GLOW: Here to Hold

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
–
Matthew 5:14 (NLT)

Have you ever wondered what it looks like to be a light in the world? It’s about more than shining for ourselves or to brighten our own lives. Being a light means shining in a way that points people to God. We have seen that it looks like being here to help and heal but it also means being available to hold.

What does it mean to hold?

First, it’s to fully understand and accept with confidence that God faithfully holds our hand. Regardless of the seasons of our lives or how far from Him we think we’ve gone, He is committed to hold on to us and to hold us up.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
–Isaiah 41:13 ESV

Second, it means that we are to commit to hold on to people and relationships as much as we can. Spiritual confidence comes when we realize that God faithfully holds on and holds us up. But spiritual maturity comes when we realize that we are called to do the same for people.

Holding peoples’ hands can be complicated and we should use wisdom with when and how long to hold on. Holding hands does not mean that we condone any and all behaviors or values or that we stay committed to relationships where we get hurt. But it does mean choosing to believe that people and relationships matter.

Jesus illustrates this well in John 8 when he holds up and comes to the defense of a woman caught in adultery. Bible commentators tell us that this happened at the festival of the tabernacle. It was an ideal situation for possible sin with a lot of people in the city and a lot of celebrations going on.

When the woman is brought to Jesus, John recalls him saying “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

Jesus shows us that regardless of our extreme differences, we all have the same need of grace. It’s that understanding of grace that allows us to hold hands on both sides of the aisle. Jesus lived his life holding the hand of the tax collector and the Pharisee, of the prostitute and the rabbis. We are challenged to hold hands with people of opposite political parties, worldviews and even theological beliefs. It’s messy to be in the middle but if we claim to know him, we have to aspire to live like him.

The world needs people who hold peoples’ hands even when they go off in a direction that you would never go. They might choose to let go but we are committed to hold.

The world needs you. The world needs us. The world needs a church that reflects the heart and the values of Jesus.

You can watch or listen to the entire message from Pastor Naeem.

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