If you have ever been to day camp, church camp, or any other camp as a youth, you may have learned certain songs along the way. Songs bringing everyone together for a campfire sing-along or maybe a team challenge event. There was one song I learned long ago called “Rise and Shine.” Now this song had a catchy little tune, you know the one that gets stuck in your head for days. The one you keep singing because it drives your parents crazy. Yes, that one.
This song tells the story of Noah and the ark. God chose Noah because of his righteous ways. Noah obeyed because he loved and trusted God. The ark sailed away with Noah’s family and the animals, just as God had instructed. The floods came and covered all of the earth. But, when the sun came out—and the rain stopped—the land dried, and the rejoicing began! (See Genesis 6-9.)
Why Noah? He stood out from the crowd. He wasn’t trying to be better than others, he simply loved God and chose to live a life honoring Him. Do we stick out in the crowd we stand in? Are we afraid to rise, to shine, to love, to obey, to honor? There has never been a time in history our world didn’t need a light to arise and eliminate the darkness. As we wake up each day, we have a chance to be set apart for God’s glory. Follow me into the scripture of Isaiah 60:1-3 (ESV):
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Our light has come, and His name is Jesus. He gives us life and purpose. Even though darkness hovers over people, over this Earth, and in lives of those yet to receive the unconditional gift of grace—believers must shine. We are living vessels, chosen by God, who are capable of showing love and bringing goodness into the lives of others. We can stand up and stand out. We can choose to allow our lives to radiate so intensely that they cannot be seen as anything but an illumination of the truth of Jesus Christ. We have been placed in families, in workplaces, in churches and in communities whose greatest need is the gift of eternal life. Believers, we have this! Don’t hide it.
Days pass, opportunities fade, but the light of Christ is never-ending. He positions us and appoints us to love, to serve, and to respect those around us in such a way that they would be drawn to HIM! He doesn’t need us, but He uses us. Are you prepared to rise up tomorrow? To stand out in the battle? His glory is upon you; your life holds great influence on all you meet. If people aren’t reading the gospel, I can assure you, they are reading you.
Have courage—go out and “…rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory! Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory! Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory. Children of the Lord.” (I hope this song sticks in your head for always.)
Holding Fast to Hope,