Recently, I had the honor of speaking at a ladies’ brunch at Spring Branch Baptist Church in Baxley, GA. These ladies were precious! The church reminded me of the church I grew in, Welcome Baptist in Lithia. The gathering of women of all ages reminded me of the Friday morning bible studies I used to attend. I loved it!
Back in September, a lady from SBBC asked me to speak. She mentioned that the theme was “Shine with Jesus”. I immediately prayed and knew that this topic wasn’t anything new to me through journal entries and another recent speaking engagement called Bright Night.
Shortly after being asked, I was sitting in church, listening to the sermon and following along in the bible, when I felt the nudge to dig deeper in 2 Timothy chapter one. It hit me that 2 Timothy 1:1-12 was to be the focus verses for the presentation.
Studying these verses, I came up with six ways to shine for Jesus…to be an encourager:
- Write a letter, note, or send a text.
- Pray for others.
- Live out genuine faith.
- Display the power God gives you.
- Walk in The Light
- Be the light wherever you are.
Then, at the end of December, after I had already typed up, prayed over, and studied more, the sweet lady from SBBC informed me that Isaiah 60:1 was their focus verse. Ummmmm…I didn’t have that verse ANYWHERE in my presentation. So…more prayer took place. I felt led to read ALL of Isaiah to understand the context of chapter 60 verse one. What a blessing! Y’all, I won’t get into all that I discovered then, but I want to encourage you to dive into God’s word. Read it! Apply it to your life! It’s soooo good!
After a week of spending quality time in Isaiah and taking notes, I felt confident that what I felt the Lord originally whispered to me to present, was indeed still a go.
I’d like to take these six points and break it down for you into six journal entries. I pray that you will be encouraged to shine for Jesus daily in your life.
Point 1: Write a letter, note, or send a text.
Paul, the author of the featured verses, wrote 13 letters in the bible, mainly about encouragement. Letter writing is nothing new. It is probably, sadly, a thing of the past. With technology the way it is, handwritten notes are not a common thing. But, I will say, I get all giddy when I go to the mailbox and discover that I’ve received a note or letter from someone.
My dear friend, Susan, is so good at sending cards in the mail. When I read her notes, it always encourages me to do the same for others. So, I go to the store, purchase cute cards to send to friends, only to put the stack of cards in my desk drawer…where they remain. I did have great intentions! But, I guess that is a gift that wasn’t given to me (more on that coming up on point number four). If you ever do receive a card from me, WHOA!
At the brunch, I shared a note that my mom had written to me back in 1992. This find was a treasure. I now have it in my bible. (See photo).
If letter writing isn’t your thing, and it’s clearly NOT mine, here is something that I absolutely do…send a text. Oh, more on that idea to come as well, bullet point number two.
Is there anyone you need to encourage, or say thank you to, or invite them to church or small group? Go ahead and send them a note or text now. It just might make their day.
Stay tuned for more encouragement.
Blessings to you and yours,
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.
5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him[a] until the day of his return.2 Timothy 1:1-12 New Living Translation