"To Burn and To Shine"
The Lord Jesus Christ referred to His herald John the Baptist as "the voice of One crying in the wilderness" (Matthew 3:3). This refers to John's role as a messenger sent not to proclaim his own thoughts, opinions, or perspectives, but rather those of the God who called and commissioned His servant. John served as a voice to convey a message rather than being the author of the truth he communicated. He was "a burning and a shining light" in the sense that he was a lamp that absorbed and reflected the illumination of Another (John 5:35).
"I am the light of the world… Ye are the light of the world" (John 8:12; Matthew 5:14).
Our Lord is the light in essence; we are the light in expression. "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27). Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are "the habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22). We have realized that we possess no life of our own, but rather exist as the spiritual temple of the living God. Thus, we represent not ourselves, but rather the Lord who redeemed us by His grace, and dwells within us to enliven, motivate, and enable a life that is actually His life. "He is thy life" (Deuteronomy 30:20). In every venue of our experience, our Heavenly Father sends us as He did John the Baptist to "burn and shine" with the light of the Lord Jesus. This includes our countenance, demeanor, attitude, words, and works of self sacrifice empowered by the indwelling presence of our Savior's love within us. "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God… The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (I Corinthians 10:31; Romans 5:5). This is life, the life of lamps who realize and accept their honored role of serving as voices in the wilderness, the voices not of ourselves, but of Another. "I will speak of Thy testimonies" (Psalm 119:46).
This is peace, the tranquility of heart that descends upon those who accept their role as God's emissaries, and who blessedly escape the heavy chain of seeking to further their own agenda and reputation. Such a path of truth and peace lies before us in this day wherein we may devote ourselves to illuminate the wilderness of our sphere of influence with our Lord's light. Again, every aspect of our human frame and capacity serves as the lamp of His light. People may not know what (Who) they see, hear, and encounter in us as the reflective moon to God's sun. But they must see the Light that "shineth in darkness" (John 1:5). Thus, we begin our days on the knees of our hearts, and if physically possible, on the knees of our knees to echo the prophet of old: "Here am I; send me" (Isaiah 6:8). John the Baptist doubtless began his days in such posture of spirit and body. He knew himself to be a lamp, to be the Voice of Another. Let us accept the same blessed calling and commission to burn and to shine as enabled by the Spirit of God, for the glory of the Son and the purposes of the Father.
"Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and for Thy truth's sake!"
Weekly Memory Verse
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.