Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Scripture Insights

The older I get, the clearer I am that my light and deeds aren’t what God has in mind in today’s scripture—but rather deeds prompted by him, that emit his light. When we fail to walk by the Spirit, our community ministries can be good but not best, safe but not stunning, a form of godliness yet void of power (see 2 Timothy 3:5). But God still speaks. Sometimes a counterintuitive, bold, and better way emerges.
Avoid the sequence problem. Don’t prepare a cautious, ordinary ministry idea and then ask God to bless it. Ask God what is needed most, now, here? Answers really do come—often novel, fun, even scary in scale. That’s why you’ll need confirmation (prayer, counsel, the Word).
Ministering outside your comfort zone is exactly where good deeds glorify the Father. Your Godward courage is what emits light before others. David Brooks writes in Second Mountain, “You might think a bright personality would come from an unburdened life, but if you look closely at joyful people you notice very often the most incandescent souls have taken on the heaviest burdens.”

Today’s Prayer

Lord, we’re exhausted by limitless good things. They don’t even seem to bear much fruit. Get us on your agenda. What is needed most, now, here? Please show us and equip us, for your name’s sake.

—Gregg Chenoweth
President, Olivet Nazarene University (Illinois)

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