Good morning to you on this beautiful day of May. Enjoy it to the fullest! Please see message below:
When I woke up this morning, I thought about all the shining examples in my life, past and present. Take time today to reflect and pin point some of those shining examples in your life. Yes, some may have gone onto glory, but it will put a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart, if they truly were shining examples.
First, take a look at family members who have been responsible for the light that shines in each of us. Who were those family members or who is the family member that kept or keeps the family grounded? There has no doubt been someone in your family that exceeded and lived beyond just being good, but had qualities that just impacted you in such a remarkable way. The troubling concern about having a shining star is that we will lose them, and then the question becomes, who will now take the place of the star? It may be true that no one else can live up to the potential of your shining star, but who will attempt to even be a flicker of light in this world or family? What the world needs now are as many shining stars as possible. The shining stars or examples may have been your grandparents, parents, siblings, children, friend, teacher, etc., but who is the shining star now?
If you are the shining star in the family and you are attempting to carry out the legacy of the past shining star, may I caution you! Think about all the qualities of the former shining example and ask the question, “Am I living up to the standards my shining example exemplified for me?” Am I modeling positive behaviors that may positively impact the next generation? If you consider yourself the shining example, have you prepared someone to take your place once you have departed this world? Or, do you even see a potential of a shining example?
One point I wish to make in this message is to suggest that you expand your shining example role beyond your family. Too often we get caught up with family and forget about the rest of the world. The pandemic has done irrevocable harm and damage to the minds and hearts of God’s people. Of course, that is my opinion. We have become a people who are now selfish and blind to the welfare and well-being of others. It has come down to, I and me!
I have always been intrigued with the story of Ruth in the Bible. Most theologians, preachers, teachers, etc. place most of the attention on Ruth, but for me, Naomi is the shining example in the book of Ruth. Naomi loses two sons and a husband, but exemplifies what resilience and strength is all about. Ruth sees Naomi as a shining example in her life to the point that she refuses to leave Naomi and return to her own country and family. The light shining in Naomi has caused Ruth to say these words, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16). I love the statement made by Ruth, “Your God will be my God.” Have we had enough influence over anyone to the point that they will proclaim that our God is their God? I need to ask these questions, “Has the pandemic caused us to lose sight of our God? Have we become so complacent and content that we call on Him only when there is a crisis in our lives?” May I also make the point that I believe Ruth became a shining example because Naomi proved to be a God-fearing woman and she wanted to model her?
I believe that being a shining example comes naturally to some. God has instilled something in us that is stronger than, we ourselves. There are some folks who attempt to force their hand in being a shining example by trying to prove that they are the bright and shining star. If you are that shining example, others will gravitate to you or you will be drawn to them.
Let’s make a closing remark about Naomi. She was so much of an inspiration to Ruth, so much so that she helped Ruth find a husband and they lived happily ever after. The result of the shining examples led to this scripture, “Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son….And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.”
In closing, Ruth became one of a select five women who show up in the published family tree of Jesus. When we become shining examples, expect great things to happen.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor