Light of the world

{This is the first post by new contributor Yael Galiley. Yael is a student from New York, who is great at drawing and serving food, and should not be allowed drinks that contain caffeine. Enjoy what she has to share – Pete}
So as Christians, we’re supposed to be the light of the world, “‘You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men‘” Matthew 5:14,16 NIV. How do we let our “light shine before men”? I came to a very simple and obvious conclusion. You can’t spread light that’s not inside of you. This light always has to be kindled. Every day. So we need to return to the source. Jesus.
Those people whom we see on a regular basis and in passing can find encouragement in the Lord through us. But we need to soak in the word and the Lord. We cannot encourage others when we ourselves feel so discouraged. So give God a chance to encourage you.
In Joshua chapter 10 Joshua takes time with God and God encourages him, “‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you‘” and in turn Joshua encourages the Israelites, “‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.'” (Joshua 10:25 NIV) Do you see how first God had to encourage Joshua before Joshua could go and encourage the people?
So if you’re finding it difficult to be a light to the people around you, if you’re feeling run down or discouraged, go spend time with The Light of the World. It still amazes me that He wants that opportunity to build you up. When Jesus pours His power and joy into you, you’ll be empowered to love and encourage others. It’s the beginning of the year so if you don’t have a regular quiet time with the Lord start a quiet time. Or maybe you do have a quiet time but it’s not as frequent as it should be or it’s not as long or in depth as it should be well start over and form a strong discipline!
If you’ve never had a daily quiet time with the Lord I would encourage you to pick the least hectic part of your day, preferably right when you wake up or right before you go to sleep, and take a few minutes to read a chapter of scripture. I usually read one chapter from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament along with a chapter from Proverbs or Psalms. There are 31 proverbs and 150 psalms, so you can read a chapter of Proverbs every day for a month or five psalms a day for a month. I find that it’s also really helpful to pick out a verse from every chapter I read that day that stood out to me and write it down. If you won’t do your quiet time without a reminder, find a friend who will facebook or email verses back and forth with you.
When you do your quiet time be sure to pray. I even write down my prayer requests and how God answers them. It’s so encouraging, especially when we’re apt to forget how God listens to us. We always remember when He doesn’t respond but never when He does. If you start paying attention, you’ll see first hand just how powerful praying is.
I want to clarify that there isn’t one specific way to have quiet time. You can go into the woods by yourself, or sit on your floor with worship music playing in the background. You can use my suggestions or do something else. The important part is that you’re focused on the Lord and you’re not distracted or hurried while you have your time with God.

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