When I think of a person who "shines," I picture someone with a positive attitude who is an encouragement to others.
Sometimes we find it easier to shine than others. When something good happens, for example, we get a rush of feel-good emotion. We call this being happy.
But what about those people who are able to see the bright side of things even when things aren't going well for them? Chances are, they have found joy. Unlike happiness, joy doesn't depend on circumstances. It comes from within, from a belief that there is something more to this life.
How can one find joy? The answer is found in the Bible, when - on the very first Christmas - the angels declared the birth of Jesus to be "good news of great joy that will be for all people." (Luke 2:10)
And just what is this good news of great joy? John 3:16 tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
You may wonder, "If God is so loving, why was it necessary to give us Jesus as the key to eternal life?" Well, God is loving, but He is also just.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Because each of us is a sinner by nature, we can't get into Heaven on our own. However, out of His love for us, God provided a way.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
And there's that good news again! That's why the birth of Jesus is such good news: Jesus came to show us what God the Father is like. Jesus lived a sinless life, showing us how to live, and He died upon a cross to pay for our sins. Then, God raised Him from the dead.
This good news isn't just for some far-off eternity. It's also for here and now. In John 10:10, Jesus says that he has come so that we can have life and have it more abundantly.
The Bible says in Romans 10:9, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
To accept the gift of Jesus and His salvation, you can pray a prayer something like this:
"Dear God, I know that you love me. I confess my sin and my need of salvation. I turn away from my sin and place my faith in Jesus as my Savior and Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, amen."
After you have prayed and received Jesus Christ into your life, tell a pastor or another Christian about your decision.
If you'd like more information, this site has answers to many of the frequently asked questions about God, Jesus, and Christianity.
Shine - and its companion blog RainShine - are rusted-crush productions, with grateful acknowledgment to the sources that have helped make the sites and this layout possible. Thank you for visiting; enjoy the site! And remember, as the song says, "It takes a little rain to make love grow... Where the sun always shines, there's a desert below."