My, Devotion to Him #94
As Christians we are many times in a position to influence non–christians or act as ambassadors for Christ more so than pastors and church leaders. Jesus, who was and is the Light of the world has instructed us to be lights in this world of darkness. Below is a discussion of how we may be lights in a world that has been darkened by sin.
VERSE PASSAGE: John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – NIV
VERSE PASSAGE: John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” – NIV
VERSE PASSAGE: Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – NIV
Jesus sets three declarations.
- He is the light.
- Believers will walk in the light.
- Believers are the light to the world.
In Matthew 5 Jesus was speaking to the Galileans. They were simply fishermen and not highly respected in their day. Yet Jesus the Christ was referring to them as the light of the world because they had come to know the Lord. Too often I believe we rely on the religious leaders of our day to have an impact for Christ on the world. We expect the church to save our city, the preachers to cleanse the lands, the televangelist to purify tv viewers. We tend to expect so much from the church and our religious leaders and place most of the burden on them. But, If we look at this scenario from Jesus’ eyes you can see that it is not always the religious leaders that are on the front line but it is the everyday Christian that is in a position to have an impact upon those around them. Especially on those that do not attend church services on a regular basis. As coaches, teachers, co-workers of hundreds of different jobs in all types of industries. We are put in a position to witness through our actions to show the love of Christ through our lives, to show the image of Christ within us. We are a position of impact that is not available to religious leaders.
Notice that in Matthew 5:14 that we are the light of the world. Christ calls us the light of the world and not the light of the church. He did not point to only religious leaders. He actually included everyone that is a believer of Christ. He wants us to provide light to the world and not just let our light shine within the church alone. What good is the light if it only shines within the four walls of our church. Jesus points out that people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowel. In the same manner we are not only to shine in church but while we are out in this world.
How can we accomplish this?
1. We must know Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.
Christ we cannot have the light of Christ within them if they do not know Him. And I’m not talking about people who claim they know Him. I’m talking about people who have a relationship with Him. The kind that serve and worship Him. The kind who are saved by Him. Psalm 119:10 tells us that God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path. John 1:4 and John 9:5 refers to Christ as the light of the world. Acts 13:47 Christ appointed His disciples to be lights unto the Gentiles (all non-Jews). The only way we can be lights to this world is to know the light and knowing the light is to be saved by the light and serve the light. That light is Jesus. Jesus has then in our belief and following Him called us the light of the world.
2. As Christians we must be just.
Exodus 34:6 God declares Himself to be a God of mercy, grace, patience and goodness. God expects us to demonstrate these same qualities. As we are to be Christ-like.
3. Be careful that your light is only for the glory of Jesus and not for yourself.
VERSE PASSAGE: Luke 11:35-36 “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” – NIV
Jesus tells us to take heed that the light that is within us be not darkness. In other words our light is to glorify Jesus and not for self gratification or fame.
VERSE PASSAGE: John 17:15-19 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” – NIV
4. We are to do God’s work without complaining or dispute.
VERSE PASSAGE: Philippians 2:14-15 “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” – NIV
How many times do we see people wanting to serve God in a position of honor and not strictly as a position of service? Example, everyone wants to sing in the choir, people want to be youth pastors or ministers, pastors of big churches. Some people seek the title in which they fill is satisfying to them as they serve God. Some seek recognition or feel like they need to be in a titled position to serve God. However, God is glorified just as much when people shovel snow, perform janitorial services, etc. God does not call everyone to a title position and seeking those positions in order feel like you are accomplishing something for the Kingdom is wrong. God will make you effective where ever you are. As long as you are the willing vessel and seek to only bring glory to His name. Many times we grumble and complain because we are not in a position of authority and feel like we should be there. However, Paul tells us to not grumble or complain. We must be blameless and pure in this crooked generation. Every position and service to God is a great one because it’s service to God.
5. We must hold firm to the Word.
VERSE PASSAGE: Philippians 2:16 “as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” – NIV
VERSE PASSAGE: Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – NIV
These are what I feel we must adhere to in order to be the light to this darkened world. We service to God and the way we conduct ourselves is in direct connection to being the light and being the light effectively.
Be blessed my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Copyright © 2017 by Jacob D. Olinger