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“What keeps you from shining?”

Hey ~ ‘dusty…’ -- “What keeps you from shining?” Matthew 7:3

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” GOD doesn’t impute the sin to us, but the devil does.Our actions either release the power of satan - or the power of God in us. Hebrews 12:1“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” John 5:14“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Although GOD is Not imputing our sins unto us, we cannot afford the luxury of sin because it allows satan to have access to us. When a Christian sins and allows the devil opportunity to produce his death in their life, the way to stop it is to confess the sin, and GOD who is faithful and just, will take the forgiveness that is already present in our born again spirit and release it in our flesh. This removes satan and his strongholds. ( This is something Adam and Eve didn't seem to do. They instead chose to 'hide' themselves,) Rather then going straight to GOD. They were ashamed - and seeing things suddenly in a much different way, and they were frightened. Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. ((Let's jump ahead to our hope and redemption...)) ...( enter ) Our KINSMAN REDEEMER -- Here is what JESUS CHRIST gave to us -- HE gives life in place of death, light in place of darkness, and love in place of hatred. When you receive JESUS CHRIST, that is only the beginning! The whole Christian life follows. It is a process of growth, but the results are inevitably the same... There is the taking away of sin, there is the elimination of lawlessness, and there is the restoration to the human heart of order and peace. That has been the demonstration throughout human history. No matter where or when people have lived, it has always been the same story, always the same deliverance, always the same results: the healing of lawlessness. The miracle occurs when people come to know JESUS CHRIST and receive HIM into their lives. Then the sickness begins to heal. It’s easy to see the shine of a new diamond ring from across the room ---- But over time, that shine can 'dull' as dust collects on it.
In the same way, sin can dull our shine as lights for JESUS CHRIST. Our lives which once sparkled with the joy of CHRIST can become clouded with a love for things of 'this world'. Has sin dulled the evidence of CHRIST in you?
Before you can be a light to others, ( take a look at your own life....) Maybe it’s time to stop, take a moment and ask GOD to reveal any sins you might be ignoring. ( If there’s a sin you repeatedly struggle with, write it down and pray over it continually. ) ( Start a prayer journal.. ) A Prayer Journal, is ( your ) personal notes on issues that effect ( your ) life. Some of the most profound insights and experiences of life come through prayer journaling. GOD wants to speak and give us insights into life. Journaling brings shape and order to everything that we do. It can help keep your life in order and your priorities right. Try to Journal regularly but not out of duty - You may journal daily, weekly, or as often as you like. It is really up to you. It is important not to look at prayer journaling as a heavy burden or a duty. It’s a 'friend' and will help you in life rather than weigh you down with another responsibility. Ask GOD for HIS forgiveness and help in changing your heart. We’ll never be perfect, but we need to address our sin— partly because it impacts others. Think of others !! ( There is that ‘love thy neighbor’ thing, again! ) Consider other people’s needs and help meet them. Encourage instead of criticize. Be patient. Give others the benefit of the doubt. If you hear gossip, distance yourself from it or change the subject.
2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

When you encounter a difficult person, (remember) that they were made and are loved by GOD. Above all, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31). Luke 1:76-80 76And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

In the Gospel of John, JESUS is called “the true light, which gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). Throughout the New Testament, the followers of JESUS are called to be lights in the darkness. So, what does it mean to shine??? ( It means: )

Being counter-cultural. We live in a dark world, full of lies, hate and confusion. But GOD'S Word tells us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). While others are chasing after physical pleasures and selfish gain, we’re commanded to live a different way—to “put on the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). Putting yourself out there... Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16). HE explained that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket. A lamp is meant to be placed on a stand to give light to everything around it. Whether you’re timid or outgoing, you’re called to be a light to the people around you. That’s only possible if you’re taking time to interact with people and cultivate relationships. Matthew 5:16 - “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”​ Always pointing back to the light source. When Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others,” that wasn’t the whole sentence. He went on to give the reason why it’s important to shine: “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Our goal should never be to bring recognition to ourselves, but to bring glory to GOD. There’s a fine line between being a light and putting on a show to get attention. It’s a matter of the heart.