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Warning Light & Welcoming Light

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

“For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD, my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28 (ESV)

One of the benefits of living in eastern North Carolina is being in close proximity to the ocean and also to those beautiful structures so often found near our country’s seas and inland waterways – lighthouses.

017What is the purpose of a lighthouse? We all know that lighthouses serve as a navigational guide and a warning for boats and ships to stay clear of dangerous shoals, rocks, and currents. During the day, the sailors can see the lighthouses by their unique markings, called Daymarks. For example, here on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the Bodie Island Lighthouse has horizontal black and white markings, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has candy-stripe black and white markings, Cape Lookout Lighthouse has black and white diamonds, and the Ocracoke Lighthouse is all white. At night, or in fog and bad weather, the sailors are guided by the light that acts as a beacon, keeping ships clear of shallow or treacherous waters.

066But did you know that some lighthouses also act as a welcoming marker for sailors and boats. While the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects ships from one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast, known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” the Ocracoke Lighthouse serves to guide sailors and boats from the Pamlico Sound into Silver Lake, almost saying to them, “Come on in.”

Just as it is with lighthouses, God also acts as a warning light and a welcoming light. First let us say that God is so much more than just these two attributes, but it is these two we focus on today. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to warn us about the pitfalls that could potentially cause us to stumble in our spiritual lives. You know that feeling you get, the one that says “beware” or “stay clear,” or that thing in your conscience that tells you what is right and wrong, that is the Holy Spirit warning you.

On the flip side, God always welcomes us into His presence, regardless of where we have been, or what we have done. He invites you in for the first time, and he invites you back time and time again.

So today, we encourage you to allow God to be your lighthouse. Let Him warn you against rough and dangerous seas, and also let Him welcome you into safe waters of the calm, peaceful, and tranquil lake.

Dave Garrett

New Bern, North Carolina


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