LETTING OUR LIGHT SHINE
It’s taken from Matthew 5:16. The whole verse goes like this, “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.”
Let’s observe 3 things in this theme.
I. It’s a command.
A. A command is meant to be obeyed implicitly, explicitly and immediately.
B. A command is generally disliked by us. We have more taste for promises than commands. We are like children who go for jam and cream, and leave the bread slice uneaten.
II. It’s a command to let our light shine.
A. But the light can shine only if there is light.
1. We are the light of the world if have repented from our sins genuinely and believed on Lord Jesus Christ wholeheartedly.
2. We are the light of the world if we are truly born again and thoroughly saved.
3. In that case we are the children of light, not of darkness. As such, we are expected to live as children of light, and not participate in the deeds of darkness but expose them (Ephesians 5:8,10,11). We are expected to manifest the excellencies of the One who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light (1Peter 2:9).
4. But if we aren’t saved then we aren’t light but darkness. In that case there no light. There is no question of letting our light shine when it’s not there.
B. We can let our light shine through good works. V. 16
1. When we love God with all of our heart, mind and strength, we are letting our light shine before others (Deuteronomy 6:5).
2. When we love our neighbours, we are letting our light shine before others (Leviticus 19:18).
3. When we love our enemies, forgive them, bless them and pray for them, we are letting our light shine before others (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28).
4. When we are living an exemplary life in the light of God’s word, we are letting our light shine for the glory of God.
5. When we share the gospel of salvation with those who are sitting in the darkness and the shadow of death, we are letting our light shine on them. It says in Matthew 4:15, 16, “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles- the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
III. It’s a command, easily discarded.
A. We can hinder our light shining before others (Cf. Keeping our light under the basket).
1. Through hypocrisy.
3. Dishonesty in finances.
4. False accounts.
5. False reports.
5. Sexual immorality, having illicit love affairs.
7. Works of our sinful flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).
Are we letting our light shine before others through our good works? Or, are we hindering it through our deeds of darkness?
Are people glorifying God because of us? Or, are we a hindrance in their coming to faith?
Is God’s name blessed or blasphemed because of us? Is our light shining?
By Richard Masih, New Delhi