Lesson from a Firefly


Fireflies…commonly known as lightning bugs, are in the family of winged beetles and are known for their use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey.

Since their lights are easily observed on dark nights, my friends and I as children spent many evenings running through the yard scooping up these tiny creatures. We then placed them in our ready-made mason jars, complete with a few holes in the lid and grass inside. Placing them in my bedroom provided an inexpensive nightlight. But if not released shortly, they and their light would die.

"You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden… let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father" (Matthew 5: 14, 16 NLT).

Any type of light has a purpose: fireplaces provided light, heat, and a place for cooking, oil lamps illuminated dark rooms for reading, street lights gave light for travelers, and electricity made it possible for light to appear with the flip of a switch. Fireflies have a purpose for lighting up, and according to Jesus so do his followers…lighting up the Heavenly Father.

While hypocrisy (pretending to be something I'm not), legalism (paying more attention to the letter of the law than the spirit), and inconsistent behavior will cover my light, loving everyone unconditionally, accepting others regardless of their life station, and being hospitable will let it radiate brightly. When it does, others will be attracted to the Christ I serve.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be drawn to our lights even when we let them shine effectively. Some will poke fun…and others will question the validity of our beliefs, but we're not responsible for their response…just our light. Let God fuel your light so it shines vibrantly.

Prayer: Loving Savior, as You have shone brightly for us on the cross, may our lights for You radiate fiercely so others will be drawn to Your love.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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