Jill Jarrell Newsome
Let The Light Shine
As I was writing a blog for my church about how its light shines so brightly I realized this Sunday is the first Sunday in November. Daylight Saving Time ends and we "fall back" and return to Standard time. Set your clocks back one hour before bed Saturday night. I, like many people, dread the darkness. I like light! During dark times it is so important for us to shine the light and for us to be in the Light!
People ask why you need to go to church. I think this blog answers that question. Last Saturday morning we had a ladies morning out with Prayer and Painting and Sunday afternoons Trunk or Treat. I am sure God was smiling with all of the activities! I am sure there was a lot learned, much laughter, some much needed tears shed, old friends reunited and new friendships formed and lots of fellowship!
As I marvel at the work the Spirit is doing through our church I see why our church is growing. People are starved for the Word and they want encouragement and hope. In Acts the church is described as a body of believers that I would want to worship with. After Peter delivered his sermon at Pentecost, the new believers connected and shared incredible fellowship as the church. Acts 2: 42-47, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” The believers share in fellowship which united them together and grows the church.
Many ladies invited friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, daughters-in-law, etc to the prayer and painting. We learned about the Spiritual discipline of prayer, different types of prayers and we painted prayer bowls. Why should we learn more about prayer? Even Jesus required down time. He experienced exhaustion in His ministry. Matthew 14: 23, “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone…” Jesus also got up early to pray. Luke 4: 42, “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.” We see a pattern in Jesus’ life where He often withdrew to be alone and pray. Luke 5: 16, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” If Jesus felt the need to get some down time and pray then I believe we need it too! This helps keep us in the Light! And many new friendships were made.
I am sure Jesus was smiling at all of the little children on our campus for the Trunk or Treat. Many children are at home here and hopefully there were many children who want to learn about God’s love. What better way to teach our kids to love God than to have them at church? Everyone, not just the children, is looking for acceptance and a place to belong. We all want to be known and loved. I believe Christians should be the most joyful people on earth. We have every reason because we’ve had the peace of God through Jesus Christ. Romans 5: 1, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Romans 8: 1, “ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” We should be overflowing with the joy of God! In John 10: 10, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” We have abundant life!
I believe our church is committed to serving the Lord and demonstrates His love and grace to all who walk through the doors. This is why we keep hearing people say they are drawn here by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Some say, “you just have to come and experience it.” When God’s people commit to love each other, their love will be a light that shines brightly! This light is what the Spirit can use to draw others to Christ! If you do not have a church, there is a church home out there for you. Ask God to help you find the right one. As we find ourselves in dark times, we need the Light of Christ and the fellowship with other believers!