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Radiance

Focus Verses:

“And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:4)

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house,” (Matthew 5:14-15)

The Word of God says that we are the light in this world and that we are to be separated and divided from the darkness. Matthew 5:16 says, “let your light shine.” Even the world recognizes light and darkness as the universal battle between all things good and all things evil.

God is telling us to let our light shine, and not just any light, but a light that is so strong it can only be compared to that of a city. With the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, we can not only be a light, but we can radiate.

When you look up synonyms for the word radiate you will find the following list; bright, shine, light, dazzle, and illuminate. These words challenge me in so many different areas of my life.

  • Don’t be the typical neighbor. Be different!
  • Don’t be the average co-worker. Be bold!
  • Don’t be the every day stay-at-home mom. Stand out!
  • Don’t be just another sister at church. Be radiant!

The exact opposite of radiant is: darkness, blackness, dim and dull.

Two ways to radiate His light:

1. Recognition. Recognize that Jesus is our source of light. In John 8:12 and I John 1:5, we read that Jesus in the light of the world and that in Him there in no darkness. Psalm 27:1 reminds me that God is my light and my salvation. We need to recognize that all goodness and mercy comes from him. When we’re doing good, flesh likes to take credit. A radiant woman will:

    • Give glory to God
    • Reflect Him
    • Radiate His goodness

2. Separation. In II Corinthians 6:14, the Bible asks a clear question, “What fellowship has light and dark?” Nature itself shows us that there is no fellowship between light and dark. A simple experiment can be done to prove that; go into a dark room and turn on the light. What happens to the dark? Like the light and dark, we are to live a life that is separated. Lines must be drawn that separate our conversations, our outings, meals, friends and choices of entertainment. “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy ” (Leviticus 19:2).

Life Reflection:

Ask yourself: Are the boundaries I put in place that separate me from darkness, evident to nonbelievers? 

 

Our goal as woman of radiance is to reflect Christ. Luke 11:33 makes a clear statement, “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, put it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” The scripture is so clear, to do anything else would lack reason.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (I Peter 2:9)

Let your light shine. Be a woman of radiance!

Devotion

Let’s start with defining the word devotion: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause. Synonyms for the word devotion include: committed, loyal, practice, or an act of fidelity. The opposite of devotion is infidelity and unfaithfulness.

Nowhere in the definition of devotion do we see that it relates to religion. We do however see words within the definition of devotion that relate to relationship.

Devotion is not religion, it is relationship.

The greatest example we have in the natural realm of an act of devotion, is a wedding. More specifically, at the point when the marriage vows are made. We commit our lives to our spouse in front of family, friends, and God, promising to devote our lives to them. The greatest relationship you will ever have in your life is your relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ.

There are benefits to committing your life and devoting your life to God. Proverbs 16:3 tells us, “commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” When we choose to commit our lives to God, the Bible says that He will establish our thoughts. Our spouse will offer us comfort and support; be someone to share our joy and victories with, but only God can establish our thoughts. Only He can bring stability and clarity to our mind and give us a firm foundation allowing us to grow in our walk with Him.

Two ways to build a life devoted to God:

1.  Recognition.  We must give God recognition in all areas of our life – career, education, family, finances, relationships, marriage, and ministry. In the Book of Acts, Paul was in Athens and he came upon a statue that the people had erected. “For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD…” (Acts 17:23). If we are going to live a life of devotion to God, we must first be sure that we know who God is.

Devotion to God will require a commitment of our time. Proverbs 31 is a powerful chapter that describes a virtuous woman. Proverbs 31:27 reads, “she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

You will know who you serve when you know where your time is spent.

Life Reflection:

Make a list of how and where you spend your time:

 

Matthew 6:19-21 tells us that where your treasure is, there is your heart also. We can also read it as a challenge to us saying, where your time is spent, there is your heart also. It is a reasonable argument that people spend time doing the things they love.

2. Separation.  When you become devoted and involved in a new relationship, there is a separation from previous commitments. Acquaintances, hobbies, friends, interests and plans that once controlled your time, now begin to revolve around your new relationship. Living a life devoted to God will bring a natural separation as you grow closer to Him. Matthew 6:24 confirms that we cannot serve two masters and in II Corinthians 6:14-15, the scripture asks the question, “What does a believer and an infidel have in common?”

We devote time and self to God in the following ways:

  • Prayer
  • Attending church activities
  • Fasting
  • Reading the Bible
  • Fellowship
  • Praise and worship
  • Ministry Development

Life Response:

Psalm 1:1-3 describes great blessing and favor when our life is devoted to God first. It describes not just a moment in time with our Savior, but a lifestyle of devotion. The greatest relationship you will ever have in your life is your relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ!

Submitted by Kini Garcia

Download a .pdf version of this Bible study:

Life Reference: John 8:31-32, 43-45

Focus Verse:

“That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee” (Proverbs 22:21).

Before giving testimony in a legal proceeding, the witness is required to give an affirmation to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Some version of this wording can be found in the legal system of many countries. To tell less than the whole truth is perjury—lying.

Have you ever heard someone counter truth with a resolute “well, in my opinion . . .” or “I believe that . . .”? It’s as if they place their opinion above absolute truth. There is a danger in this, especially when we are speaking of the Word of God.

Life Reflection:

Why is “the whole truth” so important in our lives?

How does opinion compare to truth?

Satan Is the Father of Lies

From the very beginning Satan’s goal has been to twist and destroy truth. This is clear in his interaction with Eve in Genesis 3. By adding just one small word he changed truth into a lie. It was his nature to do this. John 8:44 says,

“Because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

We are constantly being warned of scams, which can sometimes dupe the intelligent as well as the gullible. A scam is a trick or swindle dressed up to sound like truth. It may be a legitimate-looking email, a phone call, or even a personal encounter, but the intent is to deceive and steal from us. It is important to learn how to distinguish between truth and a slick lie. An abundance of words stated with great passion does not necessarily mean something is true.

Life Reflection:

What are some of the current scams that are being used to deceive people?

Do you know someone who has fallen for one of these false schemes?

Why do you think they were deceived?

While we need to be careful with our personal business to make sure we are not taken in by some deceptive story, we must also be careful to recognize truth from falsehood in understanding God’s Word. We are warned of this in II Corinthians 11:13-15.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

How to Determine Truth

How do we determine if something is certain truth, an opinion, or deliberate deceit? We must ask ourselves a few questions.

  • How reliable is the source?
  • Does this align perfectly with the Word of God?
  • Have I sought God for His direction and guidance on the matter?

A Look at Truth

John 17:17  – God’s Word is truth.
Psalm 117:2 – Truth is eternal.
John 8:32 – Truth sets us free.
Ephesians 6:14 – Truth is part of our armor.
John 4:24 – Worship and truth are joined together.

 

Life Reflection:

How do we distinguish between the truth and false doctrine?

Life Response

Truth is not negotiable or open to discussion. When we become careless with truth, supplanting it with personal views and opinions, we are in effect aligning ourselves with the father of all deceit. We cannot allow ourselves to compromise truth. This not only endangers our own souls, it also jeopardizes the souls of our children and future generations. Our mandate is clear—embrace unadulterated truth and pass it on to the next generation.

“We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done . . . that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children” (Psalm 78:4, 6).

Life Reflection:

What is our personal responsibility in imparting truth to the next generation?

Truth is unchanging and eternal. It is ours to cherish and pass on. Hold it tight.

My Prayer:

Lord, give me the discernment to recognize truth and not be deceived by any of Satan’s tactics. Help me to embrace Your truth wholeheartedly and to make it my personal mission to pass it on to the generation which follows.

More Life with God References:

Psalm 86:11
John 14:6
John 17:17
II Timothy 2:15
II Timothy 3:16-17

 

This Bible study was adapted from an article originally published in Reflections Magazine.

Life Reference: Luke 10:38-42

Focus Verse:

“But Martha was distracted . . .” (Luke 10:40 NKJV).

The car was slightly ahead of me and one lane over. Or, rather, it was one lane over part of the time. The vehicle would drift over the line to the right and then back to the left. Right, left, and right again. The driver’s disregard for lane markings was unnerving to those of us nearby. Was the driver drunk, I wondered? It was still early in the day. Then I realized the more likely answer—he was distracted by his cell phone. It was endangering all of us.

A distraction is something that takes our attention away from what we’re supposed to be doing. We are not engaged in what is happening around us. It interferes with our concentration and focus. Distractions can be dangerous, like the 65-mile-per-hour weaving car that day. Some distractions are not as dangerous—like picking up a magazine to dust the end table and instead sitting down for thirty minutes to read that magazine. Admit it. We’ve all been distracted—many times.

Life Reflection:

What are some of the distractions you have noticed in your life?

Have any of your distractions placed you or others in danger?

Spiritual Distractions

If we are easily distracted in our everyday lives, isn’t it also true we may be easily distracted in our walk with God? Look around some Sunday morning. Is anyone sneaking a quick look at email or sending a text message? Do we sing praises while on “automatic mode” as our mind wanders to a multitude of other things? Such distractions keep us from thinking deeply about the Word of God being preached. We are present in body but far away in thoughts and spirit. Distractions can be dangerous to our eternal souls.

Satan loves it when we are distracted. It makes his work easier. That’s why we must always be on guard.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”

(I Peter 5:8 NKJV)

Life Reflection:

What are some of the distractions you have noticed in your spiritual life?

What are the causes of spiritual distractions?

Are there any worldly distractions that you need to repent of and lay aside?

We are not all distracted by the same things. Samson was distracted by a relationship with a Philistine woman (Judges 14:5). Demas was distracted by the culture around him (II Timothy 4:10). Martha was distracted by household tasks (Luke 10:40).

Life Response:

Not everything that distracts us is sinful. The same cell phone that keeps us from concentrating during the sermon or our prayer time also connects us with loved ones, helps in an emergency, and keeps our calendar. Hobbies can rob us of time if done to excess, but they can help us relax and unwind. Cooking and cleaning are necessary but must not crowd out time for relationships. Distractions will come, but if we are alert to them we can minimize their impact.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV)

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Look at the list below to determine the distractions that most impact your spending quality time with God. How can you control these diversions?

  • Media and entertainment
  • Technology
  • Relationships
  • Recreation
  • Work
  • Hobbies
  • Money and possessions
  • Worry and fears
  • Everyday routine
  • Pleasing others

Ways to Overcome Distractions  

We will all become distracted at times. We are only human. However, there are some things we can do to minimize distractions, especially those that interfere with our personal devotions. Here are some tips to help you lessen the distractions and enjoy your time with God.

  • Minimize distractions by setting a time and place.
  • Remove temptations.  Leave your phone/electronics in another room.
  • Ask God to help you focus.
  • Write down any distractions (errands, worries, etc.) for later.
  • Read and meditate on the Word first.
  • Keep a prayer list or journal.
  • Pray out loud.

My Prayer:

Lord, I come to you with all my busyness and the things that distract me when I’m with you. Let my focus be on You and You alone. Convict me of any sin that has taken my eyes from You. Help me to commit my problems, worries, and fears to You that I may bask in Your presence without distraction.

More Life with God References:

Proverbs 4:25-26
I Corinthians 7:35
Philippians 4:6-8
Joshua 1:8

This Bible study was adapted from an article originally published in Reflections Magazine.