An Angel?

"You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Jon did a great job preaching on this scripture yesterday. Hear the message here.

He discussed The Fact, The Command, and The Result. The Fact: You are the light of the world. The Command: Let your light shine. The Result: So they will see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. This all led into a great discussion in our small group last night.

We were discussing the importance of seizing every opportunity God bring our way to be a light for Him. It is easy living in the "Christian bubble" that many of us find ourselves in, to think that I have no opportunities to show Christ to those who do not know Him. The reality is, they are all over the place. As we discussed this, a story that took place in my life came to mind.

I was roughly 16 years of age and visiting my grandparents in Salina, Kansas. Both sets of my grandparents lived just a few blocks from one other so we would spend quite a bit of time walking between the two homes. It was a summer afternoon as I was walking by myself from one home to another. As I began to cross an intersection an older gentleman approached me on my right. As I stepped off the curb I did the courteous thing and said, "Hi." He returned the gesture but included the question, "How are you?" I quickly replied, "Fine" and continued on across the street. What happened next, I often describe as the event that ruined my day and changed my life.

As I continued to progress across the street the gentleman asked, "How do you know you are fine?" In that moment two thoughts came to my mind. The first was, what is with this guy? What kind of question is that to ask of a stranger? The next thought was clearly directed by the Holy Spirit. The thought that came to mind was, I should tell this man exactly why I am "fine." I should tell him that I belong to Jesus and because of that my life is not only fine, but more than fine. Unfortunately that was not my response. Desiring to get on my way, I simply replied, "Because I know I am fine" and continued on across the street. As I turned my back to continue, I heard him call out to me again, so I turned myself around to see him looking me square in the eyes and pointing his finger at me. What came next floored me.

As he stood there staring me down with a face that meant business, he said to me, "Don't you know that it was Peter who said we are to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15) I have never felt conviction quite like I did in that moment. I knew it was true. I, in my shame, agreed with the man and walked on, never to see him again.

I have often wondered if that was an angel sent directly to me to deliver a message that I clearly needed to learn. I wish I could say that I have always been obedient to that truth, since that time, but I can say, that I have never forgotten it. God has used it many times over the years to remind me that I am His, and I am to be a light for Him in this world of darkness; that I am to seize every opportunity to share hope with those that need it.

May our light always shine in such a way that people are compelled to give praise to the author of hope and light.


Jon Knapp said...

Great post Bri, you know my blog is in sad shape when you link my name to my bio on the website rather than my blog. =)

We had a great discussion/action points in our groups as well.

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