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 Issue #62 Mon, 5 Dec 2005

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Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #62 Mon, 5 Dec 2005   March 11th 2007, 21:52

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!

Dear Youth,

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) You know, as young people, we have so many wonderful opportunities to LET OUR LIGHTS SHINE!

Sometimes we may think that we don't have any opportunities to let our lights shine. It may be that you homeschool and think that because you are not in a school environment each day, you don't have many opportunities to shine your light, or maybe because you've been raised in an Adventist or Christian home, and don't have a lot of contact with others outside of your church environment, you feel that there isn't really any way that you can let your light shine! But, when God says something, He will always provide many opportunities to carry out His commands. I think that the problem does not lie within a lack of opportunity, but a blindness on our part. Maybe it's just that we don't SEE or make the most of the opportunities we DO have!

We, as young people, don't like to be seen as "different", right? We like to just "fit in" to the crowd. We think that if we dress differently to the world, then what will our friends and peers think of us? They'll think that we're just too old-fashioned, or plain weird! And we don't want others to think that about us! As young people, we like to be liked, we like to be popular, not different!

Sometimes, we can try to kid ourselves and say, "Well, if I dress this way, then my friends will get the wrong kind of impression of Christianity, they'll think that being a Christian means you HAVE to do this and that or you CAN'T to this and the other, and they won't like it, so I think that I can let my light shine more on behalf of Christianity if I dress in the more popular fashions and then my peers can see that Christians are just normal people who live and act like everyone else." Have you ever thought this before? If we are trying to draw people to Christ, by following the fashions and trends of the world, it won't work! It's as simple as that! Why? Well, in the world there is what? Darkness or light? Darkness, right? So, if we are going to be LIGHTS in this world, we are going to be different! We won't "fit in" to worldly customs and ways, we will be different!

Have you ever thought that you may be the only epistle someone may ever read? If, when you are walking down the street in town, people cannot SEE that you are a Christian, by the way you act, speak and dress, then something is very wrong! By your unspoken influence, you may lead someone to Christ, but how will you do that if they can't SEE Christ in you? "By your choice words and a consistent course of action, by you propriety, your earnest piety, make a telling confession of your faith, determined that Christ shall occupy the throne in the soul temple; and lay your talents without reserve at His feet to be employed in His service." (Messages to Young People, p. 28 )

When Jesus said: "LET you light so shine. . . ." (Matthew 5:16) He gave a command. He didn't say, "When it's convenient for you, you can go and let your light shine," or "You can let your light shine, but if you face too much opposition, or if your friends tease you, you can go hide it for a while." No! He said "LET!" And that is the same authoritative word He spoke when He created the world, "LET there be light." (Genesis 1:3) We need to always remember that little word "LET". "Never be ashamed of your colors; put them on, unfurl them to the gaze of men and angels. Do not be controlled by false modesty, by false prudence which suggests to you a course of action contrary to this advice." (Messages to Young People,p. 28 )

So, what are some ways we can let our lights shine? One way is by how we dress. People WILL judge us by the way we dress. The way someone is dressed tells a lot about their character and walk with God (if they are a Christian), you cannot separate the two. What is in the heart WILL come out in the way people dress. We need to represent Christ in the way we dress. People should be able to look at the way we dress and say, "I know he/she is a Christian", they should be able to see Christ reflected in the way we dress.

One day my father was taking my friend and I into town for our violin lessons. Well, we went into town a little earlier so that we could find a present for my mother's birthday. When we got to the car-park, it was so full that we had to park on the very top level! So, my dad said, "You girls take Kara and go in the lift, and I'll go down the stairs and we'll see who gets to the bottom first!" Well, my friend and I took my little sister and we ended up in a lift along with an older man and his wife. After a little while, the man said to us, "How nice to see two young ladies in skirts!" It shocked me at first, because I have never had that happen before, but it also make me think about how many of these kinds of opportunities I may have missed, just because I hadn't dressed to reflect and glorify Christ. Recently we were in town and I saw this person walking down the street, and for a while I thought it was just another teenager, and then I realized that I knew the person, and I was really quite shocked at they way this person was dressed. I would never have known the person was a Christian if I hadn't realized who they were, and this, friends, is sad!

Another way we can let our lights shine is in our disposition and the way we carry ourselves. We should carry the very atmosphere of heaven wherever we go! We, as Christians, should also be happy and cheerful, with a ready smile on our face. "When Christians appear as gloomy and depressed as though they thought themselves friendless, they give a wrong impression of religion." (The Adventist Home, p. 430 )

Last year, during Summer, I worked on a cherry and fruit farm. The first day, I had to make up the boxes that the cherries were to be packed into. Anyway, I went in to the shed a little hesitant and a bit shy and this girl came out, smiled, and said, "Are you Stephanie?" I said yes, and she said, "You're making up the boxes, right?" I nodded and she said, "Well, come over here and I'll show you how to do them." From that moment, I knew that this girl was a Christian. Anyway, as she was showing me how to do the boxes, we got talking to each other and found out that we were both homeschooled, and both liked the same kinds of subjects! Then she said that when she wasn't on the farm, she worked in Koorong, which I knew was a Christian bookstore in town. She asked if I'd ever been there, and I said that, no, I hadn't but I would like to sometime. Then she said, "So, you're a Christian?" I said yes, I was, and she said, "I just KNEW you were a Christian when I first saw you. (It turned out that she was a Christian too!) How did I know she was a Christian, and how did she know I was one? I knew she was a Christian just by how she carried herself, her disposition, and how she acted. How many times have I walked around in a disagreeable mood, and how many times has that been the cause of my light growing dim? Young people, our lives are FULL of opportunities to witness for Christ, it's just how many times we may shun these by our choices.

There are many ways that we can let our lights shine, I have shared just a few with you, but I'm sure you can think of many more ways that you can let YOUR light shine out.

There is just one more important step in letting our lights shine that I would quickly like to look at. If we have all the outward, external reforms without a change of heart, then our witness is just as dangerous as it would be if we had no reforms at all. We would be total hypocrites! If we really desire to be a light for Jesus, we need to let Him have all of us. We need to let Him take our life and guide us in His ways everlasting. If we live in His will each day, doing only those things that please Him, our lives will naturally become a light in the world! We don't need to manufacture the light, God will provide the light if we obey and follow Him!

Young people, God has called US to be His peculiar and special people. He has called YOU to be a witness for Him, to finish the work! He gives us opportunities each and every day to be a light for Him, but it is entirely up to us do choose His way! Give Him your heart today, and let Him shine through you that others might see Jesus in you. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18 )

--Stephanie Fox

PLEASE NOTE: This material is not copyrighted, and we are happy for you to share it with others and ask only that you pass it on complete and unedited.
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Issue #62 Mon, 5 Dec 2005
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