DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Let God’s light shine through you

"Stay in love with God" (and love your neighbor), and you can help bring light to dark times.

Rev. Roger Grafenstein
Contributed / Roger Grafenstein
We are part of The Trust Project.

As I type these words, we are on the heels of two mass shootings. I hope that by the time these words are published there is not another. There have been too many.

Add a war in Ukraine, shortages of many things, rising costs of most things, and I believe most would agree these times are stressful. If we had cups that held worry and heartbreaking news, those cups would be overflowing.

Many are trying to figure out causes for our problems and solutions to them. Anything that involves legislation as a possible fix seems completely stalled. Some days, life seems to whisper that the only option we have is, “Get a bigger cup!” However, getting a bigger cup to hold all the negatives in the world implies there’s nothing we can do.

John Wesley, founder of the United Methodist Church, is credited with naming three simple rules for life. Two of the rules show up in nursing literature: “Do no harm. Do all the good you can.” The third simple rule is: Stay in love with God.

In difficult times, one of the first questions we can ask ourselves is, “Will the words I’m about to say, or the action I am about to take, hurt anyone?” Put differently, we can choose not to add anything negative to another’s cup.


In a world of “quick to anger” and “mean tweets,” choosing not to do any more harm is a meaningful way to stay in love with God and one’s neighbor.

Another powerful tool in a world full of grief and hurt is to simply do good. Add something positive to another person’s day. A kind word, a listening ear, or a helping hand may bring more blessing than you know.

Recently, a neighbor couple was having a rummage sale. Not only did they help people carry things to their car, they gave away tulips and served free cookies. Simply put, they gave people reasons to smile.

Just watching the kindness flow from a distance as I headed to work, brightened the beginning to my day. Lord knows we all need reasons to smile right now. Setting out each day with the goal of giving others a reason to smile and be grateful is a worthy way to make a difference.

Psalm 97:11-12 says, “Light is planted like a seed for the righteous person (the person who stays in love with God); joy, too, for those whose heart is right. Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones! Give thanks to God’s holy name!”

Jesus says, “Let your light shine; don’t hide it under a basket (or cup), so people may see good and glorify God.” Let God’s light shine through you a little each day.

A summer trip offered a much greater appreciation of the vastness of God’s creation on earth, while also putting things into perspective.

Rev. Roger Grafenstein serves as pastor of Riverside United Methodist Church.
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