“Let your light so shine…” . Matthew 5:16
I’ve been studying the book of Daniel and one of my sources indicated a theme of this book is how to live in the midst of a sinful nation and still hold to God and influence others. Last month I wrote from Matthew 5:14-16 about Being the light, and today I’m asking how we could be a brighter bulb.
The Gospel of John begins introducing Jesus as the word and tells us that in Him was life and the life was the light of men. This light shined in the darkness and the darkness did not overpower the light.
If Jesus showed up and in His life there was this incredible light, which of course emanated from His Father who is light, and the darkness could not overpower it then it follows we must emanate the same kind of light and life.
From Matthew, Jesus says you don’t put this light under a bushel to hide it but set it out where it can give light to everyone in the house. How is it that the darkness we live in on the job, in our families, with our friends, seems to diminish our willingness to shine? There is a boldness (harmless as doves and wise as serpents) that must be being seen in us these days. As darkness abounds, we are to shine brighter, not adapt to the darkness from a place of fearful intimidation
Jesus said men will love their darkness rather than the light but that didn’t stop him from shinning. They rejected his methods. They rejected his words. They ultimately rejected him, but he never stopped shinning. Isaiah prophesied, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon you and his glory shall be seen upon you and the gentiles shall come to the light and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah said, Arise and Shine!
We are salt. We are light. These are two powerful statements about us as believers. This is what we are. This is what we do. We salt. We enlighten. If we don’t, darkness keeps creeping in to take over everyone and everything in our world.
From John 8:12 we find Jesus declaring himself to be the light of the world. In chapter twelve, Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure. He says, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in darkness cannot see where they’re going. Put your trust in the light while there still time, then you will become the children of light.”
John 1:6 tells us that God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so everyone might believe because of his testimony. Just like John the Baptist we are sent into our own particular environments to bear testimony about the light, Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit has made us witnesses. Acts doesn’t say He gave us power to do witnessing but He so radically changed our lives that we have been made witnesses. 1 John records the apostle declaring, that which we have seen and heard we declare to you. John went on to say we proclaim this so that you may have fellowship with us. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
Our motivation must always be to share with others what we have seen and heard so they could know the joy that comes from fellowship with Him. It is said of Jesus in Matthew 4:16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light and for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined. God is light. Jesus is light. Now we are children of the Light. May we be His great light that shines ever brighter to those who sit in darkness.