Monday, May 6, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Light


Shining God’s Light

A devotional by Jessica Brodie

One of my favorite things to do lately is go into really busy places, like gas stations or the grocery store, and spread some God-inspired peaceful light and love.

Like the rest of us, in today’s fast-paced society I am more than guilty of rushing to and fro, getting so tunnel-visioned in my thinking that I miss out on important connections with others—sometimes even the people right next to me.

It doesn’t help that so many of us spend such a great deal of time staring into small rectangular screens—our cell phones—giving us yet another reason not to connect with our fellow humans. When was the last time you waited at a doctor’s office and actually talked to the person a few seats over instead of checking Facebook or email on your phone?

But as a Christian, I’ve lately become convicted that I am called not just to love my family and my close friends, as well as people in need and people in my church, but I also need to love the people all around me—the general public. I’m talking about the cashier who rings up my sale. The teenager who hands me my salad through the drive-through window. The lady who takes my money at the tollbooth. The elderly man thumbing through a magazine next to me at the dentist.

“I’m just soooo busy” can no longer be my excuse in life. Instead, I’m making a huge effort to stay off my phone when I’m in public and instead try to connect with people around me. Even if they’re lost in their own cell phones, at least I can send some loving prayer vibes their way. When it’s my turn at the cash register, I no longer care how grumpy the clerk looks. I find a way to look into her eyes and give her a sincere thank you.

Even in the first century, early Christians had places to go and things to do. Jesus and his disciples knew this, knew money and security vied for his followers’ hearts far more than anything else. But time and again, Scripture reminds us that loving others is far more important than our own concerns.

“This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us. This is how we know we remain in him and he remains in us, because he has given us a measure of his Spirit." 
~1 John 4:10-13 (CEB)

Loving others is loving God. Let’s shine His light together.

~*~
Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministries team.

Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com/shiningthelight.

18 comments:

  1. I pray I will shine God's love in every moment. Have a blessed day! :-)

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  2. It is true, people are on their phones all the time, wherever they go. I'm just a guilty. It's so easy to checkout in public and never talk to anyone. Your reminder is encouraging, and a bit of kick for me. I need to be more attentive to the public. Who knows whose life I might make a difference in if I would just pay attention. Thank you, Jessica!

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    1. Thanks, Marcie! I'm definitely guilty... it's SO TEMPTING to hide in my phone!

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  3. Loved this. Your post is a great reminder for me to be more present and attentive to the public around me. Thank you, Jessica!

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  4. Awesome blog post on sharing God's love!

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    1. Thank you so much!!! It helps to remember sometimes we're the only kindness a person may encounter that day.

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  5. Great message Sister!! It's so easy to get sucked into our own little world, while life passes us by. So many great opportunities are missed when we just look at our phones and tablets all day. Love is where it is at!!!! God Bless Sister

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    1. Thanks, my brother! YES indeed... love is 100% where it's at!! Praise God for the wonderful model we are given in Christ.

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  6. It doesn't take much, sometimes, to shine a little light. Great post! God bless!

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    1. Amen, Nancy!! You are so right! Sometimes just a smile.

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  7. On a sunny, warm (finally!) spring day in Indiana, everyone who was out and about had a smile for everyone else in the world. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we did the same on cold, rainy days?

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    1. Linda, absolutely!!! It's so important to share joy and love.

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  8. This is a good reminder, Jessica. Just yesterday I was on my cell phone waiting for a class to start at the gym when the next person came along and said, "Hi." I put my cell phone down and started to talk. That's what we're supposed to do, right? And what a difference it makes in what the other person thinks of us (initially) and Christ (later, if we get that far in the conversation). Even when he went to his cell sometimes, I chimed in with more questions. I will try to do this more!

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    1. Absolutely, Stephen!! Good for you!! It is easy to hide in my phone, but life is better when I live and love others (not my device).

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  9. I have recently been aware that even as people walk down the street they are looking at their phones. A smile can brighten a person's day but we usually only see the top of their heads! This is a challenge for us to be the ones to put our phones down first. Thanks!

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    1. Ah, so very true, Beth!! Here's to putting our phones down first. xoxo

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