Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 24 - August/September 2008 > Arise and Shine

Arise and Shine

by Pr Ray Southon

Arise and Shine - Biblical Discipleship

(Isa 60:1-3 KJV)  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. {2} For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. {3} And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.


Arise is for me - for oneself. 

It doesn't matter what state you are in.  In His presence, the sick are healed, demons flee and He raises the dead.  God is true to His promise.   God is in the business of changing lives.


Jesus and His disciples met a funeral procession. A widow had lost her only son.  She was distraught, no more means of support. She had lost all.

But Jesus met her - life and death met at that point; Jesus the light and life of this world.  Her life was changed immediately as Jesus raised her son from the dead!

You are in the presence of  One who can change you too!

Arise is something we do for ourselves. We make a choice and change from one state of being to another.  How do I do it - change or become a disciple?

Colossians 2:13,14  We were dead in our sins but God made us alive !!
Ephesians 2:4,5   God is rich in mercy
Romans 5:19  One sinned, many sinned;  One Son obeyed, many made right.   It didn't take anything from our part to do, to offer, or to appease.

He paid the total price!
He cancelled the sin
He nailed it to the cross
He shed His blood
He did everything that was necessary and at The Cross.
He cried out, "It is finished!!!" God gave us a new hope.

He gives us the promise of Forgiveness for my past, Meaning for the present and Hope for the future.  This act has never been cheap grace.   We can arise to a new status and life in Christ.  We pass from death to life. 

The disciples were depressed; they thought their life was over.  He gave them hope.  We can enjoy His blessings and arise to being a silent influence.  Every single person has a sphere or circle of influence like salt in the soup and curry in rice.  A little bit makes a big difference.  It doesn't depend on what you have got or I have got or not got.  It depends on your availability.  The arising is spontaneous.  It is not "produced".  It is when, "I want to make a difference because of what Jesus has done for me!"  You are significant.  You are not a mistake.  God has a plan for you, God has appointed you like Nehemiah.


An evangelist came to a little town in India, went to the one and only local shop.  He asked the shop keeper "Do you know Jesus?"   "I know everyone in this village" said the shop keeper. "There is no one in this village by that name. Maybe you could try at the next village."  Many people in India and other parts of the world haven't even heard the name of Jesus.

Acts 4:12  There is no other name under heaven for people to call on to be saved.

The church leaders asked, "And how was this man healed?"  They were indignant at how Jesus worked.  They were Spiritual Rationalists.  They discounted the miracle because they didn't believe in them and neither could they explain it. 

The onlookers replied, "Jesus of Nazareth."  It is like the man who said, "I don't know how it all happened.  All I know is that yesterday I was blind and today I can see!"  So simple.  The emotion - the experience - was powerfully real!

Romans 10:13,14  They didn't know the Righteousness that comes from God and they sought to establish and produce their own.

Anyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved

That is why we shine.
To shine is for those around us.

Jesus is the light of the world and if we invite Him, He will live inside of us.  We carry the presence of God through the Holy Spirit.  That is what the light in the lamps is!  (the ten virgins).  The church (people) is the Body of Christ.  We are His Body:  We become containers of the Holy Spirit!

Our eyes are His eyes to see the need around us
Our touch is His touch
Our feet are His feet
Our hands are His hands
Our minds are His mind full of creative thinking for Him
Our heart is His heart containing His love and compassion

To Shine we do not have to work hard at it and produce it.   It is not a lot of heavy, burdensome work full of guilt trips.  It is not what I/we do for God.  It is what God does in and through me/us.  God does it through us

There is no struggle - God shines through us.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Let God take over.
It doesn't need a lot of abilities.
"I give over - You take over".

It doesn't need a lot of abilities to allow yourself to Arise through the Holy Spirit's presence.  It takes you being available and asking the question,  "How can I make a difference?"  You can make a difference in this generation.

It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.  A person who has no money, no education, no influence can make a difference Depending on how much you are available to God.

Be confident that your life can make a difference.  It is nothing to do with how hard I work. It is everything to do with making my life available to God.

Many say, "I can't get up and speak. I can't be an evangelist. I can't do bible studies.  I can't witness."


These are both influencers. But they both work silently. They do not make a sound but they make a big difference.


An Indian man became a Christian; lost his family, his job, his home.  Walked the streets but had a passion for Jesus.  Told everyone he met about Jesus. He didn't know where his next meal would come from. "Even if I have to eat the dust of the ground, Jesus, I will serve you till I die".  He remained focussed on God because his driving passion was "Once I was lost but now I am found" and he wanted everyone else to find Jesus.  He was available to God. He had nothing but went ahead with what he had - his voice.  God blessed him abundantly. Within a few years he raised up 1700 churches.  It all depends upon our availability for God.


Madu was 15 years old. Forced into marrying a 55 year old man, she was abused, threatened and beaten up. Her parents wouldn't take her back.

She met a lady who promised her a good life. She went with her only to be sold into prostitution. Once again, beaten and abused, she lived a life of hell.  22 years later she had a baby and was thrown out on the streets, hungry and cold.

She met a man who offered to take the baby and gave her some money. She went and bought food but lost her baby. Distraught, she found her way to Bombay. Christians were looking for people on the streets and she was taken home and loved and cared for and has become passionate for Jesus.  She goes out to rescue others who are in the same situation that she was in. She is believing that God will one day reunite her with her baby.

She has been raised to a position of influence so she can rise up and shine.


Joseph - Sold as a slave but raised to a position of influence
Moses - Brought up in a palace but chose to suffer the afflictions of his people and was raised up to a position of influence
David - Shepherd boy who loved the Lord. Raised up to a position of influence
Jeremiah 29:11 -13  God has plans for us. He is waiting for us to search for Him with all our hearts.
Jeremiah 1:4,5 God knew us before we were born. He set us apart to be His spokesperson. He already had a plan for us.

Today I encourage you to start shining.  In fact, you can't help but be radiant and shine when you understand and receive what great things Jesus has done for you!  What wonderful, inspiring motivation!

Isaiah 60:1-3 - Arise and Shine for your light HAS come.

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