Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5: 14 -16). We should be lights to those around us, especially to non-believers. We should not hide our light from them. John Witherspoon, the governor of the state of Massachusetts, said when founding that state, “We shall be as a city on a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.” In a way, we are like a lighthouse: just as its light guides ships safely to their destinations (and helps them to avoid danger), in the same way, we, by our light, guide people safely to Christ (who is the Light of the world). My sister and I really enjoy using sweet smelling candles. My sister was commenting about the above passage in Matthew and comparing it to a candle and what Paul says: “For we are unto God a sweet fragrance of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish…” (2 Cor 2:15). If a candle does not smell good, that bad smell will emanate from it. Likewise, if it smells beautiful, that beautiful smell will emanate from it. If we smell beautiful, the world will sense a difference in us, and they will want what we have. As the saying goes, “You may be the only Jesus the world ever sees.” When they see us, they’ll see Jesus. (Ac 13:47; Ac 26:18) If we don’t tell the world the Good News, who will? They may never hear the truth from anyone else. That’s why as Christians, we are to be godly examples. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example [model] of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1Ti 4:12) A godly example can open the door to leading someone into a relationship with Christ. “Do everything without complaining or disputing, that you may be blameless and harmless [sincere], the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:15). “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Notice that this verse says, "In Him." We are commanded in various places in the Bible to abide in Him. How can we know that we are in Him? 1 John 2:5-6 says, “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that says he abides in him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.” How do we "walk as He walked"? 1 John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." We walk as He walked by walking in His light; as He shines the light so that we can see the path through the darkness, we walk that path, following that Light. Proverbs 3:5-6 states, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will DIRECT YOUR PATH."
God is light, so if we are in Him, we will have His light in us. And if He lives in us, He is the light of the world (John 9:5), so we have His light in us. Luke 12:36 states, “If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illuminated, as when a lamp illumines you with its rays.” The NLT version says, “If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you.” My pastor once said [In reference to John 1:9 -- “There was the true Light which enlightens every person coming into the world.”], “Darkness can’t overpower the Light; Light always overpowers darkness. If you flood light on a situation, it lights up the whole room. Light can shine brighter and brighter until the noonday so that no shadows can be seen/remain.” Psalm 23:4 says, "Even though I WALK through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with Me." If The Light of the world is with us, those shadows have to disappear. The flip-side to this, of course, is that if we are facing some hard times -- our "valley of the shadow of death" -- the Psalm states that we are to walk through it; we are not to camp out in the shadows in defeat. Christ is directing our every step through the problem, leading us out of the "tunnel" and into the open air of freedom!
Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy Word is a lamp [candle] to my feet, and a light to my path.” It is interesting to note that Jesus is the Word made flesh, according to the Bible, and God is Light. We know from Scripture that, as Jesus said it, "I and My Father are One." Therefore, Jesus is Light -- Jesus is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths! Jesus is directing our every step! If we trip, He is right there to catch us. Proverbs 4:18 says, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day.” “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Ps 37:23-24).
The Bible state in Psalms 119:130, “The entrance of thy words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple.” I read a commentary about this verse that said, “The simple idiots that submit themselves to God have their eyes opened and their minds illuminated, as soon as they begin to read God's word. Their very entrance floods the mind with instruction for they are so full, so clear; but, on the other hand, there must be such an "entrance," or there will be no illumination. The mere hearing of the word with the external ear is of small value by itself, but when the words of God enter into the chambers of the heart then light is scattered on all sides.” That is exactly what Luke 12:36 (NLT version) states: "your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you.” 2 Corinthians says, "But God who commanded light to shine out of darkness has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowlege of the glory of God in the face of Jesus." His light has shone in our hearts -- His light in our hearts is "scattered on all sides," and flowing out of us into others; others will see it and want what we have!
Also, remember in John 17:22 where Jesus said that the glory that the Father gave Him, He gave to us? My pastor commented that if we really believe that we have the glory that Jesus gave to us, God’s glory will shine from us and we’ll be witnesses for Him. There's a song that says, "Don't let your lights go down. Don't let your fire burn out. Somewhere somebody needs a reason to believe. Why don't you rise up now? Don't be afraid to stand out. That's how the lost get found." Just like a fire can burn out if it's not constantly fed, our light can burn out if we don't constantly stir ourselves up with God's Word. "Stir yourself up by way of reminder." If we stop moving on the path that God has for us (or if we walk in a different direction), we will find that it has suddenly become dark because we have stopped following the Light, so keep moving; keep walking, and God will direct your every step and use you to reach out to people. A fire can be contagious; once it has found something burnable, it spreads. Let your light shine in that way; be a contagious flame; When the world sees you, they see a difference, they see Jesus, and they want what you have. Jim Elliot once said, "I only hope that He will let me preach to those who have never heard that name Jesus. What else is worth while in this life? I have heard of nothing better. 'Lord, send me!'" And, "He makes His minsters a flame of fire.' Am I ignitable? ... Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame. ... 'Make me Thy Fuel, Flame of God.'"
It reminds me of the quote I posted yesterday: "Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian." - D. L. Moody
I will end with the words to a well-known children's song: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." What does the world see when they see you? Do they see a lighthouse, a beacon of light and hope to guide them to Christ, or do they lose their way because they can't see?