I have vivid memories of my father waking my brothers and me up in the morning when I was a young boy. He would walk in our room, turn on the lights, and call out to us cheerfully, “Rise and shine, boys!” It was a very effective technique. We definitely needed his help because some days the “rise” aspect was challenging for us, not to mention “shine.” However, our response or lack of response never seemed to deter my father. Each day he gave us the same exuberant exclamation, “Rise and shine!”
His loving encouragement to us to wake up and be our best helped us get off to a good start and have a productive day. Now, years later, as a father of two wonderful children myself, I more deeply appreciate my earthly father’s love and faithfulness in calling us to rise and shine.
Spiritually, our heavenly Father exhorts us to “rise and shine” for Him—to rise up and walk according to the accuracy and integrity of His Word and then to shine, radiating His goodness and truth to others. When we do this, we are being filled with the knowledge of God’s will, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:9 and 10:
…and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
What are some stepping-stones that will lead us to rise and shine for God? First, we must act with the proper motivation. Next, we need to be clear on what methods we will use. And finally, with the proper motivation and the right methods, we faithfully develop our manner of life according to the Word. Now, let’s go to God’s Word and consider our motivation, our methods, and our manner of life as we rise and shine for God.
Thoughts are the seeds of our words and deeds. What are some thoughts that can motivate us to “rise and shine”? Why should we “rise and shine” for God? God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from the darkness of this world so that we could live more than abundantly in the light of God’s Word.
I John 4:10 and 19:
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [payment] for our sins.
We love him, because he first loved us.
We love God because He first loved us. We didn’t have to ask God to send Jesus Christ; that was His idea. God authored salvation’s plan without needing help from us. He loved us first. He chose us before the foundation of the world. Because of Jesus Christ’s attained accomplishments, it became available for us to become sons of God, born again of God’s spirit, filled with the power of the holy spirit. The final verse of the hymn “At Calvary” in Sing Along The Way beautifully sums up what God has done for us:
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
The immensity of the Father’s love for us is set forth magnificently in I John 3:1: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God….” We are sons of God. He is our heavenly Father! What awesome realities! Our response to His great love and care is to love Him back. He has given us His best; therefore, why not be our best for Him?
As God’s best, we want God to be glorified by the shining quality of our lives. We want Him to get the glory. We bring glory to God and shine for Him by the good works we do.
Matthew 5:14 and 16:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We are the lights of the world in which we live. Light dispels darkness. The light of God that emanates from our lives is prominent and inviting, just as the lights of a city set on a hill would be to an approaching traveler. When we rise and shine for God, He gets the glory as others see the good works of the Word we carry out.
Another motive which encourages us to rise and shine for God is that He has made us children of light and He wants us to walk as children of light, demonstrating what is well pleasing to Him.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(For the fruit of the… [light] is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
When we walk as children of light, we produce good fruit. Our heavenly Father, Who is Light, exhorts us to rise up to His Word and radiate His goodness, righteousness, and truth to the world. Our good fruit shines forth, proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. After all, the better we look, the better God looks, for we are His….
This is an excerpt from the May/June 2005 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2005 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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