“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
- John 1:5
It’s crazy to think that Youth Encounter 2018 was over a month ago! It seems like just yesterday we were jumping around in the sanctuary to “This Is Living.” There are so many amazing memories from YE that I will never forget. But my favorite memory is seeing the map of South Florida filled with X’s of where you will go and END DARKNESS this year. It gets me excited to think that you guys are going to be the light all over our cities.
To be the light, we have to go where the darkness is. I realize that many of you left YE and stepped into very dark situations. Your family is going through financial struggle, you’re being bullied at school, and being the light is the last thing on your mind. I want to remind you what Jesus says in Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world.” Whether we like it or not, God’s chosen method to reach our dark world is us. We have to get in the game that God has chosen us for.
As you walk into this new school year, here are 3 simple things that you can do to be the light in a dark place:
1. Pray for opportunities.
Have you ever prayed and asked God to give you opportunities to be the light? Because if you do, something amazing happens: He does! He will lead you into the right moment to share the Gospel with your friend. He will allow you to speak in front of your class about your faith. He will compel your teacher to ask you where you go to church. God will bring people in your path to share the Gospel with. The first step is praying for opportunities to be a light.
2. Think small.
Changing the world seems like a daunting task. I look at the state of our world and think: “Wow. I don’t think I can make a significant impact on my own.” But the reality is, I can! It doesn’t happen by ending world hunger or preventing global warming, it happens one life at a time. Jesus has called me to share the Gospel. If we try to share the Gospel with everyone on earth on our own, we will get burned out and overwhelmed. But what if we all chose one person to never give up on? We can make a huge impact in that one person’s life. So don’t think that you have to be the pastor of a mega-church to change the world. Think small! You can change the world right where you are.
3. Be courageous.
Let’s be honest, sharing the Gospel with someone is hard. It’s not easy to start a conversation about Jesus. For a long time, I was terrified to tell someone about my faith in Christ. But God has challenged me to be courageous and speak up. Think of it this way: Imagine the entire world went into a famine, but you had access to an unlimited supply of food. Wouldn’t you do everything you could to share that food with the world? God has not given us a spirit of fear. We need to be courageous and share the Gospel!
God has placed you here in South Florida for a reason! Go and be the light!
- Javan Shashaty, YE Team