If you followed my recent snippet blog post series called Lighthouse Lamps, you know that I presented the Ten commandments from the Holy Bible’s Old Testament as variously translated into English, Spanish, French, and German, primarily in modern versions. I gave a brief foreword to each with the desire to let the translated words speak for themselves, without my interpretation. I did say that these commandments can act as directives toward a good life if you choose to follow them. And this is true regardless of your spiritual persuasion or if you have no religious connection at all.
I have been aware of the Ten Commandments my whole life, which included many television viewings of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 movie of the same name starring Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, and Ann Baxter. But also, early in life—thanks in great part to my paternal grandmother—I was instructed in my church that I could have a personal relationship with God through His Son that was not dependent on how ‘good’ I might be or how many ‘good works’ I might do. This instruction went beyond the legalism of trying to obey those laws found in the twentieth chapter of Exodus in the Old Testament. I was introduced to Jesus Christ of the New Testament whom I choose to call The Lighthouse that Doesn’t Need a Lamp.
A lighthouse without a lamp sounds extremely strange. If the function of a lighthouse is to illuminate the nighttime path over the water toward the shore, we would surely think it needs a lamp.
There is a gospel song I started remembering recently. It is entitled simply “The Lighthouse.” It was written by Ronny Hinson in 1970 when he was just a teen. It won the gospel Dove and Fan Award for Song of the Year in 1972. It is still being performed and recognized as a gospel music standard.
As I thought about that song and listened to it online, I realized that Jesus could be called the Lighthouse for all of those who are His followers. If we think of Him as such, we know no lighthouse lamp is needed because He is Light.
There are many verses in the Holy Bible which refer to Jesus as light. One is a quote from Jesus Himself in the book of John chapter 8 verse 3: When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” NIV (New International Version). In another verse—John 12: 46—Jesus is the speaker again: I have come into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” NIV.
A third verse in the Holy Bible about light is found in the book of Acts chapter 26 verses 22 and 23. The apostle Paul is speaking: “. . . I can testify to everyone, from the least to the greatest. I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen—that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and Gentiles alike [Jews and those who are not Jews]” NLT (New Living Translation).
We all need a Guiding Presence to help us navigate the difficult journey of life. If you think others have it so much easier than you do, you probably just don’t know everything they are going through. I have chosen Jesus as my Guiding Presence. If you are following another North Star and it is not giving you the direction you need, I hope you will consider making this choice yours also.
How do you become a follower of Jesus?
Realize you sin. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The Holy Bible, Romans 3:23 NIV (New International Version)
Believe that Jesus’ perfect life without sin is the justification for your sin and your imperfect life. Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. The Holy Bible, Acts 13:39 NIV
Repent of your sins which means be sorry for whatever you have done which is wrong. And turn in a new direction. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out. The Holy Bible, Acts 3:19 NIV
Accept God’s grace. Or, in other words, accept God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. The Holy Bible, NIV
Pray to God a prayer of belief, confession, and repentance. That 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. For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved . . . Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. The Holy Bible, Romans 10:9-10 & 13 NIV
Be baptized and join a church of believers where you can not only worship but also find biblical instruction and encouragement. The early disciples and apostles were charged by Christ with the responsibility of preaching, baptizing, and forming churches. So being baptized and joining a church of believers is a public confession or public testimony that you believe. You would be skeptical of a person who, on the day of the wedding, says, “Yes, I love you.” But then after the ceremony walks away. In the same way, uniting with Christ is more than the first day of acceptance of salvation. It is an on-going day by day union.
You can begin your commitment to Christ with a prayer of your own words. Or, if you would like, use this prayer below that I have composed especially for you.
Dear Father God, Creator of everything and every person. I come to you confessing my sins and asking forgiveness. I accept Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross as the justification for my sins. I accept Jesus as my personal Savior. But I also accept Him as my Lord and determine to live my life as His follower. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Essay of Encouragement
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2021