John 9:5 – While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (NIV)
Each spring at "our little church in the Creek", we have a Festival of Faith Conference, and we look forward to the weekend with great anticipation and joy after a long winter of snow and cold in the Maritimes.
This year, I believe, was one of our best Festivals ever. We were blessed and challenged by three exceptional speakers who, each in his own sincere way, shared the old, old story of Jesus' love and forgiveness.
Special music was provided by many of our local friends and included a beautiful male choir presentation and a great bluegrass Christian music celebration for all to enjoy. A great husband-and-wife duet from Newfoundland were our special guests for the weekend and thrilled our hearts with their testimony in song.
Before our Newfoundland friends sang their beautiful rendition of The Lighthouse, the husband explained that he and his wife had grown up, married, and settled on a small, busy island 19 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. He then went on to tell us about one fall day when he and his brother had gone to the mainland, by boat, on business. When returning home, late afternoon, they became aware of the fact that the wind was picking up speed rapidly and steadily, causing both men to become concerned for their safety. The winds blew harder, and the waves grew higher, bouncing the boat and the men up and down, to and fro, for several hours. Darkness soon began to set in, and sometimes they were unable to see the land because of the size of the waves. Realizing that they were becoming quite tired because of the effort it took for them to control the boat in the heavy sea, they began to fear that they might never see land again. Amid all the confusion and turmoil, they had one blessing in their favour: on shore and close to the wharf stood a lighthouse that shone brightly, beaming out a ray of hope for their survival. They worked hard and kept their eye peeled in the direction of the lighthouse, and praise God, with the strength that He continued to provide them with, they were able to reach the harbour, where the waters were calmer. Eventually, with great effort, they made it to shore, thinking to themselves, If it wasn't for the lighthouse, where would our boat (our lives) be?
Arriving home safely, they made their way through the crowds waiting for them on the wharf, humbly thankful for their prayers, the lighthouse, and the blessing of being alive and back home again.
This man of God then went on to explain that, over the years, had it not been for Jesus, the Lighthouse, guiding him in his life, he would never have made it through the storms that he had encountered in his Christian walk.
As I sat there and listened to him tell his story, I was reminded of the very fact that even though their friends and family were so close at hand and loved these young men so much, they were unable to save them from the agony of the angry sea and maybe even death. All their loved ones could do was to make sure that the lighthouse shone brightly to guide them home. It was up to the brothers to follow the beacon.
Isn't this the way it is with salvation? As much as Christians want to provide salvation for those they love, they cannot save them from an eternity without Christ — only He can. Christians can pray for them and point them to the Light, but it is their responsibility to follow the beacon provided by the Holy Spirit, which leads them to the foot of the cross, where they can seek forgiveness for their sins and surrender their lives to Christ. It is only then that they will be assured that He will guide them through the rough waters of hurt and despair and lead them to a safe harbour where they will enjoy still waters with Him forever.
If you have not followed the beacon that Christ offers and met Him face to face, I urge you to accept Him today as your Lord and make this your day of salvation.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are able to walk on the water and calm the raging sea. You are the Lighthouse that leads us to the beautiful, serene, harbour of salvation when we come to You in faith, seeking forgiveness. It is to You that we come today, sincerely asking Your guidance and loving support as we go out into the world, encouraging our loved ones and friends to follow the Light to Calvary, where, at the foot of the cross, they may they claim You as their Lord and Saviour. Amen.