As a child, my father sometimes woke us loudly bellowing, “Rise and SHINE!” Although effective, the abruptness soured any chance for morning enthusiasm. When I tried this on my own children, the result was the same.
A slow, gentle ease into the day is the preference for many. I enjoy my post-dawn solitude while sipping good coffee and reading God’s Word. God’s new mercies are clearest when I’m not assaulted with loud words or latest news developments.
Scripture is fuel for guiding my day. It is vital to off-set the venom that various media sources broadcast. Imbibing scripture is the best medicine one can take to off-set the world’s ills.
Our house is set on a very busy street. The front faces loads of traffic rushing to a nearby freeway onramp. Since moving here in 2000, we’ve taken advantage of the ready audience to share our Christian faith. Each December, we put up lighted yard signs. Passersby have little choice but to read them. Many have noticed but no one has complained.
The first post was:
There is NO substitute for the power and impact of sharing God’s word. In a dark and desperate world, this verse seemed perfect to share. With ongoing wars, escalating crime and pervasive moral decay, evil lurks everywhere. The very fiber of family structure has deteriorated. There are no signs of improvement up ahead. Mankind’s sin at Satan’s reign have blackened human hearts and minds since time began.
How crucial to know that, “in the beginning, God said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT.“ (Genesis 1:3) From time eternal, God knew humanity would need the rescue of his light. How often I pray for more “light” when the gloom and grind of negativity threatens my demeanor. God’s plan provides not only physical light, but soul-preserving Light in the person of His Son.
Despite the darkness of a sin-saturation, there is hope. The Light of Jesus covers us with unconditional love. Every abrasive rub of life’s brutal trials are used for our good: to polish us to enable better reflection of that gospel light.
The darkness has indeed been overcome. Believers reflecting the light of our Savior brings comfort and joy to a dark and dying world.
A year after our first display, we added a second. It connects the gospel to Old Testament prophecy:
Our family clung to these verses as we navigated some troubled teenage waters that season. When you commit to broadcasting your faith, Satan tries harder to wreck your spirit. Such is not unexpected. But God’s grace knows no seasonal limitations, his ultimate purpose always, always prevails. Resolving any ruckus provides spiritual growth for families and ours was no exception.
Soon after, we added a third and final verse:
The display trifecta was short but sweet with Isaiah’s prophetic words, fully reflecting God’s plan in sending Jesus. And I was reminded how my father used to wake us. Our heavenly Father sparked life and light into our hearts through Jesus.
We are awakened to reflect his light with unconditional love toward others. As we grow in faith, the excitement is uncontainable!
We shine because he first shined on us.
Shine on, friend, shine on!