“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The applications of the metaphors of Jesus seem endless. One application to the metaphor above is that for our candle to give light it must be consumed. Unlighted candles are not consumed, but the candles that shine are the candles that burn.
There is no shining without burning.
In another great metaphor Jesus told us we are like branches and He is the Vine. As branches, if we are properly intersected with Him, we draw from Him the love force to be fruitful. Jesus promised if we are plugged into Him and are fruitful, we will be cut back and pruned to be made more fruitful.
Cutbacks and pruning can really hurt. They can come in the form of suffering, but they improve the quality and the quantity of our fruit. In light of these teachings we should not be surprised when we find ourselves burning our way through suffering that our brightest light for Christ yields the best fruit.
Like many others I thought I experienced my most fruitful years when I was able bodied and active. But I am joyfully surprised to discover that my most fruitful service for Christ has been as a bedfast quadriplegic. Using voice activated computer software from my bed, 782 Bible studies have been produced and are being heard in 31 languages in 60 countries. Worldwide more than 45,000 small groups are listening to Bible studies on solar powered digital audio players.
Have you discovered there is no shining without burning?
Dick Woodward, 09 August 2013
Editor’s Note: The MBC has now been translated in 63 languages!