McDowell Technical Community College

Burnsville Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Shine For Him

By Ed Couser

Yancey County

A little boy loved Jesus very much, and enjoyed hearing his mom and dad read Bible stories to him.  Every day he invited Jesus to come into his heart and live there.  This boy considered Jesus to be his best friend and hero.

Children are naturally interested in how they are growing.  So, one day he asked his father: “Daddy, how tall am I?”  “Last time we measured you, you were three feet tall,” his dad responded.  One day as his son was standing beside his dad, he asked his dad how tall he was.  Dad said, “six feet, two inches.”  Then his son asked him, “How tall is Jesus?”  Surprised, his father said that he was not exactly sure, but maybe Jesus was tall, like a tall basketball player.  After a pause, this little boy seemed relieved about inviting Jesus to live in his heart.  He said, “Daddy, if Jesus is so tall and I am so small, He must be sticking out of me.”

This young boy’s response to his dad about Jesus, reminds me of John 3:30.  “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  One of the greatest prophets realized this too, John the Baptist.  To me there is an important spiritual principle:  when more of self disappears, the more of Christ appears.  When we lift up Jesus in our lives, he will use our life and mine to draw others to Himself.  I remember reading a book years ago, where the author said, “People would rather see a sermon, than hear a sermon any day.”

So, what does it mean to be called a Christian today?  Here is an excellent definition:  “For to be a Christian is to be Christ like.  Jesus is a perfect pattern and we need to imitate His example.  A Christian is a representative of Christ” (Evangelism, pg. 641).    Paul write these words in 2 Corinthians 3:18:  “By beholding Him we become transformed.”  God’s ideal for each one of us is for His light to shine brighter through us as we continue to walk with Him through His Spirit.

When my family and I lived in Canada, I had the privilege to have Bible studies with a young man, who was a boxer, training to be in the Olympics.  What impressed me the most about him, was his long and arduous training regimen.  With all his efforts, it did not guarantee he would be chosen to be a member of the Canadian boxing team. Nor, if chosen, win any medal.  All this strain and struggle resulting in just a few winners, is for a perishable prize and fleeting fame.  It is interesting that my friend abandoned any practice that would not enhance his chances to win.  No sacrifice was too great for him to reach his goal.

It is amazing that in our spiritual Olympics, where the prize never perishes or fades, we can neglect such a great and eternal salvation.  It is because of Christ, who was victorious, that we too can run the race before us, we can be victorious, we can all go for the imperishable gold.  Paul describes this spiritual Olympics we are all engaged in, in Hebrews 12: 1,2.:  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  In this text, we find the secret of victory in Christ.  All the ingredients for winning the prize of Christ-likeness are here.  Christ-likeness is the goal in the spiritual race in our journey toward His kingdom.

A little girl was walking with her mother into church.  The stained-glass windows depicted Christ’s disciples and the sun’s rays were shining beautifully through the windows.  She said, “Mommy, now I know what good disciples of Jesus are like, the light of Jesus shines through them.”

 

God bless you, as you shine for Him,  Pastor Ed