​ Shining Brightly

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The Presence of God within us has come to shine and bless us and to draw others to Himself. Are we drawing others to him by our actions and words?
This was a statement in one of my devotions I read one day recently. It hit me like a boulder between the eyes. If I claim God is living in me first of all is he shining through me? I thought about a dark room and how often times we use a flash light to brighten up the room. The flash light shines through the darkness so we or others can see to get around. God should be shining so brightly through us others can see their way in the darkness to get to him. We should be the beacon. A lighthouse is another example. A light house is used to help sailors find the light in the storm or when it is dark outside. Am I allowing God to shine through me or am I blocking the light and not allowing God to shine through me?
Some folks shine as brightly as the sun, but unfortunately they are not drawing others to Christ. They are drawing others to themselves. For them it’s more about shining the light on their accomplishments, or their showy words, or their many deeds. Luke 18 remind us of this story, “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” The Pharisee was shining his light but he wasn’t drawing others to Christ, he was drawing others to see all the accomplishments he was making daily. We can be doing all kinds of wonderful things, but if we fail to give God all the credit, if we become smug about all the things we are doing, or if we do something just to make a name for ourselves we are not drawing others to Christ. It’s never about what we are doing or what we can do; it’s about what God is doing through us. 
As I speak I have people coming up and telling me what a great job I have done. I am quick to reply I am just God’s instrument. He is the one that has picked me up and started playing me. He is the one making the music I am just His tool. 
When we do things to receive praise or a pat on the back or to look good before others, then we are drawing others to ourselves not God. That is never a good thing.
I love the prayer that goes, Lord let there be less of me and more of you in my life. That’s what it is all about. 
Have you thought lately about whether you are a beacon for others? Have you thought about whether God is shining so brightly others can’t see you for Christ? Or are you shining so brightly that you are all people can see?
Do your words reflect God shining through you? Sometimes we use words that make others wonder if we even know Christ. Sometimes we bring others down with our words when we really should be lifting others up. Just like our actions our words can draw others to God or our words can point some in the wrong direction. Our words can sting and hurt or our words can be comforting and soothing drawing others to Christ. Are your words a lamp to God or a sword to harm and hurt?
Let’s reflect this week or this month or this year on whose light is shining through us. Let God’s light be so bright in your life that others are drawn not to you but to God. Amen
Dear God, I so want there to be less of me and more of you in my life. I want others to be drawn to you and not to me. It’s not about me, but it’s about you using me to make a difference in someone’s life. Thank you, for allowing me to be your instrument and thank you for being the one who makes the music in my life. Amen 
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