Monday, October 7, 2013

Shine For Jesus

As many of you know, Keith and I just returned from vacation.  We had a wonderful time.  Spending nearly 8 days with my best friend was, for lack of a better word, awesome!

Yet...THE sweetest moment was when our children jumped into our arms at the airport upon our return.  Though we thoroughly enjoyed our time away, we missed them very much.  So having them snuggled in our arms again was indeed the perfect end to an incredible trip.

Our children are the loves of our life.  We literally adore them.

Just as I know you love and adore your own children.

So I know you will understand how thankful we are to the many friends and family who helped to watch and take care of our kids while we were away.  These people were caring for our most treasured possessions.

I've racked my brain trying to think of a way to thank them, other than by simply saying, "Thank You."  I feel that simple statement just won't suffice.  Their sacrifice and service to me, and to my family, deserves deeper thanks and praise. 

How can I thank them for special time to build on and strengthen my marriage?

How can I thank them for caring for my fun, yet rambunctious and sometimes challenging children?

How can I thank them for sacrificing their time, their needs, and their to-do's on my behalf?

How can I thank them for the greater realization of how loved and blessed I am to have them in my life?

So I spent much of yesterday thinking and asking God to give me the perfect way to say thanks.   I believe God led me to a Scripture and gave me the perfect answer.

"You are the light of the world. 
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." 
Matthew 5:14-16

As followers of Jesus, we are His light to the world.  People see Him in us...well that is if we let our light shine.  And in our culture today there really is no greater way to shine for Jesus than through good deeds.

Deeds full of compassion, humility, sacrifice, and service.

Deeds that communicate sincere and real love.

Deeds that when seen cause others to bring praise and glory to God.

Because of the many friends and family who helped care for my kids, I am indeed giving praise and glory to God.  Knowing these individuals well, I am convinced that their love for Jesus compelled them toward this good deed.  Thus, He shone through them to me.

And so through this blog post today I give Him praise and glory. 

God, You have demonstrated great love to me through many dearly beloved friends and family.  I thank You for them.  I have seen Your care for me through their good, good deeds.  Help me to also willingly and lovingly put my light on "its stand" so that others may see my good deeds and praise You, just as I have done because of theirs. 

And Father, may my children see the light of Jesus in the good deeds of others.  May they utter praise and thanks to You as a result.  And may they in turn, let Your light shine through them in the form of good deeds.  I pray they would be generous in action, with deeds driven by sacrifice & service and rooted in Your sincere love.

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