Let there be Light

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

My previous post mentions that “Let it Shine” is my theme for 2018. God dropped this little nugget as I restarted my Bible reading in Gen1 and I had to share it! This is just the tip of the iceberg for me and I plan to study it out. If you have insights please also share!

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When we first read this scripture Gen 1:3 we are tempted to think of the light as the sun and moon. Especially when it says God called the light Day and the darkness Night. But in Gen 1:14-19 we see that the sun, moon and stars are not created until the 4th day!

““Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” Genesis‬ ‭1:14-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

So then what was that Light that God created from the darkness, that preceded the Sun, moon and stars? James 4:6 tells us that God made this light to shine in our hearts so we could the glory of God that is seen in Jesus!

As glorious as the sun, moon and stars are – especially as they reveal themselves to us every morning and evening- they are not as splendid as God’s first created light that reveals the glory of God that is seen IN Jesus.

Let that sink in….

The very first thing that God created, Light, He makes to shine in our hearts for the purpose of knowing the Glory of God.

This original first light precedes and goes beyond the physical, natural lights that we see via God’s creation of the sun, moon and stars. It precedes the foundation of the world! As one commentary noted “Light was created first and attached to the sun and luminaries on Day4 Thus the sun is merely an obedient light-bearer and its magnificence is only understood in relation to its Creator.”

Jesus is the source of that light, THE creative force, that allows us to supernaturally know the Glory of God. Wow! Wow! Wow!

Remember when Moses asked God to see His glory? God tells Moses that he cannot “see” His face, His glory and live.

“And he said, “Please, show me Your glory. .., But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”” Exodus‬ ‭33:18, 20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God instructs Moses to stand by a rock and when He (His glory) passes by God hides him in the cleft of the rock, covers him with His hand and then takes His hand away and allows Moses to see His back but not His face. Moses was completely transformed physically and spiritually by this encounter with just the backside of God’s glory!

Jesus is the light of the world. When we receive Him, God makes this transformative light shine in our hearts and as we allow it to shine through us, it transforms others. This is that creative power that sparked creation itself.

My 2018 prayer today is to connect with Jesus more intimately so that I don’t hinder the flow of His light to shine through me. Lord, Help me to align my thoughts, actions, plans etc with Yours so that I am that conduit and vessel of that light. Thank you for clarity of purpose and creative ability and resulting actions to execute your will in its various manifestations that give praise and glory to Your name! In Jesus name!

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Let it Shine: This Little Light of Mine

This old Negro spiritual came to me about a week ago and has stayed with me. As I hummed it in my head, I heard “Let YOUR light shine- stop hiding it! ”

I am reminded of two separate occurrences in college from two different strangers 2-4 yrs apart, saying they SAW the light of God’s glory in me. The very first time occurred within the first few weeks of my coming to Washington DC as a freshman at the McDonald’s on Georgia Avenue. My sister and I were sitting down eating and this lady came over with a wide smile and said “You are going to serve the Lord and it will be beautiful to see. It may not happen right away but you will really love the Lord and it will be so beautiful.” I was so scared I called my mother and told her God was coming after me, since I was not even thinking about God and church at that time. That second semester my cousin would come to visit Howard for spring break and tell us about how Jesus was the answer to all of our problems. My sister and I later gave our lives to the Lord that summer!

The second time years later, I was walking home from class and just said hello as I passed a lady by and she said “Wait a minute, I see the glory of God all on you, all up in here” motioning around my head. I thought it was hilarious at first (because it WAS wacky) but because I had then given my life to Christ, I realized that not everything is by accident.

At my ordination 5 years ago, something similar happened as a minister with prophetic gifting prayed for me.

I realize that I am personally very uncomfortable shining – I’m more comfortable in the background. But the impression was very clear this time. Stop hiding your light- Let it shine!!

After looking up several scriptures about light shining, I realized that this is not optional for us as Christians and especially for me as a minister and elder. This is not about my comfort level! This is God’s command:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

http://bible.com/114/mat.5.16.nkjv

Why?

“For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/2co.4.6.nlt

It is time to really let the light of God’s glory shine through me (us) in every way. In these seeming dark times, all of creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons(daughters) of God”, This world needs to see God’s light shining through us in all that we do – our God given gifts/talents, our God given “Let there be” creativity, our God given purpose & calling. We have the solutions because He has given us Everything to life and godliness.

So Shine On!

This Little Light of MineThis little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine
Hallelujah
This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Ev’ry where I go
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, ev’ry where I go
I’m going to let it shine
Hallelujah
Ev’ry where I go
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

All in my house
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, all in my house
I’m going to let it shine
Hallelujah
All in my house
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

I’m not going to make it shine
I’m just going to let it shine
I’m not going to make it shine
I’m just going to let it shine
Hallelujah
I’m not going to make it shine
I’m just going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Out in the dark
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, out in the dark
I’m going to let it shine
Hallelujah
Out in the dark
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Things That Matter

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This new blog series was birthed about a year ago when I was driving home and I found myself, once again, with my thoughts swirling about personal issues, political drama, the recent national tragedy, a good book or article etc.  And through the jumble of tumbling ideas, events, appointments, etc, I heard somewhere in my heart, what are the things that matter.  I mean, in the scheme of things, what really matters?   Over the next few months, when confronted with a headline, a tragedy, an occurrence at work/home/church/event, the thought kept reccurring.  I would say, almost out loud – people matter, character matters, integrity matters, relationship with God matters, justice matters, shelter matters, education matters,and the ability to work matters, and so on.  Today, with so many ideas and messages presenting themselves as an urgent priority to command our attention, play on our fears, it helps to cut through the noise by focusing on the THINGS THAT MATTER.   

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Absolute Power of a Song: True Story

ImageLast night, I received the text  (featured in the above photo) from my son,just minutes before going into our church’s First Wednesday service AND I was responsible for leading worship. I would normally ignore this text, since my son plays pranks, but I distinctly remember him being pressed to “go running” after we got home around 5:15 and him ending on the neighborhood playground playing basketball. I  frantically called him and couldn’t get an answer.  I called my husband who was doing something and refused to discuss this pressing concern.

I was deeply troubled but decided to go inside to the service.  Thankfully, they were praying when I came in, and then there was a technical difficulty with the cord to the piano, so I would not have to “be on”.  While we waited, someone shared a testimony and our pastor followed with a brief word of encouragement, so that in just those 3-4 minutes I heard the song come in my heart, ” Bless the Lord, O my soul”(Tye Tribett).  Well we sang that song, followed by a worship song and I tell you that I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT MY SON’S TEXT!!!  The Pastor then exhorted us about the power of a song-   the song of Moses(deliverance)  and the Song of the Lamb (victory)!    I was very encouraged and only remembered that stupid text when saw my son when I got home.   Of course, it was a random trend on Instagram to send a text to alarm your parents and then post the results. I couldn’t even get mad for almost causing me the stress.

This morning I realized that I had in fact “lived” last nights exhortation – that as the Pastor was preaching about the power of a song, it was unfolding in my life when I made the decision to follow God instead of giving in to confusion…

I was reminded that  we get distracted all the time by things that “seem” devastating — diverting our attention, depleting our energy,AND producing unfounded doubts about our circumstances, families, careers etc.  In those moments, lift up a song, a praise before reacting!  The power of praise lies in the fact that all of our attention is directed to an almighty GOD who deeply loves us and empowers us to do the greater works.  It absolutely works, every single time… and even if the circumstance is, in fact, a challenging one, you arise from that praise knowing that you have an Almighty God who is working things out for your good.   And THAT is GREAT NEWS!!