Pictured above is the Montauk Point Lighthouse. It is located on the easternmost point of Long Island, NY. Built in 1796 it is the oldest lighthouse in New York state and the fourth oldest in the US. It was actually number six on my 2016 Lighthouse Touring list. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to visit it. Hopefully, I’ll find some time before the winter storms arrive and venture on the three-hour drive so I can take pictures and add it to my Lighthouse Passport book.
There is nothing particularly spectacular about this lighthouse other than the fact that it is outlined with string lights during the Holiday season. Yet, that is precisely what inspired me to write this devotion.
In two of my previous devotions (“His Light is Our Light” and “This Little Light of His“) I explained that the light we carry within us and the one we ought to shine for all to see is the very light of Almighty God. Keeping this in mind, we should always be careful to give God the glory for anything and everything we accomplish in this life. If we don’t, we run the risk of falling prey to self-adulation. When God’s favor rests upon his people and they neglect to acknowledge him as the source of their blessings the lights of arrogance and self-sufficiency begin to outshine His light within them. Like the Montauk Point Lighthouse during the Christmastime, they end up attracting and distracting spectators with the glittering lights of their selfish deeds while the main saving light of Jesus shines dimly in the background. But then there are also those whose religiosity gives the impression that they are God’s beacons when in reality they are nothing more than temporary lighthouse shaped decorations. Not only do they mislead people with their exterior illumination (pious appearance), but their colorful radiance eventually burns out only to leave them disregarded, disparaged or derided. Whereas those who are true spiritual lighthouses shine the eternal light of Christ at all times and are constantly sought out for guidance, comfort, and hope.
Being a lighthouse for God is not only an honor and a privilege but a very serious entrustment. It is an unmerited favor bestowed upon those who join the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ. And while this same faith is the one that produces good works that shine in a dark and evil world, it is the glorious light of God that draws the sinner unto Him. In other words, even though our testimony serves as a visible witness of God’s redeeming power, it is only by His Spirit that men are convicted and brought to repentance. Heaven forbid we ever take credit for anything that God does in us or through us. Without the light of Christ, we would not be able to escape the darkness of this world let alone show others the way to His saving arms. So no matter if we are master theologians, influential preachers, selfless missionaries or generous good Samaritans if our motives are not God-inspired and we fail to give Him the glory in all that we do then our light is but a temporary flicker. May the light that radiates from our lighthouse always be the beacon of God’s unfathomable grace and not the external illumination of our self-centered and seemingly godly motivations.
Prayer: Oh Lord, guard my heart against selfish and self-righteous motivations. May my life be a genuine witness of your mercy, love, and grace. May your light be the preeminent source of guidance to those you place in my path. And may I always give you all the glory for that which you do in and through me. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and all praise forever, amen.
5 thoughts on “Exterior Illumination”
My favorite quote is this one, “So no matter if we are master theologians, influential preachers, selfless missionaries or generous good Samaritans if our motives are not God-inspired and we fail to give Him the glory in all that we do then our light is but a temporary flicker” So true, Lord examine our motives! As usually beautiful written! Love this one.
I love the comment that we may be “lighthouse shaped decorations” in our religiosity. As always, I absolutely love your posts!
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Thank you, April. That thought was inspired by my own personal fear of conforming to a simple lighthouse decoration. That is why my daily prayer is that my life would reflect the true light of Christ. In everything I do, I always give Him ALL the glory and praise! 🙂
I was reminded of Deuteronomy 8:18, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth”. Whenever we experience any sort of success on life, we must always remember that it was God who give us the power to achieve that success. We must never become self-centred and allow success to draw us away from God.
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Yes Matt, not only is He the giver but He is the Sustainer. For in Him we live, move, and have our being! Acts 17:28.