Rising Light!

if you pour yourself out for the hungry

and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

then shall your light rise in the darkness

and your gloom be as the noonday”(Isaiah 58:10 ESV).

How often have we seen people who are hungry–naturally and spiritually? Finding a way to help feed the naturally hungry is fairly simple (sometimes). We point them in the direction of a soup kitchen, buy them a meal, take sandwiches to the areas in which the homeless can be found, and some will even take people home with them to feed them.  At the end of the day, we feel we have accomplished something. We have–the rumblings and gnawings in their stomachs have ceased for a moment. But tomorrow, they will be hungry again.

Some of us have put ourselves in the position to comfort those who have been afflicted–by life in illness, abuse, or loneliness. We were there to offer them a shoulder to lean on or cry on when they needed. But when we left, they were left to their own devices.

Now the real question is–how many of us have poured ourselves out to those who are spiritually hungry–feeding them The Word and showering them with love, leading them to a Risen Savior who can quench any thirst and hunger, comfort, heal and counsel like no one else? When people are fed and nourished in The Word, have opened their hearts to Jesus, and accepted the outpouring of love being offered, they will hunger no more and the prophet Isaiah tells us that the light within us will rise and our gloom (feelings of despair will dissipate) shall be as the noon day (as bright as the noon day sun).

If we stop and think about how we feel when we help someone else, we’d have to admit that helping others, certainly makes us feel better about ourselves. At least that is true for many who do out of right motives–a simple desire to help. When we do things to be seen or for a photo-op or for any other ulterior motive, we have not accomplished much and what we do–is tarnished by our motives.

Before we do anything to help someone else, make sure it is being done to the glory of God and not for self-aggrandizement. God knows our hearts and instead of seeing a light rise within us, we may sink into a pit of darkness because of selfish motives that were intended to help no one but us. Despair not! Even when we mess up, God will pull us out of the pit–using someone else with pure motives–and give us another chance to have our lights rise!

Is your light rising or is it sinking into darkness?

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us see beyond our own needs and reach out to others who are in need. Help us to see the need to feed–naturally and spiritually so no one will ever hunger again. Continue to fill us as we pour out of our spirits, all You have poured into us, to all who will accept what we have to offer. Grant us continued mercy and grace as we do all to Your Glory!

Praise The Name of Jesus!

“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:13) .

Who is the “them” referenced in this statement? The them is everything and everyone mentioned in the previous verses–the stars, the heavens, the elements, the oceans, the earth, everything in the earth, on the earth, and everyone–young and old alike. In other words--all of God’s creation should praise Him.

The birds sing their praises, the squirrels and I’m sure other animals praise Him; I just haven’t had an opportunity to observe them all. The most amazing thing about animals is the fact that they do exactly what they were intended to do. The stars shine in the night, the sun provides warmth and light, the moon does what does, the clouds do their thing, the rain, snow, ice, all do what they were meant to do. Everything and every animal knows their role. What happened to us–the human beings–the higher order of intelligence–why can’t we do what we’re supposed to do?

Perhaps, for some–their intelligence deludes them into believing they are wiser than God. Perhaps, this is the reason they refute all belief in God. Perhaps.  Perhaps, human beings are not the higher order of intelligence; we just think we are.

But then there are some–who attempt to do just what we’re supposed to do–love God and love others. We don’t always do things right or perfectly, but our hearts are sincere and our desire is open before God. It is our openness to God that makes a difference between those who believe Him and those who don’t. We who believe don’t make excuses to not serve Him, we simply do it to the best of our ability. Those who do not believe use their unbelief to ignore Him and when we praise Him, they simply do not understand.

We were created to praise Him–to give Him all glory for it truly belongs to Him and Him alone. When we praise man and self more than God, we have created other gods. When we give credence to things rather than God, we have created other gods. Nothing made by the hands of man deserves our praise. For we cannot create anything we need in order to make anything–He has already created all that is created for our benefit, not our praise.

Lord Jesus, we give You all the praise for You are the only One worthy of it. We will praise You from the mountain tops to the valleys and raise our voices in praise of You until the stars and heavens rejoice with us in our praise to You. We will cause a movement in the oceans so strong with our praise that every deep thing in it will praise with us. No one like You, Lord! No one who could ever do the things that You do for those You love! No one can love us the way You do! No can provide for us the way You do! No one can heal us like You do! You are everything we need and You are more than enough!