Matthew 5 v16
‘In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your
Father in heaven.’
When I was in primary school and Sunday school many years ago, we would often sing,
‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!’
The second verse was, ‘Hide it under a bushel? No!! I’m gonna let it shine’
We would hold a finger in the air, to represent a candle and when it came to the second verse, we would put our other hand over the ‘finger candle’ and take it off in a big flourish on the word ‘No!!’
I didn’t realise the significance at the time. I think we were just told (as five-year olds) that we must be kind to one another. But what does it really mean to ‘Let your light shine before men.’?
Light exposes danger and leads the way to safety.
There is a story about a lighthouse keeper, who had a certain amount of oil for the lamp provided at regular intervals. On one occasion some of the locals asked him for some oil as they had run out. Thinking it was a legitimate request he gave it to them but then ran out of oil himself the day before his delivery date. On that night many ships were wrecked on the rocks he was supposed to be lighting.
Sometimes we can be so busy doing the things that are admirable in themselves but are not what God wants. He wants us to shine a light on the way to keep people from the danger of living without Jesus.
The light shows up shortcomings and dangers but also lights up the way to get out of them.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says ‘In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.’
This is what we have to deal with. Our lives have to reflect the light of Jesus, to expose the danger of the work of the enemy, to shine through the darkness, so that others will see Him through us and give God the glory.
How can we be that light?
Where we are situated is important. Our light has to be conspicuous. It can’t be hidden under a bushel but must be placed on a hill. It has to be in the best place possible for everyone to see it.
Matthew 5:14 -15 says, ‘You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven.’
A light bulb has an energy source. If the connection is broken the light goes out. We need to stay connected to our source, who is Jesus. We must not let anything or anyone break our connection to the source of our light. If we don’t keep close to the light the reflection of Jesus will become dim. The further we stray away from the light the dimmer our light becomes. To keep close to the source we need to be people of prayer and readers and doers of the word.
We need to be Jesus to those around us. If people don’t know Jesus they will receive their impression of what He is like from those around them, who profess to be Christians. We have a great responsibility to be the light of Christ. People are watching us to see what a lover of Christ is like.
It says in Colossians 4:6 ‘Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.’ In 1 Peter 2:12 it says, 'Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of wrong doing, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.'
If we do not practise what we preach we will not be recognised by those around us as light. German atheist Nietze was quoted as saying that if he saw more redeemed people, he might be inclined to believe in the Redeemer.
There is no point telling people what a wonderful Saviour we have if they cannot see it in the way we live our lives. I have heard many people over the years say that their faith is a private thing for themselves and not for anyone else. This is a challenge to all of us. We have a responsibility to transmit light and shine in the corner of the world we find ourselves.
We need the Holy Spirit. To be the light we are called to be, we need the Holy Spirit. We need Him to help us to live continually in the very nature of Christ. We need to reflect His character. Our light, therefore, is only shining as it should be if we are living in the fruits of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:22 it says, ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’
These may not form part of our natural character. We receive them by the grace of God, through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Some years ago, a friend, not of our Fellowship, described some people in our Fellowship as ‘shiny people’. Being ‘shiny’ is not about who we are, it is about who Jesus is and how we reflect Him. It is about our relationship with Him and not about how busy we are with ‘church stuff’.
So, in conclusion, let us make sure our light is shining by keeping close to the source, praying continually, being often in the word and walking in the Spirit.
Author: Thelma Cameron
May God bless and enrich your life
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