A few years ago a popular praise song was Shine Jesus Shine – in a world of darkness Jesus has called US to be “the light of the world.”  Reading this you may think I need to shine when I come together with the other brothers & sisters at Discovery… that would be a true statement – point being as a Christian our spiritual DNA should be that we SHINE wherever we are – regardless the day or the crowd.  As a wise person said decades ago- “you are the only Bible a lost person will ever read”  Let’s ask the question.

What does it mean to shine?

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. —Philippians 2:14-16

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 5:16a). 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.

What keeps you from shining?

It’s easy to see the shine of a new diamond ring. 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.

Before you can be a light to others, take a look at your own life. Has sin dulled the evidence of Christ in you? Maybe it’s time to stop, take a moment and ask God to reveal any sins you might be ignoring.

So how exactly do you shine?

Do not be conformed to this world … —Romans 12:2

Be careful what you say. The Bible calls the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Yikes! That’s pretty serious.

Consider your entertainment. Where do you go for fun?

Use social media wisely. People are watching what you post, whether they interact with your posts or not.

Think of others. Consider other people’s needs and help meet them. Encourage instead of criticize. Be patient. Give others the benefit of the doubt.

TAKE WHAT YOU NEED, BRING WHAT YOU CAN, ABOVE ALL BE BLESSED

            Because of the idea of Jerry – and the creative work of Solomon and Vern – we have a Blessing Box sitting beside our mail box.  You ask – “what is the purpose of this?”  Thanks for asking…..we know there are several in our neighborhood whose food pantry runs out before the month does – and they are hungry.  As word gets around – people will come onto our campus and see if there is food for them – it will be great when the 1st family attends our service because they took advantage of the BLESSING BOX.

            One of our dear ladies’ text me yesterday saying – I plan on making a major shopping trip tomorrow.   The Blessing Box will be filled & staffed by our members – it will not come out of the church budget.  There will be a box outside the men’s room to place your non-perishable items….

            EXAMPLE …. It was filled Saturday – but empty Sunday morning.  Members went to Dollar General – filled it – and again – neighbors helped themselves.  Bro Doug will be the one who stocks the box throughout the week.  

            Please bring a small sack of food of non-perishables….

            What is a summer without V.B.S.?  July 29 – from 8:30 – 1:00 – will be our session this year…..we are believing by word of mouth – observing the church sign – and prayer – that God will bring many young children to our campus to learn about faith – truths – love – and God.

            Jackie is doing a wonderful job organizing every area – from treats – to music – crafts – classes – and the culminating lunch – that Solomon and Jerry will provide.  The Biblical Hero from which the school will build is the strongest man ever to live Brother Samson……

·      Two of our grandchildren will be baptized in the ocean in Haiti tomorrow — yes that’s right…. Two of Mrs Heather’s children will become Christians tomorrow – Ruby and Zeb will become part of the family of God — Annie and I are so excited – Heather will also baptize an intern in the ocean following her children’s baptism.

·      Travel mercies for:  Karen Tomkins – Ashley Farrens Decker –

·      Wisdom for everyone who must work or be outside in this oppressive heat – they will stay hydrated and not feel invincible when their body is saying get where it is cool

·      Great worship this weekend as we discuss favoritism & discrimination..

·      So good to see Mrs Jerry and Leon in worship Sunday – please lift them up in prayer

·      Mrs. Dele has some concerns back home in Nigeria.  As her family please pray for wisdom – comfort – and support for her.

·      It was reported in the early church – and has been an issue ever since – that some believers have allowed their faith to grow cold to the point they have lost their first love Revelation 2:4…..As we pray for one another – please lift some of these people before the Lord asking to Holy Spirit to convict them of Sin – Righteousness and Judgment to come (John 16:8)

James 2:14-26   What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] He was even called the friend of God.[c]24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[d] so also faith is dead without good works.