ARISE, SHINE; FOR YOUR LIGHT HAS COME! (PART II)
Date published: August 17, 2012
By Ms. Joyce R. Aryee
“Arise, shine,for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1) NIV
We bring to you the second part of the article on the above subject which we started last week. Please read on!
The same Pocket Oxford Dictionary includes the following definitions for the word “shine” 1 emit or reflect light; be bright; glow. 2 (of the sun, a star, etc.) be visible. 3 be brilliant; excel. —n. 1 light; brightness.
I like the possibilities that each of these words portends. I also like the fact that they all indicate or imply the presence of darkness and the need of light, even if or when the need is not yet felt.
The sun shines, warms and brightens with its rays. The stars shine and the moon shines too. All give light that dispel darkness, transmit hope and help prevent getting lost in the dark or overpowered by its gloom.
The sun shines the longest and is the greatest light. The star shines or twinkles and is not as bright as the sun. For this reason, it is often called the smallest light. So, what can we learn from this ‘smallest light’ about the call on us to shine?
Stars are huge balls of burning gas that emit light from far away distances. That light travels all the way to Earth and we call those lights Stars. Because of the distance between us and the stars, we see them as tiny dots in the sky and think they are also not as important, yet some of them could actually be supporting life for planets just like Earth.
No matter how small or little you think you are, the clarion call of Isaiah 60:1 is the same for all of us. Age is not a factor and size does not count. All those who are called by the Lord’s name are told to “arise and shine” and nothing should stop any from responding to the call.
A flashlight has the potential to illuminate and dispel darkness but until switched on, it is useless. The call to “shine” is like addressing a flashlight that has the potential to shine to get connected to the power source and start doing what it is capable of – reflecting light or shining. Similarly, a switch is useless if not turned on to give light.
In the same way, a Christian is useless until he starts shining. Such a one has not achieved his full potential or value while still subdued and blended with the darkness. Jesus said that we are the light of the world – visible, set on a hill, useful for the world to see, so that wherever we are men might not stumble or fall. He said to make sure that we are connected and attached to Him as our Source of power. Once this is done, then we will “arise and shine” because we will already be connected to the power source. All we need to do is just to activate what the Holy Spirit has implanted in us waiting to be used to save the world from deep darkness, hence the call to shine.
Darkness in the World
The prophet Isaiah sees darkness in the world. In fact, much darkness, a very thick darkness or as he put it, “deep darkness.” It is a darkness without the glory of the presence of God. Almost like the kind of darkness that took place when our Lord was crucified on Calvary’s cross.
What does it mean to be in darkness? It simply means to live in ignorance of the knowledge of God and His glory. Jesus is the light of the world, without that knowledge people live in the darkness of error and superstition. Do I need to say more about how such lack of knowledge is destroying our world? People go to any extent to get peace of mind, guilt-free conscience, obtain certainty about their future—consulting fetish shrines, occult, etc. The words of the Prophet Hosea that God’s people “are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) is so true. People are being destroyed because they lack the knowledge that comes from the light of God’s glory.
Living in the dark also means living a life of sin—practicing the shameful deeds of darkness: immorality, impurity, greed, theft, obscenity, foolish talk, coarse joking, falsehood, slander, bitterness, rage, brawling, and malice (Eph. 4:18-5:12).
Ephesians 4:18-32 “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the that truth is in Jesus: 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 ”In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 5:1-12 ”Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spiritis in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”
So, the context of darkness—a lack of knowledge of God and living in sin—is the reason why we’re to arise and shine.
TO BE CONTINUED!
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