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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Shine, Jesus, shine!

Pastor Richard Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta


In the serenity of David’s beloved 23rd Psalm, verse 4 presents us with a passage of confidence, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 King James translation). The “valley of the shadow of death,” pictures a journey that every person will experience at the end of our lives, though it is not the only shadow we encounter in life.

We think of a shadow as something dark, made by an object coming between us and the light. It is an intercepting or cutting off of brightness. God created night to be a shadow made by the earth coming between us and the sun; a welcome phenomenon that though darkness comes, there is a benefit equally welcoming as we see the stars in the heaven that we couldn’t see during daylight.  

Every person we come into contact with also casts a shadow, some which make the world darker for us, while others, despite their shadow, seem to make our life brighter, as if light can pass right through them to actually cheer us up when we’re down, giving sunshine or radiance where and when it helps the most. Each of us casts a shadow of our own as we make our way through life. It reflects influences and choices we make and affects those around us. I like to call it our realm of influence. 

Some seem to make the world darker as their shadow falls on others, seeming to believe their gloominess to be uplifting, indifferently spreading or magnifying the darkness, doing nothing to lighten the lives of others and in effect adding more darkness in lives that already have more than enough. It isn’t only the shadow of death that brings about darkness in life, there is the shadow of sickness, broken relationships, catastrophes that bring in darkness of what the future holds and losses in finances, health, etc.

We are created in the image of God, and in our own ways we sometimes experience days, weeks or more that are much like what was here originally. We read In Geneses 1:2 KJV, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” 

The question I ask myself and others is, “what kind of shadow do we cast?” What is the effect of our presence on other people? Is it cheerfulness, gladness, hope, kindness or some other encouraging character trait? As people who know us see our shadow, does the presence of Christ’s goodness shine through, so that their life can be better as they can see the hope that is in us regarding our future? 

Knowing Jesus as our Savior should not be kept to ourselves. Jesus said, “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, KJV).  

Shine, Jesus, shine!

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