August 11: Proclaiming the Light
Isaiah 23:1–24:23; Luke 8:16–56; Job 5:17–27
Many of us wait for precisely the right moment to tell others about Christ’s work in us. Yet every moment is the right moment to speak up for Christ. Every moment is the right time to fully express what Christ is doing in us and through us.
Jesus affirms this sense of immediacy when He remarks, “And no one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Luke 8:16).
This line becomes even more profound when we consider what happens a short time later. After Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, He says to him, “Return to your home and tell all that God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). The man doesn’t wait for a better time. Instead, “he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town all that Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39).
We may consider our encounter with Christ less significant than a man healed from demon-possession, but we, too, have been delivered out of the darkness and into the light. Like the demon-possessed man, we have been saved by Christ’s work. We can all boldly proclaim, as the hymn “Amazing Grace” says, “I once was blind, but now I see.”
In the busyness of our lives, focused on the work and worries of the day, it’s too easy for us to slip the light of Christ under the bed where no one can see it—and where we cannot see ourselves in its light. Do we talk as much about Christ and His great work as we do about our jobs? If not, perhaps we should rethink our approach. If this life is merely a prologue to the eternal life to come, shouldn’t the light become our main focus—both in our conversations and our actions? Why wouldn’t we proudly display it for all to see?
How can you live the light today? What needs to change in your conversation topics?
JOHN D. BARRY
- The burden of Tyre. Howl ye ships of Tarshish: for it is destroyed, so that there is none house: none shall come from the land of Kittim: it is revealed unto them. Be still, ye that dwell in the isles: the merchants of Sidon, and such as pass over the sea, have replenished thee. The seeds of Nile growing by the abundance of waters, and the harvest of the river was her revenues, and she was a mart of the nations. Be ashamed, thou Sidon: for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth children, neither nourished young men, nor brought up virgins. When the fame cometh to the Egyptians, they shall be sorry, concerning the rumor of Tyre. Go you over to Tarshish: howl, ye that dwell in the isles. Is not this that your glorious city? her antiquity is of ancient days: her own feet shall lead her afar off to be a sojourner. Who hath decreed this against Tyre (that crowneth men) whose merchants are princes? whose chapmen are the nobles of the world? The Lord of hosts hath decreed this, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring to contempt all them that be glorious in the earth. Pass through thy land like a flood to the daughter of Tarshish: there is no strength. He stretched out his hand upon the sea: he shook the kingdoms: the Lord hath given a commandment concerning the place of merchandise, to destroy the power thereof. And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice when thou art oppressed: O virgin daughter of Sidon: rise, go out unto Kittim: yet there thou shalt have no rest. Behold the land of the Chaldeans: this was no people: Assyria founded it by the inhabitants of the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof: they raised the palaces thereof, and he brought it to ruin. Howl ye ships of Tarshish, for your strength is destroyed. And in that day shall Tyre be forgotten seventy years (according to the years of the King) at the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. Take an harp and go about the city (thou harlot that hast been forgotten) make sweet melody, sing more songs that thou mayest be remembered. And at the end of seventy years shall the Lord visit Tyre, and she shall return to her wages, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the earth, that are in the world. Yet her occupying and her wages shall be holy unto the Lord: it shall not be laid up nor kept in store, but her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and to have durable clothing. Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and he maketh it waste: he turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And there shall be like people, like Priest, and like servant, like master, like maid, like mistress, like buyer, like seller, like lender, like borrower, like giver, like taker to usury. The earth shall be clean emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth lamented and fadeth away, the world is feebled and decayed: the proud people of the earth are weakened. The earth also deceiveth, because of the inhabitants thereof: for they transgressed the laws: they changed the ordinances, and brake the everlasting Covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are desolate. Wherefore the inhabitants of the land are burned up, and few men are left. The wine faileth, the vine hath no might: all that were of merry heart, do mourn. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth: the noise of them that rejoice, endeth: the joy of the harp ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with mirth: strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of vanity is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets: all joy is darkened: the mirth of the world is gone away. In the cities is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. Surely thus shall it be in the midst of the earth, among the people, as the shaking of the olive tree, and as the grapes when the vintage is ended. They shall lift up their voice: they shall shout for the magnificence of the Lord: they shall rejoice from the sea. Wherefore praise ye the Lord in the valleys, even the Name of the Lord God of Israel, in the isles of the sea. From the uttermost part of the earth we have heard praises, even glory to the just, and I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe is me: the transgressors have offended: yea, the transgressors have grievously offended. Fear, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitants of the earth. And he that fleeth from the noise of the fear, shall fall into the pit: and he that cometh up out of the pit, shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down: the earth is clean dissolved: the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunken man, and shall be removed like a tent, and the iniquity thereof shall be heavy upon it: so that it shall fall, and rise no more. And in that day the Lord visit the host above that is on high, even the kings of the world that are upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together as the prisoners in the pit: and they shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be abashed, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion and in Jerusalem: and glory shall be before his ancient men. Isaiah 23:1–24:23
- No man when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it under a vessel, neither putteth it under the bed, but setteth it on a candlestick, that they that enter in, may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be evident: neither anything hid, that shall not be known, and come to light. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whoseover hath, to him shall be given: and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which is seemeth that he hath. Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come near to him for the press. And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, and would see thee. But he answered, and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. And it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples, and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. And as they sailed, he fell asleep, and there came down a storm of wind, and the waves of water: and they ceased,a nd it was calm. Then he said unto them, Where is your faith? and they feared, and wondered among themselves, saying, Who is this that commandeth both the winds and water, and they obey him! So they sailed unto the region of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And as he went out to land, there met him a certain man out of the city, which had devils long time, and he wore no garment, neither abode in house, but in the graves. And when he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus the son of God the most High? I beseech thee torment me not. For he commanded the foul spirit to come out of the man: (for oft times he had caught him: therefore he was bound with chains, and kept in letters: but he brake the bands, and was carried of the devil unto the wildernesses.) Then Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? and he said, Legion, because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him, that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was thereby an herd of many swine feeding on an hill: and the devils besought him, that he would suffer them to enter into them. So he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd was carried with violence from a steep down place into the lake, and was choked. When the herdsmen saw what was done, and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it, told them by what means he that was possessed with the devil, was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country about the Gadarenes, besought him that he would depart from them: for they were taken with a great fear: and he went into the ship, and returned. Then the man, out of whom the devils were departed, besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return into thine own house, and show what great things God hath done to thee. So he went his way, and preached throughout all the city, what great things Jesus had done unto him. And it came to pass, when Jesus was come again, that the people received him: for they all waited for him. And behold, there came a man named Jarius, and he was the ruler of the Synagogue, who fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house. For he had but a daughter only, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying (and as he went, the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood, twelve years long, which had spent all her substance upon physicians, and could not be healed of any: When she came behind him, she touched the hem of his garment, and immediately her issue of blood stanched. Then Jesus said, Who is it that hath touched me? When every man denied, Peter said and they that were with him, Master, the multitude thrust thee, and tread on thee, and sayest thou, Who hath touched me? And Jesus said, Someone hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. When the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and fell down before him, and told him before all the people: for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace.) While he yet spake, there came out from the ruler of the Synagogue’s house, which said to him, Thy daughter is dead: disease not the Master. When Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be saved. And when he went into the house, he suffered no man to go in with him, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and mother of the maid. And all wept, and sorrowed for her: but he said, Weep not: for she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. So he thrust them all out, and took her by the hand, and cried, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she rose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. Then her parents were astonied: but he commanded them that they should tell no man what was done. Luke 8:16–56
- Behold, blessed is the man whom God correcteth: therefore refuse not thou the chastising of the Almighty. For he maketh the wound, and bindeth it up: he smiteth, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles, and in the seventh the evil shall not touch thee. In famine he shall deliver thee from death: and in battle from the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue, and thou shalt not be afraid of destruction when it cometh. But thou shalt laugh at destruction and dearth, and shalt not be afraid of the beast of the earth. For the stones of the field shall be in league with thee, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. And thou shalt know, that peace shall be in thy tabernacle, and thou shalt visit thine habitation, and shalt not sin. Thou shalt perceive also that thy seed shall be great, and thy posterity as the grass of the earth. Thou shalt go to thy grave in a full age, as a rick of corn cometh in due season into the barn. Lo, thus have we inquired of it, and so it is: hear this and know it for thyself. Job 5:17–27