometimes we don’t even recognise them – for example, workplace colleagues and your neighbours might seem obvious, but what about the streets you travel to walk the dog or go to work?  Or the shops you regularly go into? The school gate?
  • Who do you see in these places?  What could you do in each of these areas? What would you enjoy doing?
  • Share your ideas with the group? Perhaps there’s something that will inspire others or something you can copy
  • Being spontaneous can be great – but it can also lead to not doing anything, sometimes being intentional and determined can be really useful.  Make rough plans and aims, and then improvise within that
  • How can you remember to pray to prepare for these acts?

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Posted on 21st May 2018
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