Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Let Your Light Shine!

- Like the disciples, we are the light of the world as a result of our relationship with Jesus who is the ultimate Light of the World"Jesus gives the Christian both a great compliment and a great responsibility when He says that we are the light of the world, because He claimed that title for Himself as He walked this earth (John 8:12 and John 9:5)." (Guzik) We, Christ's followers, are to reflect the light of Jesus and the Gospel in this world of darkness (sin and spiritual blindness) for God's glory. We are mere reflectors of Christ's light, pointing others to Him, the True LightReflect the love and character of Christ in attitude, words, and deeds. The Bible also links light to God's Word. Speak God's truth in love boldly. Live out the Christ life which is in us. Light is what enables us to see and makes vision possible. Light illuminates, exposes, guides, and directs. May we help others see the dangers of sin, understand the truth of the Gospel, and realize the need for a Savior! Light reveals things that are hidden and light gives warmth. When we live our lives according to God's Word and God's will, we become a beacon of light to this weary, wicked, & lost world, giving people hope and help. We are to influence the world, not to be influenced by the world. 

- A city built on a hill stands out visibly and cannot be hidden. "One who travels the Holy Land is impressed with the fact that multitudes of villages were built on the tops of the hills...When night came, the light in the houses on the hill could not be hidden. From a great distance, one knew the location of the next village because of the light from that hilltop.” (Dwight Pentecost) We Christians are being watched by the world whether we like it or not. You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read, and your life is under scrutiny every day. What do others learn from you? Do they see an accurate picture of your God?” (John MacArthur) 

Since we are the light of the world, let us shine wherever we are. We are to light the way so that others may find the Way to God and His salvation. Our lives can shine a spotlight on Jesus as the Answer/Solution to so many problems in this world. Keep sharing the Gospel of God's grace and proclaiming Christ. Do people see Christ in us? Does how we live demonstrate that we are children of God/children of Light? When others interact with us, do they see love, joy, peace, contentment, patience, grace, mercy, compassion, hospitality, sincerity, integrity, humility, purity, justice, courage, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, goodness, forgiveness, trustworthiness, etc.? Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in our lives? Good deeds are works of God wrought by His indwelling Spirit as we abide in the Vine. When others see our good deeds, they witness the beauty of what the Lord has done in us and through us and they may give praise and honor to God, our Abba Father. We should not be doing good deeds for attention, applause, admiration, or appreciation. That would be wrong motives. We do good deeds because we love God and love others...because we want to honor and glorify God...because God wants us to do so...because we want people to see that all the good they see in you and me come from our Heavenly Father and praise Him. Soli Deo Gloria (To God alone be all the glory)! The distinctiveness of our shining examples in Christian character, commitment, convictions, conversations, and conducts regardless of our circumstances does draw people to Christ. Let us not despair over the moral decline going on all around us. The darker the night, the brighter the light shines! We must live the Gospel out in our daily lives so that it will validate the Gospel we speak with our lips.

"When the people of God are set free from the compulsion of self-exaltation and self-justification and self-preservation, so that we live for the eternal good of other people, then we become the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and people notice in us the reality of God and give Him glory." (John Piper)

- Why is this world still so dark? Could it be because many Christians are hiding or hindering Christ's light?
"God should show through our life, but sadly sometimes our life's bulbs can be dirty, dimming His light. Think about these two factors that can dim God's light:

Unconfessed Sin. Just as dirt accumulates on a light bulb, so the dirtiness of sin can accumulate in your life. If you are not careful to keep your heart clean through daily confession and repentance, unconfessed sin can keep your life from shining God's light.

Have you ever known a Christian who you wondered about their heart's condition? They showed no signs of spiritual fruit and lived in open sin. While we cannot know a person's heart, we can see his light. Allowing sin to go unconfessed can dim God's light and hinder the effectiveness of a life's testimony.

Fear of Men. How often have Christians hidden their lights because of a fear of the opinions of others? We all want to be accepted and appreciated by our peers, yet our world tells us that talking about Christ and faith is taboo. We are told that religion is for Sunday, and Monday through Saturday is a different life. But God desires that you would allow His light to shine through you every day of the week. As the children's song goes,
"Hide it under a bushel?
No! I'm going to let it shine."
How clean is your life's bulb today?
Has unconfessed sin dimmed the light of Christ?
Or are you purposefully hiding your light for fear of what others think?
Christian, would you fear man's opinion so much that you would allow someone to die not ever knowing Christ?

Take time today to inspect your life. Ask God to reveal any dimming sin or actions that are keeping your life from brightly showing God's light. Also ask God to give you strength to shine for Him even when others would hide their lights out of fear." (Dr. Paul Chappell)

"We are His word to the world. Are we clearly heard?" (Unknown)

"Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian." (Dwight L. Moody) 

"A Christian's life should be nothing but a visible representation of Christ." (Thomas Brooks)

"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." (Oliver Goldsmith)

"So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine." (Watts)

Ye are the light of the world,
Driving the darkness away,
Shedding your beams on the lost,
Changing their night into day.

Then let your light ever shine,
Showing the right way to go;
Gladly the lost ones will see—
God’s boundless love they will know.

Ye are the light of the world,
Causing the clouds to depart,
Throwing the sunshine of peace
Down on the poor burdened heart.

Then let your light ever shine;
Loved ones are panting for rest;
Sunshine their souls will revive,
Lifting them up to the blest.

Ye are the light of the world;
Thro’ you the true light must shine,
Calling the lost sons of men
Home to the Father divine.

Then let your light ever shine,
Hallow the Name that is love;
You will each shine as a star,
Fixed in the orbit above.

Let's all shine brightly for Jesus!

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