|RISE AND SHINE
This always seems easiest to do in the morning.
You know how it works. The sun is rising and if you’re blessed, your bedroom window is positioned so that the gentle rays of the sun beam right through - onto you - and nudge you awake to face a new day.
And as you rise and then yawn and stretch out your arms, it’s all about your countenance, isn’t it? The expression on your face tells the story. If you’re blessed, you recognize the blessing and then, a shiny smile will appear on your face to give praise. How can you not give praise?
This is how it should be, but it isn’t always. In fact, most of the time, you can barely drag yourself out of bed. It’s like having an angel and a devil on either shoulder. The angel says, “Seize the day!” while the devil says, “Go away!”
Still, it’s always better to rise.
First off, rising means you actually have the ability to rise. That’s a blessing. Many people don’t make it through the night.
Yet once you’ve risen and are aware of the blessing in rising, how can you not shine? How can your face not carry at least a trace of a smile? Joy comes with rising, does it not?
Call me crazy, but rising is much better than falling with the last gasp of breath.
Here’s the really great thing about rising. Rising means that you were once down. It means that something was holding you in a deep, dark place, but something else happened and you rose. You rose with the light.
It’s all about rising. We are here to rise and then, shine.
Whenever I think of rising, I think of Jesus Christ. In fact, isn’t Christ sort of synonymous with rising? And not only did He rise, He soared.
Christ was God in human form. He came down to earth to spread the Gospel of Salvation for all those who would believe. He took on the deep, dark sins of all of mankind - past, present and future – as a living sacrifice. One time, for all times. Power in His blood.
As He hung on the cross, He was perfect and completely without sin, yet He took on all of our sins as God’s way of simultaneously punishing sin, yet showing mercy by giving us the opportunity to atone for our sins by simply believing in Christ.
That’s all we have to do. Believe and follow. Rise and then shine.
Jesus Christ, hanging on the cross and then rising from the grave means that all of our sins – past, present and future – remain on the cross. They remain in the grave to be remembered by God no more … IF we believe and continue to trust in Christ.
How’s THAT for a comeback story?
Once, we were down and now, we’ve risen from the ashes. Literally.
God gives us free will. The choice is totally ours. We fall, but we can also rise. We can rise like Christ … by rising with Christ.
We can try to rise on our own, but this is all about Christ, isn’t it?
I’m smiling as I’m writing these words. How can I keep from joyfully writing? How can I keep from joyfully singing? And keep in mind, I’m not a singer.
Aren’t you ready to rise? You can rise right now. You can be in the deepest, darkest of circumstances and yet, there He is. He is with you and didn’t even know it.
Jesus Christ is always the very best option. Past, present and future. Choosing Him is the most important choice of your entire life.
You can rise. And then, after rising, you will surely shine.
Ahh … doesn’t it feel like a great day?