The writing below is from an offender who was at Algoa Correctional Center, he read this to the congregation one Friday night at the end of one of our services last August. As I listened to him speak I was inspired to write a song “Shine”, you can read the lyrics at the end of this post. Read this man’s words and be inspired to shine the light of Jesus everyday, everywhere. – Christy
by Offender S.
As Christians are we walking the walk or only talking the talk? I’ve read somewhere that lighthouses blow no horns, they only shine. Are we shining? James 1:22 tells us to be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving ourselves. Also in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Our lights are to shine. We are to share our knowledge and wisdom with our fellow men and women… to share Jesus Christ with all. He commands us in Matthew 28:20 to teach everyone everywhere all things He has commanded us. He also assures us that we won’t be alone on this mission. We have one another and Jesus promises that He will be with us, even to the end of the world. He’s with us in the person of the Holy Spirit, (The Resident Truth Teacher), by whom we are sealed, anointed, and equipped for good works.
You know, I often pray for the salvation of those I love and care for… for everyone honestly. Then I sit back and wait for God to do all the work. Well, that wasn’t the deal… it wasn’t Jesus’ instructions. Church, I believe it’s a dangerous thing when our Christianity looks nothing like Jesus. He did more than just pray for people. He taught, He served, He loved, and ultimately, He sacrificed. I am convinced today that we have to be the answers to our own prayers for others. By serving, loving, sacrificing, etc. We have to share Jesus with others. We have to permit Him to shine in us and through us. We must sow seeds of hope. As children of God it’s our duty, and should be our heart’s desire to see all people experience salvation, redemption, and His forgiveness. FREEDOM! Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Are we willing to sow today what we want to see manifest tomorrow? I feel an urgency to share God’s love with everyone. The least we can do is share and teach what we’ve experienced, what we believe. I’ll not stay here dead… stagnant if you will, while He is risen! We must be obedient to our Lord, let our lights shine in this dark place, this dark world. Not just by ministering to others, but by our behavior, by our character, by our example of who we are in Jesus. There’s no substitute to abiding in Jesus. We must do what He did… be an extension of Him. Be His ambassadors. He is the star of this story and He deserves to have all our lights shine on Him, and so does all His lost sheep.
Guys, I feel like I’ve done way too much talking in my life and not enough walking… not enough shining. I’m convicted and ashamed by my failures. I’m not truly Jesus’ disciple if I only believe yet not share what I believe. Believing in Him has changed my life, but sharing my belief and my faith will change the world – one life at a time. So let’s Shine! Let’s let God stretch us until we are fit for His use. Our greatness isn’t in our comfort zone. If “it” doesn’t challenge us, “it” doesn’t change us. And we cannot lose sight of what’s eternal in our attempts to improve what’s temporary. Again, we aren’t His disciples until we are willing to shine, not just talk. God cannot bless who I pretend to be. There must also be some doing. My identity should be inseparable from my behavior. There cannot be 2 “Me”s. After all, I must be 100% in my service because it’s not about me, it’s about the God who saved me… who saved us all.
First Peter 2:12 says that “whereas we may be spoken evil of, that they may by our good works, which they shall behold, glorify God.” And also Hebrews 10:24 says for us to “consider one another to provoke one another unto love and to good works.” Finally, Jesus tells us in John 13:15 that “He has given us an example, and that we are to do as He has done.”
So please, let’s all take this journey together as a community, a family. To minister, to serve, to sacrifice, and most importantly, to love so greatly, so radically that our lights blind all the evil in this place and this world. Remember Matthew 5:14-16? What if that entire hill became one magnificent city of lights??? This journey is the destination. This process is the goal. I believe that our thoughts define our reality, and I think we can shine so brightly that Heaven can see us way down here. I love you guys!
God Bless You! – S.
Jesus, our light and salvation
Calls us to share with the nations
Who He is
His Spirit lights up the darkness
No shadow can overtake us
Be His Light
Shine, so others can see Him
Shine, so they may believe in
Shine, your life is a light
Shine, so others can know Him
Shine, so they may behold Him
Shine, your life can show them
This world is fading away fast
Blinded by things that just won’t last
Share His Light
Sometimes we do too much talking
Without enough of the walking
Be His Light
Arise, shine, for the light has come
God made a Way through His Only Son
So get on your feet, get in the fight
Go be the light and testify!
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
© 2019 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing
This Little Light of Mine
Harry Dixon Loes
© Words: Public Domain