Rise and Shine to Good Works

on 2/09/2012

We've probably all heard the famous passage from Isaiah 60:1, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." What a wonderful passage of exhortation. We Christians know that Jesus Christ is The Light that has been given to us and has risen on us (John 1). Jesus said that God never lights a candle to keep it hidden, but puts it on display so that it gives light to everyone (Matthew 5:15). But we also know we have a choice. We must choose whether we will rise and shine. Jesus exhorted all of us by saying, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

Ephesians 2:11 tells us that we were created in Christ unto good works which God has prepared for us. We now see, when taking the verses together, that we were created for good works which were meant for others to see so that they would glorify God. When we were born again into Christ we were empowered to do good works. Not just any good works, but good works God specifically prepared with us individually in mind. I can boldly say that it's the greatest desire of my life to do all the good works God has prepared for me. My destiny is to be conformed to the image of Christ and to do these good works, and in Jesus' Name when I get to Heaven I will hear "well done good and faithful servant."

So my greatest desire is to see and do these good works. And by looking at 1 Corinthians 2 we see that our relationship with the Holy Spirit and our level of spiritual discernment are keys to seeing and doing these good works. I really love some of Joel Osteen's teachings in "Your Best Life Now" on this subject. I believe he rightly points out that God doesn't tell you to do things you can do in your own strength. God calls you up higher. God gives you assignments that you can't do without Him. God tells you to do things that will require supernatural wisdom and ability. The good works you are supposed to do require God's help, it's just that simple. You can't even recognize the works without the Holy Spirit, let alone do them without God!

But now I want to talk about boldness. I want to talk about rising up and shining before men. Proverbs 28:1 says that the righteous are bold as a lion. Glory to God! When you know who you are and Who is with you, then you aren't afraid of anything. Think about David as a young man. He knew God was with him, and that God was not with the uncircumcised Philistine Goliath. Therefore David knew he would have the victory. That's called righteous boldness my friends, and it's time we all started walking in it.

God showed me another example of this that absolutely strengthened my faith and resolve. In 2 Kings 5 we hear about an honorable man called Naaman. He was a Syrian warrior, but the Bible says that by Naaman God had protected Syria. Naaman was a leper and he heard that a prophet in Israel could heal him. So Syria's king writes a letter to Israel's king asking Israel's king to heal Naaman. Let's read from the text what happened:

"And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, 'Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? Wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.' And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel." (2 Kings 5:7-8)

Do you see that? Look at the anointing with power and boldness that was on Elisha's life. "Bring me the Leper, he's going to know that God is alive and someone on earth operates in His wisdom and power." That's boldness. Elisha knew that God was with him and that God's power would be displayed on this leper through a miracle of healing.

I believe that's the anointing we need today. Does someone have a sickness, bring them to me and I will lay hands on them and see them recover. Do you have a difficult business situation, bring it to me and God's wisdom will come forth with guidance. What do you need, don't worry, I know God is with me and He will provide.

The end of the story is even more exciting. After Naaman is healed he is converted. He returns to Elisha, says that there is no God other than the God of Israel, and renounces any service to other gods. That's how it's supposed to work!

We must rise and shine so that men will see our good works (given to us by God for the blessing of others) and then men will glorify our Father in Heaven. They will come to us saying surely God is in us and there is no other God (Isaiah 45). This anointing with boldness and power will release God's power in the earth and men will come to His Light.

So develop your relationship with the Holy Spirit. Do that so you can clearly discern the good works God has prepared for you. Don't be afraid when you see them, God is with you to guide and empower you. Run to the battle like David. Do you see a friend or leader with a problem, that may be a good work God has prepared for you. As Elisha helped the king, so did Daniel rise and shine when the Babylonian King needed a dream interpreted. Daniel didn't say "I can't interpret dreams, let the people die." No, Daniel said give me a little bit of time, and I will show the king the interpretation.

Our Light has come, you know it and I know it. It's time to rise up boldly, with confidence in God, and do the good works God has prepared for us. This will bring glory to God, this will bring people to Christ.

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