Daily Devotional for Monday April 1, 2013
Let Your Light Shine Before Men
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, is it a sin to go under hypnosis?
ANSWER: There are MANY reasons a Christian should run from hypnosis. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to control ourselves. Hypnosis involves a transfer of control away from ourselves. We are to yield ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit, NOT to another human. Hypnosis involves an altered state of consciousness when we are told in the Bible to be self controlled. Lastly, the techniques used in hypnosis are shared by mystical, philosophical, and religious systems, including the occult. In short, stay away from it!
One of the commands that Jesus has given His children is to go out into this world that we live in and "let our light shine before men." This was NOT a suggestion of something we can do on a Saturday afternoon when we are bored. This was a direct command to LET OUR LIGHT SHINE in this dark, lost, and sin-filled world that we live in. Today, I simply want to reiterate that order Jesus gave to His children 2000 years ago. To fulfill our God-given purpose in this life, we have to serve and glorify HIM with our lives. Ultimately, that is what the life of EVERY believer is all about.
I will never forget back January 1996 when the National Religious Broadcasters held their annual convention at the huge downtown convention center in Indianapolis. One evening at about 5:30 p.m., I left the convention center by a side door. As those who live in the Midwest know, 5:30 the afternoon in January, it is getting dark, it is cold, and it is very dreary. The moment the door to the convention center closed behind me, there was a moment frozen in time when everything stopped.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me as plain as I am speaking to you now. He told me that behind that door, inside the convention center, was a collection of some of the most gifted men and women on the face of the earth. There were hundreds of millions of commerce involved in the Christian broadcast world. Yet, with all of those incredibly gifted people of God, with all of those vast resources, outside that convention center was a dark, dreary world that for the most part, DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY EXISTED!!!
For the most part, all they were doing was trading dollars with each other, enjoying the fellowship Christians enjoy together, and simply self perpetuating the Christian broadcast world to survive one more year! Rather than letting their light shine before ALL men, they were content with keeping their light in the safety of the world that they had established. And as guilty as the Christian broadcast world is of this, the church is just as bad; stay within the safety of the four walls and keep the doors locked!!!
Now, you know a little about where my passion comes from for the work that is being done every day through Liveprayer. I loved my time of preaching in churches all over the country, but knew deep inside this was not where God wanted me long term. I loved my time in the Christian t.v. world, but knew that this wasn't really where God wanted me long term. Why? Because in both cases I knew that the light of Christ in me was not being seen by the majority of those who needed it the most. Those in the world who were lost, looking for answers, trying to find just a tiny piece of hope to hold on to. I HAD THE ANSWER THEY WERE LOOKING FOR!!!
That is why I am more committed then ever to make Liveprayer VISIBLE in a world where the majority of God's work is INVISIBLE!!! One of the things that has frustrated me for so long is how bold satan is in getting out his message that leads to the death and destruction of so many every day. Yet the people of God, who have the only REAL answer to life, are so afraid to be just as bold. Well, I am not afraid, and I have no idea how much work God has left for me to do, so I am going out each day and giving 100% of all that I have to let the beacon of light that is Liveprayer shine bright enough for the entire world to see!
The enemy has boldly used the Internet to do his work, well, we are using it in just as boldly to proclaim the hope and love of Jesus Christ, and will continue to increase the amount of people that we can reach each day. The enemy boldly uses television for his purposes. The Liveprayer television program was a powerful vehicle for nearly 6 yrs that is JUST as bold as anything satan does! That is why I can't wait for the re-launch jsut FIVE WEEKS FROM TODAY! This is EXACTLY what we need to do. Find ways of packaging the Gospel and get it to the mainstream public!!!
You see my friend, the strategy of most Christian organizations has always been to operate within the confines of the walls of the Christian world. It is safe there, they don't have to deal with the endless attacks the lost world will bring on them, AND it is very expensive to try and compete in the secular world. BUT IT IS OUT IN THE LOST WORLD WHERE OUR LIGHTS WILL OUR NEEDED THE MOST! We have created a synergy between the Internet and secular TV to BOLDLY proclaim that there is hope, that there are answers, in the name of Jesus!
To me, THAT is what Jesus meant when He told us let our light shine before men. That is what He has called YOU to do, and that is what He has called ME to do. Now, more then ever this world needs the hope that we have and know in Jesus. It is time to let our lights SHINE AS BRIGHT AS WE CAN UNTIL THIS ENTIRE DARK WORLD IS LIT UP LIKE IT IS HIGH NOON ON A SUNNY DAY IN FLORIDA!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I pray today that you not only take this message to heart for your own life, but that pray for me as God brings together all of those people and resources necessary to let Liveprayer be a powerful beacon of light in this world. The Bible says that people perish for lack of vision. Well, people in the world we live in are perishing every moment, being lost for eternity. One major contributing factor is the lack of vision among God's people. For reasons only God knows, He has given me the vision of how to play a small part in taking His message of hope to the masses.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR THE LIGHT OF LIVEPRAYER TO SHINE BRIGHTLY IN THIS DARK WORLD. NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOUR LIGHT TO SHINE BRIGHTLY!!! May you and I always be faithful to honor what Jesus asked us to do!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,