In New South Wales, Australia, there is a lighthouse. There is a 96 step climb to the top and the light from this lighthouse can been seen up to 52 kilometres away. The lighthouse shines with the power of 1,000,000 candles. You may find it astonishing (I certainly did), but this powerful lighthouse with its brilliant light is powered by a 1,000 watt bulb. The 1,000 watt bulb is encased by a series of prisms and is exponentially magnified. The lightbulb, which is no bigger than an adult’s forearm, helps large cargo boats navigate the coast and find refuge in the nearby harbour.
This lighthouse reminded me of our lives when we yield to Jesus. God has an invested interest to magnify the life of His Son through our lives. In John 15:4 Jesus says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” A 1,000 watt lightbulb without the magnifying prism encasement can never hope to direct an oncoming ship. Similarly, our lives and desires will fail to bring light to lost teenagers apart from intimate connection with Jesus. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Any fruitfulness in ministry is hinged upon our yielding and abiding in Christ. Apart from Christ we can do nothing.
I want to propose that nothing…means nothing. If we desire to be fruitful and effective in the Kingdom our first priority should be to allow the Son of God to live His life through ours. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Ultimately the Gospel invites us to – by faith – live in the Son of God where the Spirit of God empowers us to live in the life of Jesus, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5).
Just as the lighthouse bulb burns at its capacity and the prism encasement magnifies its light and function, we abide in Christ and He produces HIS fruit and HIS life in and through us. A life characterized by abiding in Christ will be magnified by the Lord to direct those in darkness to find refuge on the shores of grace.
“but Christ lives in me.”