Ultimate Invitation

 

InvitationI enjoy a good invite. A few weeks ago, I received a formal invitation to my oldest grandson’s birthday party. The theme was Mickey Mouse! Of course, I made plans to be there. The party was yesterday and we most definitely had fun with him, family and friends. Invitations are most always optional. If it was mandatory the language would be different. There are some invitations that I’ve received that I “felt” were mandatory or I “needed” to be there. The Lord has given the ULTIMATE INVITATION – He invites me to eternal life. He also invites me to enjoy the abundant life while I’m here on earth.

John is wrapping up his revelation and he hears from Jesus, himself. The Lord gives a profound declaration and invitation. Check this out…

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. (Revelation 22:16-17 NLT)

I am responding to the invitation of the Lord each day. I have surrendered my life to Him. I have been baptized and I’m walking out my faith in Him daily. I stumble often, but through confession and repentance, He restores my soul. His forgiveness is complete. When He introduced me to His grace, I was blown away. I look for Him to invite me into closer fellowship with Him as I daily seek His face. I seek His heart through His Word and my heart is molded and changed.

The invitation from the Lord has changed everything about my life. I’ve RSVP’d to Him and I’m committed to His call upon my life. He offers life-giving water. He offers the life-sustaining Presence of God. He Lights my path because He’s the Light of The World! I’m blown away that He welcomes me into His family. This is one invitation that doesn’t just stay on the refrigerator but I carry it with me everywhere.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bad Looks Good

 

Blue woman eye macro shotI have been attracted to bad things many times over the years. Bad things come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Bad things can come from bad people or good people. It is often hard to discern if something is bad or good early on. I need to keep my boundaries clearly in site and in place. The Lord provides me with excellent discernment if I will listen to His Spirit in me.

David penned an excellent passage about boundaries and choosing good over bad. Check this out…

I will sing of your love and justice;
    to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
    when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairs of my house
    with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
    on anything that is vile.

I hate what faithless people do;
    I will have no part in it.
The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
    I will have nothing to do with what is evil. (Psalm 101:1-4 NIV)

I was taught growing up that you are known by the people you hang out with. I’ve even said that to my kids because in the eyes of authorities, if you’re hanging out with kids who are breaking the law, then you must be participating in that too. It is not easy taking the road less traveled when others are on the superspeedway of self-destruction. I must keep my hearts eyes focused on following the Lord and listening to His direction for my life. He makes me wise beyond my years. He makes me effective beyond my experience. He gives me insight that often only years of experience could compete with.

I want to walk in the Light of His Word and His calling upon my life. I want to choose good over bad; light over darkness every day that I live. Bad looks good, but then looks can be deceiving. I must look beyond good looks or appearances to what really matters. I remember my Mom telling me that “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone!”

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Keep The Light On

 

bookI’ve heard that crazy little jingle many times from Motel 6 where Tom Bodett says, “…we’ll leave the light on for you”. It is simply and corny but it communicates a quick message that says Motel 6 is always open for weary travelers who need a place to stay. When my kids were small, we had nightlights around the house so that you could see where you were going when you got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. When I was expecting someone to arrive late at the house, I left the front porch light on.

The Lord instructed Moses to tell the people to leave lights on in the Tabernacle all the time. Check this out…

20 ‘Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. 21 In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come. (Exodus 27:20-21 NIV)

I see this as the Lord being available 24/7 for His people. The Lord doesn’t just work the day shift – He’s available all the time. He never sleeps. He never takes a break. He doesn’t function like I function. I have to have my sleep and take a break from my work. He is always on.

If I awake in the middle of the night with something on my mind – He’s there to listen to me.

If I’m in middle of my work day and I need Him – He’s there.

It doesn’t matter when I need Him – He’s there. He has made a way for me to ALWAYS have access to Him. That settles my heart for sure. He’s never far away. The Light of the World is ALWAYS on for me!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bright Light


Magnifying glass with light bulb on white backgroundI love Christmas time when the world reflects on love and giving. I love the lights of Christmas. I love the anticipation of giving gifts. I remember what Christmas meant to me as a kid. I almost forgot to mention the food of Christmas, the candy and the parties.

As a follower of the Lord, Jesus is referred to as the Light of The World. He calls His followers Light of the World and Salt of the earth. I think Christmas lights represent The Light that came to the world in the form of a baby. The prophet Isaiah speaks in terms of Israel being the catalyst bringing the Light. Check this out….

19 The sun will no more be your light by day,
    nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun will never set again,
    and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your days of sorrow will end. (Isaiah 60:19-20 NIV)

 

Our world was forever changed when Jesus came. He brought hope to the hopeless. He brought light to the dark places. He brought love to the hated. He is the Light that pushes the darkness out. Check this out…

14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)

 

If I’m following the Lord, I’m shining my light. If He dwells in me, I always have light to shine. In the deepest struggles of my life His light still shines. In the most joy-filled moments His light still shines. The Light He brings pushes out the darkness that seeks to take over our world. The Love of God is the power source of the Light of the World. I need to shine all the time and everywhere I go.

 

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Upright & Light

flashlightI love the word “upright” – I don’t really use it much day to day, but I know it’s meaning clearly when I’m setting something “upright”, maybe in a vertical position. Another meaning of the word is “strictly honest & honorable”.  An honorable and honest person does not go unnoticed. I believe when I walk in the Light of the Lord, He notices my heart and my behavior.  Check this out….

 9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;

    you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,

    for he guards the lives of his faithful ones

    and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous

    and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,

    and praise his holy name. (Psalm 97:9-12 NIV)

 

I want the Light of the Lord to shine all over me. Light pushes away darkness and exposes hidden places. I want the Lord’s light to expose any bad in me so that He can keep working on my heart to make it more like His.

I think it’s also cool that upright means putting something vertical in the literal sense. It also means that my heart is vertical in the spiritual sense.  I want the Light of the world to shine on me. I want joy deep within my heart every day.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Salt & Light

salt shakerI love salt. In fact, I like it a bit too much. Right now is the time of year that fresh vegetables are “coming in” from the garden. I like cucumbers, but if I don’t have salt to put on them they are not as good to me. Salt itself isn’t what tastes so good. Salt enhances the flavor of the food it touches.  Too much salt can actually draw attention to the salt and ruins the food.

Hand with a matchLight is also pretty cool. Light is quiet, but you can’t help but notice it. I remember going to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky as a teenager and the guide took us into this huge room that held over 200 people and asked us to stand still as he was about to turn out the lights in the cave. The darkness was so think I felt like you could cut it with a knife. It was eerie and oozing all around. The guide then struck a small match and the entire room lit up. He explained that the thicker the darkness, the more significant one small light is. I will probably never forget that profound truth. Jesus spoke on both these topics. Check this out…

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16 NIV)

Jesus calls me to be salt and light. These two are similar but significantly different. Salt enhances the food it touches and brings out flavor without drawing attention to itself. Light is quiet, but certainly noticeable. Light gives direction and pushes the darkness away. Salt is no good if it stays in the shaker & Light is no good if it doesn’t shine. If I’m salt and light in God’s economy, then I should bring out the flavor in others lives without drawing attention to myself. I should also not be loud and in your face, but quietly showing Christ in me – He’s the Light in me!  Jesus calls me what He calls Himself. I’m supposed to be the Salt of the  Earth and the Light of the World ONLY because He’s living in me!

Pressing On!
Dwayne