Are You Shining the Light?
Last week I talked to you about the new identity God’s people have because of their relationship with Jesus. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Being a Christian is to have a new identity. The Bible uses lots of metaphors or imageries to help us understand who we are and what we are supposed to do. We are Christ’s ambassadors in this world. We are to represent him everywhere we go as his agents of reconciliation. Today I would like to share with you another illustration along the lines of our new identity. Jesus said this is what his disciples are in the world.
When you become a follower of Jesus you made a transition from death to life, from your old self, to a new self in Christ; you transition from darkness into light.
Matt.5-7 is what is known the sermon on the mountain. Jesus preached and taught all that we read in these chapters to his disciples. Matt.5:1 (His disciples came to him and he began to teach them)
Jesus is introduced in the gospel of John as the true light that came to the world. John 1:4, 8-9 (The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.)
Jesus himself claimed to be the light of the world.
John 8:12 I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 12:36 while you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.
Jesus said to his followers, you are the light of this world. Matt.5:14
A city on a hill cannot be hidden: Its lights will be seen from far away. The reflection is obvious.
A lamp in a house is set on its stand to give light to everyone.
In the same way let your light shine before people. Let your light shine just like a city on a hill cannot be hidden because of its lights; reflect you light that people can see it from the distance.
In the same way, just like a lamp is not lit to be under a bowl; let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds (works) and give glory to God the Father.
Shining your light brings glory to God; hiding it doesn’t.
How do you let your light shine? (v.16)
Through your good works (deeds, actions). Jesus said when people see your good deeds.
With your actions you are either shining your light or turning it off.
–Maintaining a good testimony among unbelievers). Even when they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your good deeds and bring glory to God. 1 Pet.2:12
-Paul advice to the Philippians. Php.2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
You shine your light through your actions; what kind of testimony are you showing outsiders. Are they giving God glory because of you; because of how you live or behave in the world?
Are you shining your light at work, school? How about social media?
They are people who you would never know they are Christians by their actions on social media.
“There are people who truly believe in their hearts that they are followers of Jesus, but their lives look nothing like his.” Francis Chan.
You may truly believe you are a Christian, but if you are not showing it by your deeds, you are deceiving yourself. What kind of fruit are you producing?
Faith without action is dead. You must show you are sons of light by shining your light everywhere you go. You shine the light by displaying good deeds. Your works (deeds) will determine your reward in heaven. Rom.2:6
2Cor.5:10 Your deeds will be judged.
You and I must understand that with every decision we make we either shine the light or not. We either honor God or we are not.
Jesus calls his followers light in the world. So, what would your mission be then?
To illuminate the world, to guide the world to God, to expel darkness. But if our actions are not bringing glory to God then we are not living to up to our call, or to our new identity in Jesus. Jesus calls us to be the light in this world, to let our light shine before all people. Are your actions (deeds, works) what you do bringing honor (glory) to God? Then you are shining the light.