Monday, May 20, 2013


Lots of hard work is involved in keeping our Christian light shining brightly. We must daily bathe in God’s Word, seek to obey His will, and allow His Holy Spirit to fill us with wisdom and power. We can’t do that within ourselves, but through earnest prayer God can remove the smudges from our lives. Hallelujah! With Him all things are possible.



My great-grandfather and his new wife were lighthouse keepers for a year at a light near Bar Harbor, Maine. His tenure happened to be near the end of the Civil War at a time when light keepers had the added duty of watching for enemy ships that might come ashore. During war and peace alike, however, every keeper’s most important duty was to make sure the windows remained clear so ships could see the light shining through them. Back then, the lights were fueled by whale oil or other kinds of oil. The burning oil caused a build-up of soot and smudge on the glass prisms of the light and on the windows surrounding the lantern room. Later, kerosene was used—a much cleaner fuel, but not so clean as to disband the daily chore of cleaning the glass.

All keepers had to adhere to a manual demanding that absolutely nothing should hinder them from cleaning the windows. In case of illness, accident, or even death, a keeper’s wife or assistant must assume that duty.

Followers of Christ are like lighthouse keepers. Jesus said, in Matthew 5:14-16: “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.”

As Christians, we must shine our Christian light to those floundering in a sea of despair, lost in an ocean of self-condemnation, or those desperate to find a flicker of hope. And like lighthouse keepers who must keep their windows clean, we need to keep our lives free from the dirty smudges of sin that hinder us from shining brightly for Christ. That takes regular self-examination and repentance—with diligence and perseverance—to remove the smudges. Nothing should keep us from being the bright light God requires of us, a light that will draw others to Him. With a pure heart, we need to show love constantly, doing good while praising and thanking God even in the midst of adversity. When we take our lighthouse keeping job seriously, we will be blessed with God’s peace and joy.

Lord, forgive us when we forget to ask You to clean up the smudges of our spiritual light. We want to shine brightly for You so others will see You reflected in us. Help us to take our light-keeping task seriously, each day as we seek Your specific will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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