Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is the perfect addition to your Fall Festival, Halloween Alternative event, or harvest party. It comes from the G.L.O.W. (God Lights Our Way) theme—new from CTA this year. Read the devotion and then check out all the products and FREE resources in the theme!
Before you begin, find and print a picture of a firefly from the Internet or bring a jar in which you have captured a firefly or two. Keep these hidden until the appropriate point in the message below.
Who knows what fireflies are? (Let a volunteer explain.) Has anyone ever seen fireflies? What do they look like? (Again, listen to volunteer explanations. Then show the picture or the jar you brought along.)
God has given fireflies a unique ability. It is called bioluminescence. That’s a big word, isn’t it!? Bioluminescence—bi-o-lum-in-es-cence. Wow, six syllables! (Count the syllables off with your fingers as you repeat them.) Can you say that with me?
Who can guess what bioluminescence is? (Let volunteers guess.) Yes! It’s the ability to shine in the dark. A firefly’s tail lights up! Some fireflies use the light they make to attract other fireflies—and eat them!
And sometimes, groups of fireflies blink off and on together—all at the same time. Wouldn’t that be an interesting thing to see?!
No one here has a tail—and even if we did, it wouldn’t light up! But in a different way, you and I can GLOW in the dark. Let me explain what I mean.
The Bible sometimes calls sin “darkness.” Maybe that’s because sin is scary, like being in the dark is sometimes scary. When we walk around in a dark room, we can step on things or bump into things and hurt ourselves. Sin hurts us, too. And it hurts those around us.
When you say mean things or call someone mean names, who gets hurt? Yes, our friends get hurt. Maybe they won’t play with us anymore, so we get hurt, too. Or maybe a teacher or our mom or dad hears us and punishes us—more hurt! Worst of all, we know we are not honoring our Lord Jesus! We are not loving others in the way our Savior loves us. Sin is very, very sad and dark. It hurts everyone in all kinds of ways.
Listen to what the Bible says: “The LORD is my light and my salvation” (Psalm 27:1). Just think! The Lord is my light! When we are caught in the hurt, the danger, the darkness of sin, the Lord Jesus is our light. He shines his forgiveness into our lives. He shines and shines and keeps shining his love into our hearts. No matter what, Jesus always, always forgives us. Jesus always, always loves us. We know that because Jesus died on the cross in love for us. Jesus didn’t want us to be trapped in sin’s danger and darkness. He rescued us, saved us. That’s why the verse I read also calls Jesus our “salvation.”
But that’s not all, here’s what Jesus says to (point) YOU, to (point) YOU, to each one of us. (Read Matthew 5:14–16.)
Earlier I said that no one here has a tail that lights up! That’s just silly! But we can light up the darkness of sin. We can shine the light of Jesus’ love into the lives of people around us. We can GLOW with Jesus’ love.
For example, when we see someone sad or left out, we can be that person’s friend. When we hear someone calling someone else ugly names, we can say things like “Please stop it! Rachel is my friend!” Or “That’s not his name. His name is Jorge. And he’s a friend of mine.” We can say, “Let’s play together like friends of Jesus.” We can even GLOW together, by reminding one another to shine out with Jesus’ love in what we say and do.
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for making fireflies and so many other fun, wonderful creations for us to enjoy. Thank you most of all for dying on the cross so we can live as your forgiven children. Help us shine the light of your love into the lives of everyone around us. We love you, Lord Jesus! Amen.
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