Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)

God wants you and me to shine with the brilliance of His light and glory! Where? In the darkness of a world in despair. A thick darkness covers the world today. You can feel the darkness around you. There’s the darkness of disease, the darkness of poverty, genocide and loneliness.  Millions are displaced and uprooted from their homes, fleeing for safe refuge. Many are gripped by a sense of hopelessness. And the reality is that no political party or world leader has the answer to the darkness of the soul. Yet, in the midst of such thick darkness, God has given His people the light of His glory so that we may shine and attract a world in darkness to the light of His love and the hope of His grace.

How can we shine in the midst of such darkness? The answer is found in the first word, Arise!  We must take action. Be intentional! The question is not can we shine or how, but will we rise in faith or shrink back in fear? Will we believe God to do what God says He will do? He has already said that our light has come, not will come, and His glory rises upon His people now, not someday in the future! But, we must arise to the challenge! If we will rise, God says we will shine because His light will be reflected in our lives! What a contrast His light will be in the darkness! In the darkest night, God’s light shines the brightest! In His first sermon, Jesus told His followers,

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. Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) 

It’s time to take a stand. Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. Seize the moment. Shatter the darkness. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Look around you this weekend and ask God to show you ways that your light may shine, for acts of kindness and service that you may do to demonstrate His love for others. Then, take action.