To set the stage for these thoughts, please take just a moment to recall the scene which unfolds in Luke 2:1ff. Following the glorious events the shepherds were privileged to experience, they “returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told.” One thing is certain: God’s glory was shining through these events, especially in the lives of the people involved, because God’s purposes were being fulfilled.
Similarly, God’s glory shines through our lives when His purposes are being fulfilled in our lives. This is, in my estimation, how we let our lights shines—we allow God’s glory to shine through us. Since this is true, each of us should regularly consider whether or not we are living into God’s purposes for our lives. In doing so, we can be sure that our days are filled with meaningful endeavors. Indeed, we can know that we are on the way to finding true fulfillment in life. We can be sure that God’s glory is shining through.
As I’ve thought about this, many biblical examples have come to mind. I’ll mention just a few. What struck me as amazing is the variety of circumstances from which these examples arise. This variety is helpful in that it enables us to see that the actions were prompted by numerous different circumstances. Consider the following examples of God’s glory shining through specific individuals:
— Sometimes it grows out of what’s in a person’s heart – The sinful woman with the alabaster jar of expensive perfume who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair and, then, anointed his feet with the perfume, Luke 7:38.
— Sometimes it reflects a person’s nature – Mary, who had chosen the better part, and was sitting at Jesus’ feet, Luke 10:42.
— Sometimes it is obvious that it is something for which a person has been specially prepared – Barnabas sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet, Acts 4:37.
— Sometimes it’s in response to the needs of others – the woman in Joppa named Tabitha, who was always doing good and helping the poor, Acts 9:36.
— Sometimes it’s in response to what individuals are commissioned to do – “Ananias, go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul…” Acts 9:11.
— Sometimes it’s a matter of working behind the scenes, assisting others in fulfilling their God-given roles – Priscilla and Aquilla, invited Apollos to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately, Acts 18:26.
Thinking about these examples helps me to understand that no matter who I am, what my circumstances are, what challenges or opportunities I’m faced with, what special talents and treasures God has entrusted to my care, there are ways in which I can live that will allow God’s glory to shine through my life. The fact that it can be done doesn’t make it automatic, though. It is still my responsibility to choose to live into the Lord’s will for my life. Perhaps the following questions, drawn from the examples above, will help each of us consider whether or not we are doing this:
— Am I serving the Lord from a heart full of love and appreciation for all that He means to me?
— Am I being true to my new-nature in Christ to worship and serve the Lord?
— Am I utilizing the talents and resources over which the Lord has made me steward in His service?
— Am I sensitive to the needs of others and responding to them with the heart of Christ?
— Am I living into God’s call on my life and acting in obedience to His will?
— Am I willing to work behind the scenes in order that God’s will be accomplished through others?
Remember: when we live according to God’s will, His purposes are being fulfilled in our lives and His glory shines through!
© Bill Williams, October 24, 2006