In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
One aspect of fall I enjoy as much as any is the startling contrast of colors as some trees quickly shed and then others hang on. It’s exactly what’s going on in my featured image today – Rebekah visioning the future for some new Japenese Maples.
My amazing wife, of course, stands as my favorite example of life that makes a vivid splash in contrast to the status quo. There’s far too much in the way of Christian witness that comes across as contrived, drab, spent, and uninspiring. So when she tells the truth about the power of faith to transform lives, simply via the way that she leads our congregation, it’s hard not to notice.
At the same time, it’s kind of sad that simply living in the light to the extent that it leaks out, and owning a level of enthusiasm that reflects something of God’s enthusiasm for us, would be so noticeable. Her goal – our goal – is to see such passion for following Jesus become run-of-the-mill.
Imagine every member of the church believing with such conviction, loving with such authenticity, reaching out with such purpose, and giving with such abandon!
Of course, our experience has been, and continues to be, that real life is naturally contagious. It’s actually the entire secret behind thirty-five years of ministry. Here it is, in a nutshell, and we’re giving it away for free. “Believe to the extent that God naturally flows out of you, celebrate like you believe God’s promises with all of your heart, love without holding anything back, and demonstrate the kind of enthusiasm for living that God has in creating – you don’t have to make anything up, simply tell the story that God has given you new life!”
Or, as Jesus put it, “Let your light so shine…. that they may glorify your father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
If that stands out in the faith landscape like a blazing red maple against the backdrop of fallen leaves, then I guess we have a lot more work to do… a lot more passion to let loose… a lot more light to unbottle… a lot more love to share.
So let’s do it…
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.