I have been in churches with choirs whose members sing about the love of God and the joy of the Lord. Except they look like they’ve eaten a bowl of chokecherries with lemon sauce.

We are a city set on a hill to proclaim the love of God. What do people see in you?

I know a person who is known all over town as a gossip. They can’t keep a secret or respect confidential information. But in public prayer they can’t keep quiet, putting on a big display of “spirituality”. People can spot a hypocrite. The hypocrite doesn’t notice, because while they deceive others they deceive themselves as well. Their happy face hides a lie.

Are you the same person doing laundry as you are at prayer meeting? Are you as cool in the long line at the supermarket as you are sitting in church worship? Do people actually avoid you because you can’t be trusted? That kind of light would be black light. Jesus is the full spectrum of light and shines into the deepest corners.

I’ve met people who serve the Evil One. When you look into their face you can see into the depths of hell where no light shines. It is both sad and distressing. What lives at the deepest part of your soul?

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

lemons are sour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, does the light of Jesus shine out from you, or is your own rising star so bright that it overwhelms the light of Jesus’ face? The spotlight shines on who in your life?

What a paradox. Nothing we do can save us; that work was completed by Jesus at the cross. But as a saved person we want to share the joy, bring comfort to those in need, and be busy doing the work of the Kingdom of God. And let God get the glory.


So get rid of the sour lemons and live the joy of the Lord.

English: Ezra Reads the Law to the People (Neh...

Ezra Reads the Law (Photo: Wikipedia)

“Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people told them, “This is a holy day for the Lord your God. Don’t mourn or cry.” All the people were crying as they listened to the reading of God’s Teachings. Then he told them, “Go, eat rich foods, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who cannot provide for themselves. Today is a holy day for the Lord. Don’t be sad because the joy you have in the Lord is your strength.” So the Levites calmed all the people by saying, “Listen. Today is a holy day. Don’t be sad.”
Then all the people went to eat and drink and to send portions. They had a big, joyful celebration because they understood the words that had been explained to them” (Nehemiah 8:9-12 God’s Word).