Arise, Shine

I don’t know what kind of year 2015 was for you. It might have been one of your best years ever. Or, you could be glad it’s on its way out.  Certainly this was a challenging year for the world in general. We saw continued threats from terrorism, danger from deadly disease and risk from various weather patterns. A prayerful posture is needed as we head into 2016.
While thing around us may look dim, we don’t need to be disheartened. Take a look at the message of Isaiah 60:1-3,
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

In the midst of great darkness Isaiah commands God’s people to ‘arise’ and to ‘shine’. Isaiah’s message is that, in spite of the darkness all around, it is a new day for God’s people.
It’s time to arise because the light of God has come to us. Jesus declared himself to be the light of the world. We have received that light and are no longer in the darkness. We have a hope and face a bright future because we belong to Jesus. The fact that we are ‘children of God’ is enough to deal with whatever comes our way.
We are called to “shine” so that others will be drawn to Jesus (nations will come to your light). God does some of his best work when things look very dark. The people in darkness are looking for a light and they should be able to see that in our lives. As we shine for Jesus others will be attracted and will come to know him as well.
So ‘arise and shine’ for 2016 may be your best year ever. I didn’t say your most profitable year, or your healthiest year or even the easiest year. It may, in fact, be a very difficult year. But remember – the light of God has come to you and as you shine forth, others will come to know him as well. That’s enough to make it a great year in the eyes of God.

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