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The crux/core/bottom-line of Christian living

Updated on March 4, 2011
Let it shine; Let it Shine; Let it shine
Let it shine; Let it Shine; Let it shine

In Church, Bible Study or even in casual conversation I may hear hard questions. Questions that may require an honest assessment, a well as a choice. It is simple to sit there and give mental assent to what I am reading, hearing or sensing in my spirit. However, later during the day, when I am actually walking through and living life, do I still agree? Do my words, actions and attitude testify to my agreement? Is my agreement with the Spirit of God making a difference in how I live my life? If not – I am being a hypocrite and dishonest. A hard statement? Yes, but if I really want to live for, with and through Jesus I need, in fact I must see things as they really are!

Nouwen makes this statement in his book, “Out of Solitude” (pg14) “In the lonely place Jesus finds the courage to follow God’s will and not His own; to speak God’s words and not His own; to do God’s work and not His own.”

This is amazing when I realize who this is, this Jesus. God’s Son. Deity. This is God, who took on flesh and became a man. Fully God – fully man. And yet in John 5:30 Jesus states, “By Myself, I can do nothing…I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.” Jesus lived for the Father; doing what Father wanted Him to do.

When Jesus fully lives in me, it will show. His life becomes evident. Not by my effort but by Jesus very life; by who He is in me. This is important to realize. Jesus, who He is, as He is allowed to live through me, as I submit and step back into the shadow of His wing, will be seen, heard and experienced. Why, because His person will show. I don’t have to be “like” Jesus, I only have to let Jesus “be” Jesus.

In the same verse in John, Jesus said, “I judge only as I hear…” Jesus didn’t have to worry or try to “be” a good judge – He had only to listen. He trusted that God was already a good judge. Therefore, God the Son – submitted wholly – to God the Father.

I can hardly wrap my brain around this truth. However, I don’t need to fully understand, to trust and faithfully believe it. Believe God, believe Jesus, and believe Spirit – all three God. God will not and cannot lie. (Numbers 23:19) I can trust Him. It is my choice whether I will or not. Jesus trusted Fathers Word. He staked His life on it; He staked our life on it. And today, as a result, Jesus lives, in His risen, glorified flesh, at the right hand of Almighty God.

Again in John 14:10-11 Jesus reveals to us, “…the words I say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father living in Me who is doing His work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.”

And the same way God was in the man Jesus – Jesus by the Holy Spirit is in me…that is a heart stopper. A courage builder. A soul changer. If I stay intimately close to Jesus everyday – all day, I will be changed. There is a saying, “You are who you hang out with.” Who a person associates with will influence who he/she is. People are influenced by the people closest to their hearts. If someone doesn’t matter to me, I won’t pay attention to them. I will not store up their words or actions in my heart and soul… they will not influence me. But if I care, admire them, respect them; then I will listen. I will pay attention to what they say, how they say it and how they do things. We imitate what we respect and love. We learn and it becomes a part of us. Its how we learn as a child – I imitated my parents, talking, walking, and living. Jesus is Jesus in me, by His Holy Spirit. He doesn’t change. (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:18) But I, my soul and heart will change because of living with Jesus! Not only am I influenced by Jesus but I am being influenced by others and others by me?!

Again a question – Am “I,” meaning me, Ulrike Grace, influencing others or are they being influenced by Jesus in me? Do they hear and see Jesus or Ulrike Grace? I can also ask am I influenced by Jesus in them or by the person themselves? Am I looking for, listening for Jesus or do I hear only hear my friends. It goes both ways especially amongst Christians.

I have sung this song often,

“This little Light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”

Light of the World
Light of the World

First: the light we sing about is (or should be) Jesus, if not, the light is darkness.

Second: the light is NOT little; it is the Light of the world, of men. John 1:4) The Holy Spirit declared in John 1:4-5 “In Him [Jesus] was Life, and that Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness…” Only as I submit and trust; as I get to know Jesus in me will I have the courage and the will to want to (Philippians 2:13) live in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:4) and let Jesus shine. We need to see and hear Jesus – not each other.

Will I trust Him?

Will I spend time with Him in the lonely, intimate place to get to know Him?

So that I can trust Him fully when the crunch comes? It’s the only way I’ll stay in the shadows and not rush forward to take back control.

Oh Boy – now that’s a word – Selah!

© 2010 UlrikeGrace


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    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 7 years ago from Canada

      Dave, thank you for your very kind words. I pray taht increasingly my Christian "expereince" will indeed become Christian reality, in other words, it will not be just an experience that happens occassionally but will become the norm of my life, and it is out of this desire I write. Bless you sir,

      Ulrike Grace

    • DavePrice profile image

      DavePrice 7 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      I read your stuff all the time, how is it I forgot to "follow" - thankfully I have fixed the problem. You write wonderfully of true Christian experience, and I enjoy every word. I think it is a sin to break the silence if you cannot improve on it - you improve on it every time you write.

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 8 years ago from Canada

      Yes, rls4Immanuel, it is overwhelming and a mystery all at the same time. How He, a perfectly Holy God, is able to take us, although cleansed in the blood of Jesus, and make us partakers of His divine beyond me. But He does because of the perfect atonement wrought for us by Jesus, and for that I am truly grateful. We will never have to fear anihilation ever again.

      Thank you for your thoughts,and blessings to you

      Ulrike Grace

    • profile image

      rls4Immanuel 8 years ago

      We are constantly under threat of taking our focus off of our Savior and focusing on our self as we live our lives. However, Jesus challenges us to "take up our cross and follow Him." Although God does love us and see us as the individuals He created, ultimately HE sees us through the blood of Christ. I appreciate your comments on who is the source of "light" and that Jesus is the only source of God's presence in us. In and of ourselves, no good thing dwells. It is only through the "rebirth" by Spirit and water that we are graced with any ability to reflect Jesus. Jesus had to shed His holy and powerful blood to deal with our sin to make us able to reflect Jesus in any way. Isn't it amazing how God the Holy Spirit can overwhelm us with new life, making us partakers of the Divine nature, without inhilating us as individuals. God is truly amazing.

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 8 years ago from Canada

      Itakins, I believe you hit the nail on the head when you say...when He wills it. Sadly and to often, we Christians move ahead in misplaced zeal, like the Israelites did when they changed their mind at the jordon River and decided after the fact to go after Ai even when God said, don't do it! I won't be with you. And then we are confused as to why we got hurt and/or failed. We run ahead without the direction or even the presence of God.

      Thanks for your comment, I appreciate them

      Sainatlarge, I look forward to your insights and encouraging words. Bless you. That is the mystery isn't it, to trust in that which God made us, God did have a reason to purpose us as He did. I need to accept it, joyfully walk in it and NOT bury myself as the servant did with his one talent the master gave him. Sometimes what we tend to bury is NOT so much the gift )we haven't gotten that far) but our very selfs in an effort of self-preservation. But, as you have so pointed out, if I walk and live and have my being IN Christ, IN Jesus then I am already accepted and graced with mercy to live, truly live as He meant me to.

      Thank you L. May our Father bless you richly in all that you do for Him.


      PS. how do I "share" a post after I am past that prompt? I created another hub yesterday but our wireless gave out before I could do that. So am trying to figure how to advertise it properly on my FB and my mailing list.

      Thanks Friends

    • Saintatlarge profile image

      Saint Lawrence 8 years ago from Canada

      Great Stuff UlrikeGrace. Concern for appearance from the heart's reflection and our spirit's person being engulfed through, by and in Jesus, via Holy Spirit shows that Holy Spirit is working in you to bring you into the wonderful mystery of being Jesus through who you are and being defined by his work in you. Another part of this mystery is that we can be ourselves as we trust the work of God at the potters wheel. He loves us, but he also likes us. We cannot make him love us more by striving to become, only by rising with Christ in the resurrection power as we get to know God better. (Eph.1.18-20) Holy Spirit brings the revelation of Christ in us, as the eyes of our heart are enlightened. And as RevLady has said with Gal.2.20 As Paul came to understand..."it IS Christ in Me." Be blessed you are awesome. L.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl

      Wonderful hub-I agree with RevLady,Jesus reveals Himself to others through out words,and I believe through our actions-when He wills it.

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 8 years ago from Canada

      Amen RevLady and that is what we work towards...

      The Scripture fits perfectly with this thought...thanks...Gal.2:20 is my life it makes it even more significant



    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      An excellent thought provoking and honest hub UG.

      Your questions, "Am “I,” meaning me, Ulrike Grace, influencing others or are they being influenced by Jesus in me? Do they hear and see Jesus or Ulrike Grace? I can also ask am I influenced by Jesus in them or by the person themselves? Am I looking for, listening for Jesus or do I hear only hear my friends. It goes both ways especially amongst Christians." REMINDED me of Galatians 2:20 which says, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

      As you said, we need to see and hear Jesus and not each other. I believe that if Christ truly lives in us, He does use us to speak to others and others will see Him through our consistent Christian living.

      Wonderful hub!

      Forever His,

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Cyndy for your encouraging thoughts...I do believe, and have seen this played out in my life, that this is something we walk towards all the days of our lives. My flesh is certainly a pushy thing!!! But I have also found the more I think about "me" the harder it is for Jesus to shine through, I muddy up the windows somehow...they get foggy, but as I focus on Him, live after Him, the windows are clear and transparent and He shines gloriously through with no effort or strain on my part!

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts...


    • profile image

      Cyndy Lavoie 8 years ago

      You touch on the fringes of something Ulrike that I've been thinking about these last few days. This place where who we are shines the spirit of our living Savior... I am thinking that it is far too easy to directly push away the glory of this (and in this to touch the glory, something we are to NOT do), or to indirectly confound it somehow, by allowing our bad habits and sloppy whatever to rob from and get in the way of an accurate picture of Jesus.

      I'm thinking that as we live hard after Him he does shine through us, with very little effort from ourselves... the effort on our part is not to mar the image or distract others by our own self-condemnation. Somehow walking secure in Him allows His strength to come through... hmmm... I sense another blog coming on!

      Bless you for your writing but most of all for your heart and mind keenly engaged on wrestling life's confounding's through to His conclusion!