Sunday, March 28, 2010

Outreach Reflections from Psalm 4

Subtitle: The light of God’s presence brings Hope, Peace, and Joy.

“Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?” Let the light of Your presence shine on us, O LORD. You put more joy in my heart than when their grain and new wine increase. I fall asleep in peace the moment I lie down because you alone, O LORD, enable me to live securely” (Psalm 4:6-8, God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, http://www.godsword.org/).

As I read Psalm 4 looking for words of encouragement and motivation for Christian outreach, verses 6 through 8 reminded me of a praise and worship song that is commonly sung in many churches. The refrain from this song always rings in my ears long after the music stops.

“Shine, Jesus, Shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory; Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow; flood the nations with grace and mercy. Send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light” (Graham Kendrick, 1987).

This song is a prayer, calling for God to ignite a fire within us, that would lead us to have a burning passion to bring glory to God by telling others of Jesus Christ. In Psalm 4, David states that many are questioning and doubting that anything in life is good. David’s reply indicates that he will find his joy, peace, and security in the LORD. He states that these come from the presence of the LORD in his life. In the beginning of verse 6, David calls on God to shine the light of His presence on His people.

When we are asked similar questions about anything in life being good, we can follow David’s lead and point people to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We know that through His death and resurrection, Jesus has freed us from sin, death, and the Devil. In two different accounts in the Gospel of John, Jesus stated that He was the Light of the world. In John 8:12 – “Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark” (God’s Word, 1995, http://www.godsword.org/). In John 12:46, Jesus said, “I am the light that has come into the world so that everyone who believes in me will not live in the dark” (God’s Word, 1995, http://www.godsword.org/).

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of what most Christian’s call Holy Week. Throughout the week we will be reflecting on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ for our sins, and eagerly waiting for the celebration of the risen Christ on Easter Sunday morning. This celebration is just too good to keep to ourselves! Christ burst from the tomb in radiant glory on that first Easter morning. He has conquered death. We no longer need to be afraid of dying, because we will live forever in Jesus Christ. That is certainly good news to share with those who only see doom and gloom in their lives. May the light of the presence of Christ shine on you today and may you reflect that light onto your doubting neighbors and friends.