Sharing IS Caring

Daily Spirit & Word: 690: Sharing IS Caring.

Let Your Radiant Face Shine.

At pre-school they try to get the two, three and four year old kids to share things: bikes, toys, prams, dolls, etc… It doesn’t come naturally to most infants, they want things for themselves. However, if we can get the message through at a very young age, then perhaps we’ll influence a whole generation into Kind-Heartedness right?

Well, I’ve observed it in our own grandchildren and their friends. They do understand the principle, “Sharing Is Caring”. They’ll say up until they are about four or five, “Sharing’s Caring”, but as soon as they begin to experience ownership of something valuable for themselves, things that THEY actually care about, love, like etc… Then you try getting them to SHARE… They don’t like it, but even when they do share, they’ll watch their precious treasure like a hawk. Like a Lioness her cubs. No my friends, SHARING doesn’t come naturally to human beings, we’re selfish by nature. We want to keep our precious stuff for ourselves and our family to enjoy, am I right?

It takes MATURITY and AGE to see that we really should care about the plight of others. Yes there are some who care from a very young age, we’re all different. However, the vast majority only care about NO 1… In our late teens or early 20s something happens within us, we begin to FEEL for others. When we’ve been through some tough stuff, we can sympathise and empathise with others.

This PARABLE of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel today follows on from Jesus’ teaching in the Parable of the Sower. You do need to keep BOTH Parables / Jesus’ Teaching in mind. What did Jesus want us to discover in the Parable of the Sower?

That the CROP we produce reveals if we are Good Soil Hearers. He wants us to be FRUITFUL (Vine and Branches John 15.)

Here in this Parable, we can also see if we are good soil hearers… crop producers / fruitful.

Mark 4:21-25 (NIV)
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?
22  For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.
23  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
24  “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.
25  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

VERSE 21: Hiding Your Light. 

Imagine for a moment, you are living in a place that has NO LIGHT. Like Alaska for a few months of the year, it’s in TOTAL DARKNESS. One Day: You are given a light, no one else has a light, but instead of letting everybody else see the light, you decide to hide it. What is the condition of the other people? Answer: They are still in complete darkness.

YOU ARE THE LIGHT: 

That’s what Jesus told EVERYONE who puts their faith and trust in Him. You are the Light of the world.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  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.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

How Do We Hide The Light?

Have you ever been in company and had the thought come to your mind, “I can tell them about Jesus now”, but thought to yourself, “No, I can’t, it’s not the right time, they won’t like it, it will spoil the evening”… It might just have been the LORD prompting you to share.

VERSE 22: Hidden / Concealed: Disclosed / Brought out into the open.

You can’t HIDE the Light: God will make sure of that (If your are a TRULY BORN AGAIN Christian).

I had an experience of that when I joined a brand new Submarine as a Petty Officer. I was given charge of a small electrical maintenance section. I didn’t want to start Evangelising immediately or let others know of my Christian faith. I thought, I’ll let them see I’m good at my job, a great Artificer, then once I’ve got their respect, I’ll let them know I follow Jesus.

After just two days a young man said, “There’s something weird about you” I said, “What do you mean?” “He said I don’t know, but there is” Then the next day he said, “I know what it is”. “What do you know?” I asked. “You don’t swear” He said, “Why don’t you swear, it’s weird” Well I had to tell him the reason, “It’s because I’m a Christian Sean, I can’t swear or steal or tell lies because I’m following Jesus as my Lord”…… My friends, you cannot HIDE your light for long as a Christian, there are certain ways, if you are living in the world, that they will sus-you-out. If you are really following Jesus, the LIGHT will shine out from you and give light to the world. Like me, you can TRY to hide it, but It will NOT remain hidden for long. (that’s because it’s meant to be DISCLOSED, IT’S MEANT TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE OPEN).

I fully intended to let everyone know that I was a follower of Jesus, but in my own good time. However, God had different plans. He wanted people to know from the first moment that I set foot on that Submarine that I was His man, that I was a Christian and that Christians are different. It was only after about 18 Months that I discovered why. That young man, Sean Frow from Hull in Yorkshire, later gave his life to Jesus Christ whilst at sea, submerged 200 meters under the waves. He’d been watching my life, listening to my words, hearing me tell others about Jesus and I’d shared the Gospel with him too. He came to Jesus Christ.

ALWAYS A CHRISTIAN: (Light Always On).

You may be in your place of work or neighbourhood: Do the people you work with KNOW about your faith in Jesus?

I’ve known some people who try and compartmentalise their FAITH in Jesus. “At work I’m a nurse, doctor, administrator, telephonist, secretary, builder, plumber, etc… At home I’m a Christian.”

My friends, let’s be real and true to Jesus Christ. At Work or At Home: You are ALWAYS A CHRISTIAN. Your light is NEVER to be switched off.

Think of the Christian life like this: As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, Jesus light is shining out of them.

Your FACE should shine with Holy Light.

How Can We Make Our Light Shine Brighter?

Moses Face: (Read Exodus 34:29-35)

Exodus 34:29-35 (ANIV)
29  When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
30  When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
31  But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them.
32  Afterwards all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.
33  When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face.
34  But whenever he entered the LORD’S presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded,
35  they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
Whenever Moses was in the presence of the Lord, whenever he’d spent time with God, his face was radiant.

The people were terrified by it, they asked Moses to put a veil over his face, because it shone so much.

Ok, we know all about Moses: (Google: Radiant Faces In The Bible) But did you know there are 14 more examples of RADIANT FACES in God’s Word. Each one happens because a person is spending time seeking the Lord, being in God’s presence.

Here’s one example from Psalm 34:5 Radiant FACES. (There are at least 14 others).

Psalm 34:3-14 (NIV)
3  Glorify the LORD with me: let us exalt his name together.
4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6  This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8  Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9  Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10  The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11  Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13  keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
14  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

My friends, here’s how you to can get the Glory Glow (Radiant FACE): By spending TIME with Jesus every day. In the morning, when you get up, go and get your Bible, Pray to Jesus, Ask Him to speak to you through His Word, let the Word soak into your being. Ask Jesus to fill you with Holy Spirit… My friends, when you spend time with Jesus, your light is going to shine. Your FACE WILL BE RADIANT.

a) It takes a DECISION:

Although God will make your light shine, sometimes against your will, like me. Most times He wants you to LET IT SHINE.

You know the little song? “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”… It’s a choice and a decision every day.

Jesus said, “Take up your cross daily and follow me”… We’re to follow Jesus when? On a Sunday? No! On a Wednesday or Thursday? NO! We are to follow Jesus EVERY DAY….

b) Paul said to Philemon. 

Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV) “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5  because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

First Paul commends Philemon for his sincere love for the Saints (His fellow brothers and sisters in Christ). Then he encourages him to “SHARE HIS FAITH” Why does Paul encourage Philemon to share his faith? Because “FAITH SHARING” is much harder than being loving to the saints.

However, there’s more, listen carefully my friends, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, SO THAT (That “So That” in this section is there for a very good reason). SO THAT “You will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ”… WOWzer!

So by just sharing our faith, by letting our light shine, we don’t only bring others out of darkness, we too have an increase in our awareness, knowledge and experience of “EVERY GOOD THING WE HAVE IN CHRIST”… That’s totally AWESOME.

Use it or Lose It:

My friends, we can see this truth in the light of Jesus teaching in Mark’s Gospel today.

23  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
24  “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.
25  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

Sharing is Caring: Use it or loose it. 

It’s a very sad state to be in, to be a Christian, but to have such a dim-light-for-Jesus. “Even what he has will be taken from him”… My friends, if we don’t SHARE Jesus with folks, then our light is going to get dimmer and dimmer and dimmer until we’re as good as in the Darkness again.

Share it and it grows brighter. Let your light shine and you’re light will grow even brighter.

Your light in Christ is not like a TORCH. When you shine a torch-light after a while the battery runs down.

What Jesus is telling us here is this: It’s a KINGDOM secret: The more you let your light shine, the BRIGHTER it will become.

You will have a full GLORY GLOW, like Moses, the more you do the will of Jesus and let your light shine. (It’s like living with FULL-BEAM HEADLIGHT ON)…

How do we do it?:

How can we let our light shine for Jesus?

By being good, by doing good, by sharing our faith in Jesus. We’re going to GLOW BRIGHTER.

Of course there’s only one way we can be good or do good: And that’s by staying CONNECTED with Jesus Christ. We can try to do all sorts of ‘good things’ but if we’re not connected with Jesus, the VINE (John 15), then we’re as good a dead.

  • You are going to get a RADIANT FACE when you spend time in Jesus company.
  • You are going to get a DEEPER KNOWLEDGE AND EXPEREINCE of all the good things you have in Christ, when you don’t just do good, but share your faith as well.

My friends, “Sharing IS Caring”: Sharing the light of Jesus Christ shows that you do care about those who are living in the DARKNESS, let your light shine. You’ve been given a wonderful TREASURE in the Gospel Seed that’s been planted in your heart by Jesus. Now, you have a choice, will you let your light shine?

Here’s how to measure: Tea Cup or Barrel: Which one holds the most water? How many cups are in a barrel? With the measure you use, it will be measured unto you. Kingdom Secret: Share your faith as much as you can, your understanding will grow of all the good things you have in Christ, Share your faith as much as your can, your light will GLOW EVEN BRIGHTER.

Have and awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. I just wanted to say a quick thank you for all your prayers and thoughts for my daughter Stephanie. She is in hospital now, ready to give birth, but they are keeping her in until the baby comes.