SHINE ON

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One at a time, they filed nervously up to the speaker’s podium. With shaky voices, they began their list of thank yous . . . To parents, grandparents, friends, the headmaster, teachers, janitor. Wait a minute . . . The janitor? Not that being a janitor isn’t an extremely crucial and honorable profession. I’ve just never heard one thanked in a public ceremony before.
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I was invited by a fellow teacher to an annual observance that draws a crowd of friends and family members – Valedictory Service. I thought it odd on this particular occasion that so many of the soon-to-be-graduated seniors would acknowledge their janitor. Not only did they thank him for keeping the school clean, they also thanked him for being their friend and for listening when they needed to talk. From their descriptions of him, he appeared more along the lines of a counselor than a person who sweeps and mops floors, empties trash, and cleans up messes.

And in fact, I heard he was more than that at one time until a disabling stroke removed him from his employment of choice and placed him square in the middle of three hundred noisy-and often messy, students. But he took it all in stride . . . I also gathered that he always had a smile . . . always a moment to stop sweeping long enough to joke with a kid or have a serious talk with a student who prefers him over a teacher or the headmaster.

As I listened to three-fourths of the graduating class give thanks to this employee, I leaned over and said jokingly to the headmaster, also a friend, “He’s getting more credit than the teachers. Maybe he’s in the wrong spot.” But then again maybe he’s not. Were he a teacher, he couldn’t be as chummy with the students lest he lose their respect. Nor could he stop just any time he wanted for a hallway counseling session. So perhaps he’s in the right position after all.

I suppose the headmaster reached the same conclusion I had about this man. When the seniors finished their goodbyes and tributes, he mounted the stage and invited the prized janitor to join him. He proceeded to thank him in front of the entire school for being more than just a custodian. In essence, he thanked him for shining where he was even though it might not initially have been his employment of choice. The final tribute to this humble servant of God-who never gets enough credit for what he does, was a standing ovation. He never said a word in response. Just smiled that big smile-and perhaps thanked everyone under his breath, walked off the stage, and in a matter of moments changed back into his work clothes and saddled his broom and mop. He didn’t have time for accolades. He had more shining to do.

Jesus challenged his followers to imitate the actions of this modest servant of God. “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16 NLT).

I admit-I’ve not always enjoyed shining where God has placed me. At least not as much as this man. Sometimes I am not excited about some work I am called upon to do. But I’ve learned that where God puts me is not the most important matter in my life’s puzzle . . . It’s what I make of where he puts me. Making good use of every life situation-or predicament, entails shining for him. And when I shine others will notice the One who enables me to shine whether I’m in dire straits or pleasant places- just like the students noticed the man’s acts of kindness more than they noticed what he did with brooms and mops. Whether I’m pushing a broom, emptying trash cans, changing diapers in Sunday school, teaching students, or sitting behind a leather desk on the 50th floor of an office building making life changing decisions won’t matter. Remember Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

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So go ahead . . . Shine where God puts you rather than complain about it not being what you’d rather do. You never know . . . You might be influencing an entire school or nation.

About Ezar

I'm in love with my dreams, married to success and having an affair with life ;) I live for the moments you can't put into words and I dont look back...unless there's a good view.

Posted on July 31, 2014, in Relationship. Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. It’s helpful to envision that behind every employer stands the Lord Jesus. He sees everything we do, and He appreciates it and will reward us, regardless of the type of work we do. I learned this lesson one day when I was cleaning the grungy bathtub of a family that wouldn’t notice and would never acknowledge or thank me even if they did. I was getting madder by the minute, throwing myself a pity party, when the Lord broke into my thoughts. He quietly said, “I see you. And I appreciate what you’re doing.” Whoa! In an instant, that totally changed everything. Suddenly, I was able to do a menial job—and later on, more important ones—as a labor of love and worship for Jesus. I know He sees and appreciates what I do. It forever changed my view of work.

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  2. I am proud of the janitor. And God is proud of him too.
    Listen to what Solomon wrote:After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift!{6}Being happy in our work doesn’t depend on the work, it depends on our attitude. To make the most of our job and be happy in our work is a gift God wants to give us!

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  3. I’m beginning to realize that my number one job, my number one purpose and/or my number one title is “Servant.”

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  4.  When I first enrolled in seminary, I made an appointment to talk to the dean of men to see if I could get a room in the dormitory. When I walked into his office, the first thing he asked was if I was applying for the janitor’s job. Of course not. he told me he was sorry and the dormitory was full but promised to put me on the waiting list. As I left he pleaded with me to refer anyone who wanted the job to him. I told him that I will and thanked him for his time. When I left his office and walked outside, I prayed, Lord, please provide a room for me. God stopped me on the sidewalk and spoke to my heart, “Go take the job.” Take the job? I prayed for a room, not a job. But I knew in my heart I needed to obey. Immediately I did an about-face, walked into the dean’s office, and said, “I’ll take that janitor’s job.” He hired me on the spot.
    At first, I had to battle my pride. I thought about how over-qualified I was—I had a college degree and was working on my Master’s. I was given a seminary janitor’s shirt and a little pushcart stocked with soap, gloves, toilet paper, toilet bowl cleaner, and a brush. Every day I pushed that cart down the hallway, cleaned toilets, scrubbed showers, and emptied trashcans. It wasn’t long before I discovered that cleaning those bathrooms in the men’s dorm was part of my spiritual education. I learned to do those jobs that no one else wanted. As I cleaned those toilets every day, I made a surprising discovery. God spoke to my heart more clearly than I had ever heard Him before. I meditated on Scriptures as I worked, and God gave me insights into his Word. I then realized that cleaning toilets was part of my training for ministry. If I wasn’t willing to serve God as a custodian, how could He trust me with other responsibilities?
    I spent my entire three years in seminary cleaning toilets and attending classes. I’m convinced that half of what I learned in seminary was in the classrooms and the other half was in the bathrooms. I also learned to respect and thank janitors for the work they perform. God used that job to teach me that in whatever tasks He calls me to do in life, I am actually serving Him

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    • Impressive. Sometimes God places us in specific jobs to teach us a skill or Biblical principle. Once learned, He releases us to move on and into a position more suited to our temperament and talent. Seek God’s perfect timing for leaving your present position and avoid rash decisions or quitting on a whim, based on emotions. 

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  5. Food for thought Ezar. The praise of God goes to places where the praise of man doesn’t go. The praise of men goes to places where the praise of God doesn’t go.

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  6. There’s an old saying that no man on his deathbed ever regretted not spending more time at work. We’ll take none of our status symbols or money with us into heaven. We will take our character, our kindness to others, and our love for our Savior.The most thrilling challenge for Christian men is not to become CEO of a multinational corporation, but to let God conform us to the likeness of His Son. This is the ambition worth pursuing. This is the service with the greatest rewards.

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  7. If only we can use our job to polish our characters. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (i.e., the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22, 23) don’t just happen. They are forged in the crucible of difficult circumstances. Very little happens when everything is going your way. The important stuff happens when it’s not.

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  8. I constantly thank God for my job on a daily basis. It isn’t my dream-job by any means, but I am extremely grateful that I’m not standing in the unemployment line. I had a short stint of about 3 months when I couldn’t find a job and that is pretty terrible feeling to have. 1 Thes 5:18 says to give thanks in everything – let me tell you, it can be really difficult sometimes, but I am convinced that this was one of the primary keys that helped me stick it out. A hearty cheers to this janitor.

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    • @Chuks- I liked what you had to say about this. I especially feel that thankfullness and prayer are huge components to getting thru a situation like this.God is faithful, and many times He has us going thru difficult situations to teach us more about ourselves and our need for Him and He reveals more of Himself thru these trials too.

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  9. We are all members of d same body.Not all will be d ‘face’ of d body dat is seen by all.We have the anus dat we may never see with our eyes but does an incredible job.Can u imagine a body without an anus?I have told d Lord dat if He made me to be d the little finger,i want to be d best little finger for Him! Be the best wherever u find urself nd God will reward ur FAITHFULNESS!

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  10. @Efuru,u are right! Indeed,God rewards faithfulness nd not the office/position of life….faithfulness to duty!

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  11. Whether a GO(general overseer)or an intercessor or an usher or a janitor in Church,remain faithful to ur calling nd u will surely be rewarded.

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  12. Is it not written,”And whatever you do in word or deed,DO ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God and the Father by Him”(Colossians3:17).SHINE ON my brethren in Christ Jesus!

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  13. Despise not d days of humble beginnings which are but stepping stones to greatness.The 8th pick of eight sons,tending sheep in d wilderness,in d person of David, was annointed the King of Israel(1sam16:1-13).Shine in ur wilderness.He who sees u secretly will reward u openly.

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  14. I rem years ago during my dad’s burial nd the Lord said i should shine forth the light of His Word in d midst of a crooked nd perverse generation,nd not be entangled with burial rites dat ensnare d soul.In obedience,i was always with my small black Bible as my torch nd told d traditionalists dat i will only do what was written in d Bible,not compromising my faith.They said i was fanatic(ndi uka),but i had my way.In everything,’hold forth d Word of life;dat u may rejoice in d day of Christ,that u have not run in vain,neither laboured in vain'(Philipians2:16).

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  15. By His grace,i was once d only light in an occultic family,with a witch-doctor as a father-in-law.With my every shine,i was persecuted.In all,i counted it joy,nd continued to shine.Soon my husband joined me,nd now d no.of d saved is on d increase.In most cases,to shine on as Christian exposes u to great persecution,but His joy strenghtens us.It is written,’Blessed are they which are persecuted 4 righteousness’ sake:for theirs is d kingdom of Heaven….Rejoice nd be exceeding glad:for great is ur reward in Heaven:for so persecuted they d prophets which were before you'(Matt5:10-12).

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  16. @Freda,i hail u.U may shine on as a morally good worker,without revealing ur Christian identity.But hell is let loose wen u decide to shine forth as a Christian in a corrupt work environment.Imagine wen as a Christian u come to work late nd sign in 8:10am,making all those dat signed in after u latecomers(workers dat normally would sign-in 8:00am even wen they come by 8:30am).They wouldnt like u at all b/c ur light exposes their evil deeds.It takes d grace nd fear of God to shine in such a hostile environment.But we must dare to be different!

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  17. Yes,initially,it will be difficult for a Christian in such a work environment. With time,they will accept u 4 who u are.Some will also be drawn to ur light.So don’t give up!

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  18. dats why we are called d salt of d earth..preserving a corrupt world from further decay,seasoning a tasteless world with d flavour of Heaven.Shine on!Don’t lose ur saltiness!

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  19. The coming of mobile fones have made most Christians LIARS.We must dare to speak d truth.We may deceive man,but we can’t deceive God who sees all nd hears all,nd also knows ur whereabout.We need to be sincere to each other(eg I have been calling u,wen u never called..missed calls never lie.It must register or u neva called).

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  20. There is this ‘hypocritical shine on’ dat i hate…. wolves in sheep clothing.To outsiders,they are saints,but in their homes are terrorists/malice-keepers/gossip etc.Publicly they are ‘Christians’nd shine forth,but privately they are poisonous snakes.So who is deceiving who?

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  21. Why are Christians shining in every area of life except in d area of sexuality?I wonder how many men would want to be like Paul,unmarried so dat they will devote their lives to serving God(1Corinth7:8,32-35).Even as widowers,they remarry almost immediately.Our men of God are not even shining in this area…remarriage is d order of d day!Christians seem to have huge sexual appetite…may God help us!

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  22. Trueooo!I have not seen any husband after d death of wife remain unmarried till his death so that they can wholly devote themselves to God.Our women dey tryooo.They remain unmarried,SHINING for the Lord like PROPHETESS ANNA(Luke 2:36,37).

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  23. Perhaps such men who cant control their sexual drive should be made EUNUCHS unto d Lord so dat they can shine more for Jesus!

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  24. I agree…so that they stop defiling d King’s Bride(the Church).

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  25. But why remarry wen some of them made marriage a living hell for their late wives….do they want to make another woman yet another victim of abuse nd rejection?I pray dat Christian husbands/fathers should first shine in their homes b4 the public display of piety.I hope d Janitor above had a good Christian testimony at home?

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  26. True talk!We should be all-round Christians,shining privately nd publicly.A city set on a hill must shine forth 4 all to see!

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  27. Which is better…to shine hypocritically or not to shine at all?

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  28. None of the above.We must be real or we are not Christians.Enough of watery Christianity.

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  29. Supported!!!

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  30. You must shine,nd must shine d Christian way without hypocrisy.

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  31. To effectively salt d earth,we must be salted with fire(Mark9:49)…d fire of afflictions/trials.It is as we are being salted dat we can gloriously shine forth. Be salted!

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  32. To shine is not a make-over to impress d world around you.It is d outward expression of an inward Christian character built-in by d Holy Spirit.It is not by might nor by power but by d Spirit of God(Zech 4:6).

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  33. To shine is a ‘flow’ nd not a ‘struggle’-no faking it.It is a Christian lifestyle!

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  34. Many times our Christian conduct is mistaken as a sign of weakness,nd trampled upon.Thank God for d grace to keep shining,even in d face of d contradictions of men!

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  35. No matter how u want to shine nd keep ur marriage,an adulterous Christian husband must have a reason to be a sniffer-dog.What a pity!Shine for d Lord b/c u can never please man.

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  36. The janitor was lucky to be recognized on earth.Many good Christians until their death,are not recognized,not celebrated,nd remain unsung by men.The conclusion of the matter is dat they are given a hero’s welcome by their Maker….”Welcome my faithful servant,…enter into d joy of d Lord!”

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  37. When will Christians in d orthodox churches begin to shine in our giving?In my Church,we see a lot of d lower denominations-5,10,20,50’s;few 100,200,500’s nd VERY FEW 1000n.Talk of d dirtiest money bandaged with celotape,u also see in d Church….nd many times squeezed up.This is irreverence nd utter contempt(Malachi1:6-14).Shine in ur giving…give as He has prospered u or even more…nd with clean denominations(mint if possible).Don’t calculate ur tithe to the exact kobo…u can never outgive d God who gave u His Best,His Son Jesus Christ!

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  38. Today was our Children harvest nd d children advised parents to stop giving them 5 & 10naira for offering.They claimed dat in a gp of 200 children,the total offering is b/w 300-500naira.I assess dat amount very poor.Parents please teach ur children sacrificial giving.Let ur tithe/offering shine forth!

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  39. Most celebrities,even with their negative lifestyles,have become role models for todays youth.Some copy their improper dressing(sagging et al),nd extravagant lifestyle.To d youth,they are shining!But this is different from the way a Christian should shine.Christians should shine forth Godliness/Christlikeness in character nd lifestyle.

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  40. Indeed,we can either shine d Godly way or d Worldly way.This post is about d Godly shining dat has eternal value.

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  41. The Godly will always please God,and d worldly will please d world.I will rather please God nd not d world dat is under condemnation.

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  42. Ezar,tanx.I am beginning to shine in my little corner,trusting d scripture dat says dat my path(little corner) is shining brighter nd brighter unto a perfect day.

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  43. ezar,i like ur post…short,to d point,inspiring,nd life-changing.Kudos to d Holy Spirit dat inspires u!

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  44. May d souls of d missionaries who died while ministering to ebola virus patients in Liberia,rest in d bosom of d Lord.Their stars will continue to shine forth throughout eternity,Amen!!!

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  45. Brethren,do u know dat d way we shine here will also reflect on d way we shine in Heaven?…..they dat turn many to righteousness will shine as d stars forever nd ever(Daniel12:3b)….for one star differeth from another star in glory(1st Corinth15:41b).Keep Shining.

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  46. ezar,ur pictures make sense.They drive home d point.I wish Christians will be as happy as dat Janitor(lastpicture),doing our work as unto d Lord!

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  47. Ezar,u dey so or u travel?We are waiting d next post.

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  48. I love d post nd comments.The comments are inspiring nd educative.I better wear my ‘gospel shoes’ nd join d train.Kudos.

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  49. I like….saw d post by chance.The previous posts occupied my weekend.I was richly blessed!

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  50. I live in a hostile environment where to shine is difficult…d persecution is too much nd humiliating.If i had d wings of d dove,i will fly away.God give me d courage to shine for You.

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