From our Minister,
  Phil Hays

      A Note from Phil

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Phillip Hays

Choose to Shine

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." — Matthew 5:14 Remember the olden days when "jumbo-trons" at the stadiums were made up of individual lights? As the lights burned out, the more difficult it became for the message to be understood. Here's a weird twist — what if the lights chose not to shine?

This "not wanting to shine" idea reminds me of Luke 19:14, "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say,

'We don't want this man to be our king.'"

Just who is your king? When you invite Jesus to be Lord of your life, you shine His "light" by choice. Indeed, how could anyone so full of Christ's hope and truth stay "dark"?

America is in a dark hour. Some believe we are in a time of judgment. If needed, I could easily list four or five major issues facing our great nation. And here's a sobering thought: all five issues on my mind were self-inflicted! But view it this way: that's four or five reasons why God's jumbo-tron (His Church) needs to light up with wisdom, direction, and hope! Each of us has the opportunity to shine or to not shine for God. We should ask ourselves, "Is the message of God's love/truth being illuminated through me?"

As an enemy of America, communist leader Joseph Stalin once pointed out (I believe in a scheming fashion):

"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."

Are we indeed collapsing? Several of our national leaders have openly stated their allegiance to following Marxism/socialism as a way toward a one-world utopia. The belief is that if people are given a good and fair setting, the good within them will shine forth! The problem is this line of thinking does nothing to change the heart and it also misinterprets human nature!

Today in America, many are being aggressively told they can't fly the flag — it might offend others! Do I really need to remind you of our moral state? During the French Revolution, freedom was defined as the casting off of rules and restraint and especially the jettisoning of God!

Do you know that the most widely quoted Bible verse of today is not John 3:16? It's Matthew 7:1! I think people love this verse because they misinterpret it to mean, "You can't tell me something is wrong!" And to darken the picture even more, many church groups seem to be led by societal whims and not the Scripture (like the recent decisions by the Presbyterian Church USA). The country is going dark.

Those who initiated this Republic understood the need to shine the light of the Gospel! That's originally why America was established! It had never quite happened this way before! Our Founders decided to form a nation illuminated by God's light and for the purpose of spreading the Gospel (just check out The Mayflower Compact)! Our purpose for existence later became known as our "Manifest Destiny." America, guided by God, would spread from sea to shining sea and her greatness would be unlimited because of God's blessings!

Last summer, my kids and I went to Silver Dollar City. We went deep underground into Marvel Cave. About halfway through, the tour guide turned out all the lights! We literally could not see our hand in front of our face! Then, one little light, illuminated, was seen by all! And if you and I will but choose to shine, others will take notice! So, get into God's Word. Get relit! Become patriotic (see Acts 17:24-31 and Romans 13:1-7) and choose to openly love and support your nation! Then, review your life. Have you been part of the darkness? Ask God to help you change — then change! Then when I make the same choice, and others, too, that jumbo-tron will be firing up the sky for all to see.

God be glorified in America again! Have a happy Independence Day!


Westside Christian Church at 10145 NW Exp. Yukon, OK 73099   P 405-283-0800  F 405-283-0801

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