Steeples and Lighthouses

Encouraging_Cathedral

Matthew 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I have a deep love for architecture especially when it is a church or lighthouse.  I’ve taken many road trips throughout the US and recently came across the above photo that I took when passing through Pennsylvania on our way to Niagara Falls.  This church steeple just reaches right up towards heaven drawing one’s eyes up to our Creator.  I also appreciate lighthouses as they were what welcomed and warned seafaring travelers that land was near.  Land that was stable, sturdy and safe from the rolling sea was ready to greet the tired, hungry and oftentimes sick and weary travelers.  Lighthouses in Christian art usually symbolize both the light of Christ and the light that followers of Christ shine.  

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46. -Jesus

How do we stay out of darkness and shine bright?  

By believing in Christ, following His example and living like Him.  In Philippians 2:12-13 Paul addresses the Philippians’ obedience and urges them to work out or live out their salvation by following Christ’s humble and servant-minded way of life.  What does it mean by work out their salvation?  Verse 13 says, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good purposes.”  God gives us the power, desire and ability to do His will.  He helps us to obey Him and to do His work and this pleases Him.  Yet, we must choose to be faithfully obedient to Him.  Romans 6:16 tells us “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves/servants/workers, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”  And Deuteronomy 28:1 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, IF you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” 

There will be blessings, but trials will still roll in.  Let’s remember the lighthouse as a symbol of both hope and harm.  Hope of a new beginning or of harm with rocky cliffs ahead.  Life is full of hope and harm. We all face new beginnings and rocky cliffs.  Yet, when we follow Christ, He is right there helping us through each part of our lives.  We know living for Christ is not easy.  It requires courageous dependence on God’s grace, faithful obedience, and humble service. 

Prayer:  Dear Father, help us to shine and do the work You created us to do.  Infuse us to rejoice while serving, because our joy is in You NOT our circumstances.  May we be lighthouses as our joy draws others to You.  Thank you for Your precious Son,  Jesus.  Amen.