A Little Life ~ A Guest Post

Please welcome Brittany to the Called team today. When we read her submission to post as a guest we all immediately connected with her heart and her vulnerability.  We think you will be moved and encouraged by what she shares.  All the way from NYC…

A Little Life

“Though the Lord is high, He regards the lowly.” Psalm 138:6 (ESV)

I’m a thirty-year-old living in Brooklyn with no career, an awful resume, and a whole lot of self-doubt.

There’s not much that can make you feel less significant or more unsuccessful than having no direction or clear ability, all while living among the brightest and most ambitious in New York City.

It would be OK if I were a struggling artist, living a gypsy life in a studio with fourteen other people, living off of pizza slices and dreams.

But I’m not an artist (though I do love a good crafty project). I’ve never done anything to great success. I’ve never been the best or even the most dedicated.

I often wonder why I have the specific struggles that I have. Why am I the one who has such petty issues like anxiety and fear and laziness? I’m thirty now, why aren’t I fixed yet? Why aren’t I better? This has come with a lot of self-pity, a lot of comparison, and a lot of jealousy. I wonder why I didn’t get a clear talent or ministry. I swear, it seems like everyone else can sing like an angel, or can prophesy, or is starting a non-profit, while I am too busy brooding and choking on self-pity to even pitch in.

It has affected the people I have relationships with. It has kept me from celebrating others’ successes. It’s a downward spiral – self-pity topped with gross feelings that I feel guilty about. Because I feel sorry for myself, I don’t always seek out ways to bear fruit. I forget that I have gifts that He wants to use. As a result, I then feel guilty for not doing anything for the Kingdom. As Tim Keller says, “Self-pity can lead you to cut corners ethically. Don’t add a bad conscience to a heavy heart.”

But maybe this lack of purpose and talent is a gift in itself. Maybe there is even a calling in it: for an imperfect, wandering girl from Backwoods South Carolina to live in Brooklyn and talk to the people on the sidewalks that are perhaps sad or lonely. To cheer them with this baby strapped to me.

Could my life really be this small?
Could my life really be this big?

Maybe if I had a “higher calling”, no one would be talking to these people. I don’t know. But I think instead of wasting time asking God why He did not make me bigger, better, brighter, I should be on my knees thanking Him for the gift of empathy and time to really see the people that are on the sidelines.

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If only I could see His delight – flowers blooming, champagne corks popping – when His wounded soldiers begin to limp along in the calling that He has placed on them, rather than sitting in a dark room comparing our callings to the ones we see on Instagram.

It’s a good and lovely thing that some are called to be famous or beautiful or smart or a leader. But maybe you are like me and called to something less obvious, quieter, and dustier. Take heart; you are part of a body that functions together and needs you very much.

Take heart; He regards – sees, remembers, does not overlook – the lowly. He has a calling for you, wounded and confused and jealous soldier, even though every day you may wonder what on earth it is.

Take heart; you have a part in bringing His kingdom to earth.

Brittany Knott is a typical former English major who bounced from being a barista to a hairstylist and now her favorite role as mother. She lives happily in 700sq in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter. You can check out her blog at http://kneedeepinlovely.com/

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Being a Woman ~ A Guest Post

This spring, the Called for Such a Time team was honored to join Northeast Presbyterian Church’s Women’s Ministry Spring Retreat entitled “Lift Up Your Eyes”. Together we worshiped, studied, prayed, cried (of course), and were deeply encouraged by one another and our Heavenly Father. Goodness, these ladies blessed us with their passion for walking in Christ, and their desire for community! Maggie McKenna was a part of that day, and she shared with us some of her reflections following the retreat. We’d like to share with you some of what Maggie wrote as so much of it highlights the deep convictions God has laid on our hearts as a ministry team. Enjoy and be encouraged! Thank you Maggie!

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I love being a woman. I am a mother to three daughters, have two sisters, three sisters-in-law, and a 90-year-old mother. My life is surrounded with women. I even have a husband that I cajole into watching “Pride and Prejudice” which, he claims, is turning him into a woman!

I know that God has a mission for women…we, the life-givers. To embody Christ daily as we self-sacrifice for our husbands, children, and, frequently, aging parents. God’s grace enables me, as a nurse, to be a part of women’s health issues. I know that just as physical health is progressive, spiritual health also requires constant attention. God wants us to be healthy physically and spiritually to fulfill this mission. Self-care helps us to be refreshed to fulfill our mission better!

I love women’s ministries. Women’s bible studies, retreats, prayer sessions, and Christian community has helped sustain me and grow my faith as we frequently uprooted and moved our family all over the country and world as my husband completed a career as a Navy pilot.
Women’s ministries helps me be a better wife and mother.

I recently participated in a women’s retreat with my 28-year-old daughter. The retreat was led by a ministry group named Called for Such a Time. One take-away from the retreat is that the community of Christian women needs to support each other during hard times, sad times, and happy times. Additionally, we must teach and learn from each other to love our husbands and raise our children in a Christ-centered home. I cherished the opportunity to share the lessons with my daughter. Christ’s example of servant-leader is the example we, as women of the church, all need to follow.

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I encourage all women to find a place in the community of a scripture-based women’s ministry. It will deepen your faith and prepare you to be a better woman of God. We need the women’s community for support to press in and hold us up. To help us. To encourage us. We need each other! Mary, in Luke 1:46 (ESV) prayed, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” We, as women, want to magnify the Lord. We desire future generations to call us blessed. That is a job well-done.

Maggie McKenna is a wife of 35 years, a mother of 3 adult daughters and a grandmother of 3 baby boys! She is also a nurse working in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and a women’s heart program at Providence Hospital in Columbia, SC. 

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Day 35 ~ John 18:33-40

LentcoverAfter having been arrested and tried by the Jewish leaders, Jesus is taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor, Pilate.  Determined to have Jesus put to death, the Jewish high priests and elders knew they had to go about it according to procedure so that they cannot be accused of any wrong before the Roman government. Pilate, the Roman governor charged with keeping order within Judah and Samaria, seems obviously annoyed with this entire charade. I think he is fully aware of what is happening here, but not understanding the reasons behind it. So he questions Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

 

Jesus’ ultimate answer to Pilate serves to prove that while He IS a king, He is not the kind of King that is any threat to the earthly establishments in place. His kingdom is un-earthly, eternal, and His throne is inside the hearts of men. He came to reign IN men, not over them, establishing His kingdom one person at a time. And He would do that by revealing truth to them. The truth of God.

I love Matthew Henry’s commentary of these verses. He explains well this relationship between the kingship of Jesus and His purpose in bearing witness to the truth.

[Jesus] explains himself, and shows how he is a king, as he came to bear witness of the truth; he rules in the minds of men by the power of truth. If he had meant to declare himself a temporal prince, he would have said, “For this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, to rule the nations, to conquer kings, and to take possession of kingdoms.” No, he came to be a witness, a witness for the God that made the world, and against sin that ruins the world, and by this word of his testimony he sets up, and keeps up, his kingdom. It was foretold that he should be a witness to the people, and, as such, a leader and commander to the people (Isa. 55:4). Christ’s kingdom was not of this world, in which truth faileth, but of that world in which truth reigns eternally. Christ’s errand into the world, and his business in the world, were to bear witness to the truth.

To reveal it, to discover to the world that which otherwise could not have been known concerning God and his will and good-will to men, John 1:18; 17:26.

To confirm it, Rom.15:8. By his miracles he bore witness to the truth of religion, the truth of divine revelation, and of God’s perfections and providence, and the truth of his promise and covenant, that all men through him might believe. Now by doing this he is a king, and sets up a kingdom.

The foundation and power, the spirit and genius, of Christ’s kingdom, is truth, divine truth. When he said, “I am the truth,” he said, in effect, “I am a king.”
He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth;
he rules by the commanding power of truth,
and in his majesty rides prosperously, because of truth, Ps. 45:4.
It is with his truth that he shall judge the people, Ps. 96:13. It is the sceptre of his kingdom.

The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth. All that by the grace of God are rescued from under the power of the father of lies, and are disposed to receive the truth and submit to the power and influence of it, will hear Christ’s voice, will become his subjects, and will bear faith and true allegiance to him. All that are in love with truth will hear the voice of Christ, for greater, better, surer, sweeter truths can nowhere be found than are found in Christ, by whom grace and truth came; so that, by hearing Christ’s voice, we know that we are of the truth, 1 Jn. 3:19.

Praise be to God for sending us the revelation of truth in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who laid down His perfect life so that we might live and reign with Him. Of His kingdom there shall be no end!

Live Free. Live Loved.

~Kerri

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Day 31 ~ John 17:20-26

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Here in John 17, we get the most sacred privilege of listening in on a beautiful and powerful conversation between God the Son and God the Father. It is most certainly the “holy of holies” of the gospels, and a passage that has major impact on us as followers of Jesus Christ. Though we are focusing in on the last part of Jesus’ high priestly prayer, I strongly encourage you to read all of John 17 and meditate on His words with careful reverence and awe! This is our Savior, praying to our Father, first for Himself, then for His disciples, and finally for all believers for all time. What a gift to us as it so beautifully displays the heart of Jesus toward those He loves!

In our focus scriptures for today we get to see our Savior’s heart for His body to be one! How I long to truly experience the reality of this! As I picture God in His three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, all completely one, in perfect unity, perfect communion, I stand in awe that we would be invited into that circle. And yet, that’s exactly what Jesus is asking the Father to do.

that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us

He is asking that we might be there, included in that circle of perfect communion as the family of God. One with God and with one another.

In Ephesians 4, we find Paul’s exhortation for unity in the body of Christ, and more specifically, the difference between unity of Spirit and unity of faith. These differentiations can help us as we process what it means to be one.

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit.  ~Ephesians 4:3

The fact that Paul says we must keep ourselves united in the Spirit indicates that we already have unity of the Spirit. We, as believers in Jesus, have the same Spirit of God living in each one of us – the same glory, as Jesus stated in John 17: 22 ~
The glory that you have given me I have given to them

Day 31

We believe in one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and the glorious hope for the future – all the core doctrines that make us Christians. This unity is something that is given to us as we enter the family of God, I believe. And this is what we must make every effort to keep. We are a family!

Jumping down to verse 12 (after Paul describes the 5-fold ministry given by Christ to the church):

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Unity of the Spirit has to do with what we are all given at salvation, as we enter into the body of Christ, as we become part of the family of believers. Unity of the faith has to do with the end result of what we are all learning as we grow in our knowledge of God and our experiences with Him. I believe that the body of Christ suffers because we elevate the importance of unity of faith above unity of the Spirit – oneness in Christ. We should love each other above all else, bind ourselves together in peace, protect one another, and celebrate the fact that we are one body.

If we disagree on issues of faith, it should not bring division, but rather should drive each of us to seek God more deeply and to trust the Holy Spirit working in each other as we all grow to maturity. We can and should serve the Lord together, even if we don’t agree on every facet of doctrine. Because we are family, we love and protect each other despite our differences. This is the body of Christ.

“Christians may belong to different fellowships, but they all belong to the Lord and to each other. Christian harmony is not based on the externals of the flesh but the internals and eternals of the Spirit in the inner person. We must look beyond the elements of our first birth – race, color, abilities, etc., – and build our fellowship on the essentials of our new birth.” ~ Warren W. Wiersbe

that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. ~John 17:23

The purpose of unity is not solely for our own sense of communion, but ultimately, we are one so that the world may know Jesus, and through Him, know the Father.  As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus – the means by which all of this relationship is possible – let us also reflect on how God is inviting us to pursue greater unity as part of His body here on earth!  

Live Free. Live Loved.

~Kerri

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Day 25 ~ John 12:20-28

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To glorify is “to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged.” During the three years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, there were surely moments when His disciples caught glimpses of His glory. But they couldn’t fully comprehend it – couldn’t truly grasp it. While they walked with Him, watched Him, and held Him close there was still mystery. As they saw Him transfigured on the mountain, or Mary anointing His feet with expensive perfume, or the people waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!” they knew He was their King. Yet, they didn’t really see how this King would receive His glory.

On this day, when Jesus finally said the words, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified,” they must have thought, “Finally, this is it! He is going to take His place as King of this land and deliver us from the tyranny of Rome!” The next words out of His mouth must have thrown them for a loop! As Jesus foreshadowed again what He was actually about to do, He gave another example of the upside down nature of the kingdom of God.

Laying down leads to glory

Again He put things in agricultural terms that the people could understand. By simply holding a single grain of wheat in your hand, you will never appreciate the glory held within it. But when that grain is buried in the ground – dead – then the glorious new life begins. From one tiny grain, hundreds of grains are born. It was true of Jesus’ own life. When He laid His life down and was dead and buried, this is where the new life began! When His disciples looked on, thinking that it was all over because He was dead in the ground, they could not see the new life that was shooting out its roots! Because He rose glorified from the dead, defeating the power of sin and death, all who believe in Him are raised to new life with Him! And we are given eternal life that cannot be taken away from us! He laid down His life and His glory was finally revealed.

Day 25

When the glory is revealed, the result is much fruit!

In light of this truth, how can we then struggle so in laying down our own lives? Perhaps what seems to lead to death – of dreams, of life goals, of expectations – is actually the path to life. Would we be willing to stop gripping our lives and instead be willing to lose them in obedience to the call of God? When we are willing to lay down whatever it is that God is calling us to bury in the ground, what seems like death will be transformed, and the result will be much fruit. All for the glory of God!

Live Free. Live Loved.
~Kerri

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Day 21 ~ John 6:31-40

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Jesus had just fed five thousand men plus women and children with five loaves and two fish. The people searched for Him, having seen this and many other signs He performed. But, in fact, they didn’t yet search for Him, but for the works He was doing. They saw Him but didn’t really SEE Him. All this and they still asked for a sign that they might believe. There He uttered the first of His seven “I Am” statements in the Gospel of John:

I AM the bread of life.

I AM. There is the ultimate sign. The same words breathed from the mouth of God to the ears of Moses, I AM. For your salvation, I AM. For your eternal security, I AM. To fill your soul-hunger, I AM. For every need. I AM.

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

Jesus did not clothe Himself in flesh and come to this earth merely to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and raise the dead, but IN these things He came to show us the Father. The Father’s heart IS to meet our immediate needs, as He did when He sent manna from heaven to feed His people, day by day, as they wandered in the desert. As He did when He multiplied the bread and the fish to feed those who had come to hear Jesus. As He did when He healed so many physical infirmities and brought Lazarus out of the grave. But His ultimate will, as Jesus says, is that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life.

And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. Numbers 21:8-9
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15

Day 21

To look on Jesus is not simply to look with the eyes and see Him. It is to look on Him in desperate need. It is to look to Him because you know that without Him you will not live. And once you have looked and received Him as the bread of life, you have the assurance that you belong to Him and you cannot be lost! This is the will of the Father, and the reason that Jesus came. HE IS our final and complete healing. HE IS our permanent satisfaction. HE IS our life for all eternity.

Live Free. Live Loved.

~Kerri

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Day 16 ~ Luke 15:11-32

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“I am no longer worthy to be called your child.” I’ve been in that place. I’ve squandered what He’s given to me. What was I thinking? Why have I done this?

There in that pig sty, sitting at rock bottom, I knew I needed my Father again. I recognized the reality that I had taken His gifts and left Him behind, when all the time He was, Himself, the gift. I longed for a relationship with Him again. I longed to be warm and fed. I longed to live securely under His love.

But I didn’t expect Him to run to me. I expected to grovel. I had my speech all prepared. I did expect to hear things like: “you should have known better,” or “I’m very disappointed in you,” or “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust you again.” But no. What I heard was “bring the best robe, put a ring on her finger, and shoes on her feet! Let’s celebrate! My daughter has been brought back to life! She was lost and now she is found!”

He has forgiven me. Incredibly, He loves me in spite of what I’ve done, and in spite of what anyone else thinks. But the true wonder of it all is this: He calls me His child. Even now, He clothes me in His best and prepares a feast in my honor. I had decided I was no longer good enough. I decided that I would come back to Him and grovel and hope He would take me back if only as a servant. Oh may I never lose the wonder of His great love for me! Even though I AM unworthy, I AM still His. May I never forget the reality of that position, that belonging. What better reason for you and I to shout His praise from that mountaintops! He has not dealt with us according to our sins, but has poured His mercy lavishly upon us. His grace is amazing!

Live Free. Live Loved.

~Kerri

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Day 9 ~ Matthew 7:7-12

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These verses tucked in the middle of chapter 7 of Matthew give us some very simple guidance for our prayer lives. Ask, seek, knock. Throughout scripture God speaks of His desire for us to ask of Him, to seek Him, to pursue Him. To ask is to petition – to entreat, beg, implore. To seek means to desire, endeavor, require, pursue. To knock means literally to rap on a door, with a heavy blow. This has an element of persistent pursuit.

 
Doesn’t our Father already know what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8)? Yes, of course He does. Yet, as a good and sovereign Father who is always pursuing us, He wants us to come to Him – to acknowledge our need. Asking involves drawing near. Looking to Him. Seeking or searching something out builds intimacy. Knocking implies a boldness in coming and a willingness to be seen when the door opens. All of these require a willingness to lay aside our independence, and a belief that He has the answers we need. This is building relationship. This is what our Father is all about.

 
There is nothing in this promise from the mouth of Jesus in verse 8 that says the answers will come immediately. He only promises that we will receive. That we will find. That the door will be opened. So we must be willing to be persistent. To keep asking, to keep seeking, to keep knocking, believing that our Father loves us and WILL answer. To see the waiting as an opportunity for intimacy. This isn’t easy, but it is rewarding.

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Now, what if Jesus gave this exhortation specifically for dealing with relationships? What I mean is this: in looking at the context, Jesus has just taught how we should treat one another when it comes to judging and focusing on others’ flaws and not our own (Matthew 7:1-5). He has taught that we should use discernment when sharing truth (7:6). He will sum up these relational exhortations in “a spiritual nutshell” (verse 12) when He says “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

 
What if it seems too difficult to do? What if the fight against our fleshly reactions to other people seems too great? What if we long for deep, authentic, mutually encouraging relationships with others, but feel as though we keep messing it up. What can we do? We can pray. Ask. Seek. Knock. We can press in and persistently pursue His answers. We can trust that our Father longs to give good gifts to those who ask Him, and learn to trust His heart even more as we wait.

Live Free.  Live Loved.

~Kerri

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Day 5 ~ Matthew 5:43-47

LentcoverThe admonition by Jesus to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me is hard. Let’s face it. It is easier to conceive of when I think of someone being rude to me in passing. Or maybe when someone that I don’t really know that well says something that feels like a “curse”.
If, however, I pause to really think about what or who an “enemy” is, or one who persecutes, this is most likely someone with whom I have an on-going relationship of some sort. And that makes loving and praying a whole other ball game! I can’t truly say someone is an enemy if I don’t really know them. And persecution doesn’t usually happen in passing. How, then, do I approach the idea of loving an enemy and praying for one who persecutes me, especially when it’s really hard and it doesn’t stop immediately.

God’s Got Me

Romans 11:36 gives one of the most straight-forward declarations of God’s omnipotence in scripture: For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.Then, moving through Romans 12, based on that declaration, Paul begins to flesh out what our lives as believers should look like. Coming to the end of chapter 12 he exhorts:

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good
 (Romans 12:17-21).

Whatever situation I am facing with an enemy or persecutor, I can rest in the fact that all things are in the hands of my God. That I am in the hands of my God. I am able to give blessings for curses and to pray for those who hate me because God is my avenger. If I become distracted by my own sense of vengeance or justice, then I am in danger of being overcome by evil. But when I present my body as a living sacrifice to God and “give thought to do what is honorable” I will be overcoming evil with good.

Day 5

I Will Be Rewarded

According to scripture, purposefully loving my enemies and praying for those who persecute me will result in reward.
Eternal rewards:
Matthew 5:11 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven
1 Peter 3:9 “that you may obtain a blessing.
Colossians 3:24 “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.

And rewards here in this life:
Matthew 5:45 “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Loving when it is hard will make us more like our Father.
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. The trial of persecution is a test of our faith, which produces steadfastness!

There is a book that was recommended a few years back for teens to read entitled Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. The purpose of the book was to show “what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.” The topic resonates with me, not just for teens, but for all believers. How often do we indeed limit our potential by succumbing to cultural lies? One cultural lie that we easily buy into is that we have to watch our backs. That we’ve got to retaliate against anyone who harms us, or make sure justice is served. The concept of loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us is most definitely counter-cultural. When we consider the steadfastness, the growth, the maturity, the peace we find in doing the “hard thing” of trusting God and walking according to His ways, I am convinced we will find every time that His way was worth the struggle. Let us love, even when it’s hard. Let us pray, even when our hearts hurt. God’s got us, and He will reward us in ways that we definitely don’t want to miss!

Live Free. Live Loved.

~Kerri

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Day 3 ~ Matthew 5:14-16

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Having lived in the bush of Africa, I know a little something about the impact of light. In a developing country where power may not always be reliable, having a good secondary source of light is vital. In our home we actually installed two sets of solar lights that would be ready with the flip of a switch, but before we had those solar lights we used candles.

There is nothing so dark as when the power suddenly goes and there is no light, anywhere! Someone scrambles, feeling their way to the matches and shouting “Everyone just stay still” until that first candle is lit. When you walk holding that candle while cupping the back of it with your hand to prevent it being blown out, you can barely see anything at all except the flame itself. And no one else can really see its light either, except maybe on your face! If you’re able to remove your cupped hand and hold it out a little or light up an oil lamp to carry, you can see where you’re walking and other people in the room have enough light to at least navigate without bashing shins and toes on the furniture! But when you light up the candles sitting high in the sconces on the wall, or place that candle up on a shelf, it’s amazing how the whole room will light up.

So it is with the light within us. Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life.” When we come to Christ we have that light of life within us. The life of Christ Himself! At first we may hold that light with cupped hands, in awe of its brightness, and letting it wash over us so that we can’t even see past it. Others may look on and see a change in our countenance, or the light reflecting from us. Then we may begin to hold that light out a little, so that it lights our way, step by step. Others may look on and now see the light itself and, ever so dimly, the path that we are walking. And when, finally, we raise that light to its permanent fixture up on the wall or on a high shelf, it gives light to the whole room. By its light others will be able to clearly see the gospel by our lives and our good works.

Day 3

Let us not forget, however, that we have an enemy who seeks to pull us back into the darkness. If the purpose of letting our light shine is so that others will glorify our Father, then the purpose of our enemy will be to create contempt to prevent the glory. He will constantly try to snuff out the light of Christ through lies, doubt, and fear. He will also try to convince us that we aren’t worthy of this light. That we ought to hide in shame because of our sin. That we should keep a basket over the light so that no one will really see us and our junk, and no one will see the light and then call us a hypocrite. But Jesus said, “You are the light of the world!” That’s you and me! With all our junk and our sin. He didn’t say, “Make sure you get it all together and then let your light shine, because I wouldn’t want you to embarrass me.” No, He said, “Let your light so shine…” like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. His light brings forgiveness, freedom, grace, and reconciliation, and guides us ever toward holiness!

Finally let us remember that this is all about God’s glory. When we make our good works about us, we can fall into opposite extremes of pride: We can seek after our own glory through our good works, or we can be so self-conscious about people thinking we are seeking our own glory that we just don’t do them! May the light of Jesus so shine within our hearts, that the overflow of our good works may only result in glory for the Father who made us and drove out the darkness by His love.

Live Free. Live Loved.

~Kerri

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