Light Of The World
“‘You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.’” (Matthew 5:14-15)
We have several 3-way light bulbs in our house—virtually every lamp we own is a tri-light lamp— and I recently noticed a pattern in the brightness we use. During the day when the sun is shining, if we need the light on it’s turned all the way up. But in the early hours of the morning, or in the evening after the sun has gone down, we use the lower setting because it’s gentler on the eyes in contrast to the dark.
We can be like this spiritually, too. In the brightness of other lights (other Christians) we tend to try to shine as bright as we can, making ourselves look as bright as possible. Everyone else is shining, so you should too. But when we are in the darkness, when we are surrounded by nonbelievers, we turn that brightness down a few notches. We hide God, or bury our beliefs; we don’t speak up when we see sin and so we cover up our light in order not to offend the darkness or to fit in, making ourselves resemble the darkness.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), and He knew that it was not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick (Mark 2:17), so it was sinners that Jesus spent his time with and He did not at all cover up His light. In fact, people were attracted to the Light. We shouldn’t cover up God in order to interact with nonbelievers; we should shine brighter than ever.
The other problem with covering up the light within us is that we don’t have a right to because it’s not our light that is shining.
“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)
“‘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)
Jesus said that no one would turn on a light just to cover it up. In our world, we have dimmable lights and 3-way bulbs, so if we don’t want a light to be too bright we can turn it down. We’ve given ourselves the option of not shining too bright if it’s going to hurt or bother other people and this attitude can, and in some cases has, crept over into our spiritual life. We don’t ever see Jesus doing this in Scripture, and we don’t have the right to do so because the light we are shining is not our own—it’s God’s light that He has given to us. We are representatives of God (2 Corinthians 5:20) and our lives are not our own (Romans 8:9). When we said yes to following Jesus, we took His light into our hearts and it is our job to shine it out on its full setting into the whole world. Don’t ever cover God’s light.
Next week is the one year anniversary of The Constant Battle, and we will be celebrating what God has done in next week’s post as well as making a special announcement about things to come. You won’t want to miss it!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.