Arise and Shine!
Editorial by Carlos Portanova
In the Bible, we find the story of the Israelites who were chosen by God to be His people. God’s people were supposed to be the light to the neighboring nations and to bring salvation to others, but they refused to fulfill God’s mission. They rejected God’s messengers, and they later rejected the Messiah. God also called us to be His people, and He wants us to fulfill the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18–20: “Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”
The problem is that God’s church is asleep. He wants the opposite from our dead state: “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you” (Isa. 60:1, NKJV).
The Lord commands us to arise from the spiritual slumber and lukewarmness and to shine the light in our church community, neighborhoods and families.
We, as bearers of the light, have a huge responsibility. It is time for us to allow the Holy Spirit to use us. In fact, the angels of the Lord are waiting for us to finish the mission the Lord has given to us. Ellen White writes, “Time is precious. The destiny of souls is in the balance. God is holding back His judgments, waiting for the message to be sounded to all. There are many who have not yet heard the testing message of truth for this time. The last call of mercy is to be proclaimed throughout the earth. Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents ... to cooperate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you. So vast is the field, so comprehensive the design, that every sanctified heart will be pressed into service as an agent of divine power” (The Review and Herald, Nov. 23, 1905).
If you are tired of sleeping, awake, arise and shine for the Lord! I challenge you to go to Him in prayer, and tell Him to awaken you from your dead spiritual condition. Tell Him you want to shine for Him in your workplace, family, church and neighborhood.
May our Lord help us to be the light He wants to be. “I Will Go, Making Disciples!”
Carlos Portanova serves as treasurer of the New Jersey Conference.