March 17, 2016
Are You God’s Sparkler?
“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14 NIV).
Friend to Friend
My brother was about four years old when he decided to grab a box of matches and a handful of sparklers to see how they worked. He had heard that sparklers worked best in the dark, so he went into the darkest place he could find at Grandma’s house…her wardrobe closet.
Stewart snuck into the darkness, crouched amongst the dresses and coats, and lit the first match. The sparklers immediately began shooting fiery sparks in all directions. Within moments, he noticed more than sparklers on fire. Grandma’s clothes were up in flames. (I’m happy to say that Stewart wasn’t harmed, unless you count the spanking he got from Grandma.)
Friends, we don’t have to go into a closet to find the darkness. It’s waiting for us the moment we step out the front door, turn on the television, or listen to the six o’clock news. The world is full of darkness at every turn. Satan is not our only enemy. The Bible tells us that our struggle is against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
What exactly is the world? In the Bible there are several definitions. Sometimes world refers to all the people on the earth: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). In some instances world refers to the planet earth itself. At other times world refers to the world’s values and mores. It is this worldliness that Paul refers to when he says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2).
Jesus said that the world hated Him and we shouldn’t be surprised if it hates us as well (John 15:18-19). Both refer to the world’s values or ways of thinking.
The Bible also tells us that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). It seems as though we are splitting hairs here. But when we consider the power of the enemy and the pull of the world systems, they are almost one and the same. Right now, the world systems are being heavily influenced by the evil one.
But here’s the hope. Jesus said, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).As long as we live in the world, we will feel its pull. But God assures us that we have what it takes to “overcome the world” (1 John 5:4-5). We have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us and faith in Jesus who works through us.
As you go through your day, you may feel the pull of the world on your heart.
A temptation to look at something you shouldn’t look at.
A temptation to buy something that you don’t have the money to buy.
A temptation to flirt with someone you should run from.
A temptation to light up a sparkler in the dark to see what it looks like.
You have the power to overcome every single temptation this world throws at you. So go about your day walking in the confidence and power of the conqueror you are.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I am discouraged about all the darkness in this world I live in. It seems like there is evil at every turn. Some of it huge, like Isis. Some of it small, like enticing billboards. Thank You that You have made me more than a conqueror—that You have given me the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the darkness that surrounds me. Help me walk in the sure-footedness of a woman who knows in Whom she believes.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
How are you like a light in this world?
According to what Jesus said, recorded in Matthew 5:14-16, what are you to do with the light that you have been given?
“You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
If you’re willing to be a sparkler today, click over to my Facebook page and say, “I’m going to be a sparkler for God today!”
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Originally published Thursday, 17 March 2016.