Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16.
Jesus said we are the light of the world. Paul also teaches us to shine as lights in the world. What does this mean to shine?
After pondering this for some time the other day and considering what God has said in His Word, there are several things that stand to me. Believers, we have Christ dwelling in us and it should be obvious to the rest of the world. It’s not us doing the shining, but it’s Christ in us shining out of us. We reflect Christ to the world.
How does the light shine? What happens that causes the light to shine forth?
- We are called to do all things without complaining and disputing, so we become blameless and harmless and shine among the crooked and perverse generation we live in. (Philippians 2:15)
- We are called to deny self, pick up our cross and follow Jesus daily. His example leads us to put aside our own will and follow God’s will instead. (Luke 9:23)
- We are called to walk by the Spirit so we don’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
- We are called to put off our old sinful nature and put on Christ’s righteousness instead. (Ephesians 4:22)
- We are told to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
- If our enemy is hungry, feed him. If he’s thirsty, give him something to drink. (Proverbs 25:21)
- We’re commanded to love our enemy, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us. (Matthew 5:44)
- We’re commanded to forgive one another because God’s forgiven us. (Luke 6:37)
There are many more examples I could cite, but knowing what the Word of God says is one thing and putting these things into practice by obeying the Word of God is what makes the difference.
Think about it the next time you’re tempted to grumble or complain about having to do something you don’t really want to do. What would Jesus do? Would He complain or would He simply serve? We are to reflect Jesus. As a result, our responses to life’s demands should cause others to notice there’s something positively different about us.
Living in obedience to God’s Word will have a radical impact on the world around us because it is so different. Review the above list again. By nature, we do not think or behave like that. But, by the Spirit, we do.
Are you allowing the Spirit to lead you in obedience to God’s Word? When you do, you are shining as a light to the world.
Lord thank You for Your Word and Spirit that helps us live the life You desire for us. Enable us to shine as lights to the world. May we be obedient to Your Word and be a witness for You. In Jesus name Amen.