I originally titled this article, “Is My Light Getting Brighter?” But as I typed my finger spelled the work life instead of light. Life is a better description of my thoughts. Now that we are looking forward to the beginning of Summer in the Pacific Northwest, we also entertain those activities that we are able to do more readily at this time of the year. One of the summer activities that I enjoy is the Campfire! The Campfire provides a perfect illustration of the brightness of my life for Christ!
The Bible uses several metaphors to encourage the continual investment in our spiritual maturity. I was most recently that struck by this truth from Scripture, “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” (Proverbs 4:18) The believer is compared with the sun at dawn progressing until it reaches it’s brightest point. It is a simple reality that each of us experience every day, well most days in the Pacific Northwest. The early dawn gradually begins dissipating the smothering darkness of night. The progression of the day eventually displays the full glory of the 10,000 degree fire ball in our sky.
Our Proverb reminds us that the character of a follower of Jesus, is one who continues to grow in Godliness. The encouragement here is the reminder of God’s continued work in the believer’s life. I am reminded of Paul’s encouragement to Christians of his day. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) One of the greatest blessings of knowing Christ is that He does not give up on us, even if we give up on ourselves. Many of our lives often reflect the words of the hymn. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love!” The sad reality is that we, as people, are fickle. This is reflected in our relationship with the Lord and with others. We disappoint and have been disappointed. But, God never disappoints. He never deserts us. Let us not forget the encouragement from the writer of Hebrews, quoting King David in Psalm 37:25, “for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5b)
Our Proverb also challenges us to keep investing in our relationship with the Lord. The result of our relationship with the Lord is that we continue to invest in our own spiritual development. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the local church in Philippi in verse 2:12-14. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” (Philippians 2:12) The emphasis is not to obtain brownie points with God, or earn salvation, but rather to implement who we are in Christ into my daily life.
It is here that my thought of the summer Camp Fire, reminds me of the effort required to keep it going. As we consider the words of our Proverb, let us rejoice in who we are in Christ, and also put another log on our spiritual life to keep it burning brighter until the Lord returns!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson