| from Stephen Baker |
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1-2 NKJV
In so many ways over the last few years it seems that darkness has covered the earth and swallowed up the people of it. Terrorism, plagues, epidemics, war, political polarization, and fake news have caused fear and confusion. There appears a greater boldness of sin and hatred of the Christian faith. On top of that, Christians have themselves been in opposition with each other regarding how to respond to some situations.
The verse above provides a refreshing promise and an inspiring charge. In the midst of change and challenges God has promised His glorious presence. Our Father longs to radiate His love and truth through His children. The same glory that protected the Israelites with a cloud and pillar of fire, the same glory that filled the Temple, and the same glory seen in the Only Begotten of the Father is promised to be seen upon God’s children. How? Jesus is the “true light which gives light to every man.” (John 1:9) As we draw near in faith and fellowship to the Lord Jesus Christ, He has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) What a joy to know that in spite of earthly circumstances, we can rest in God’s glory that is ‘risen upon us.’ That is the same joy the first disciples experienced in the midst of persecution and turmoil on the day of Pentecost. The glory of the Lord rose upon them through the infilling of the Holy Spirit and they shone in the midst of their culture’s darkness.
Peter goes on to say that “they (the people in darkness) may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” This is the charge implied in Isaiah’s prophecy. Our good deeds and good conduct are a faithful light to those in darkness. We are charged to ‘Arise, Shine.’
Our children need to see the stability of our faith and the glory of God radiating through us. They do not benefit from our fearfulness or faithless doubt. The world, also, needs to see the radiation of God’s glory through our activities of love and good deeds. Regardless of our views on some of the issues listed above, we can all agree that the world needs to see the glory of God. Isaiah promised it would happen and called us to arise to it.
Stephen Baker and his wife, Joyce have been two of Dr. Kathy’s thought-leaders for years. Now they’re both Celebrate Kids Associate Speakers and Writers. They work closely together. Steve has served in ministry for almost 40 years. With his heart for discipleship, he has worked as a senior pastor, associate pastor, teacher, coach, and hospice chaplain. Steve has a passion for families, mentoring believers, and discipling parents to walk in this world humbly and boldly as warriors sharing the powerful message of the gospel to all people.