Letting Your Light Shine

It is natural for you to look at another and see what kind of person they are.  You soon decide if they are someone you like or dislike, someone you can trust or distrust, someone you can enjoy being around or someone you prefer to avoid.  By their appearance, action and speech you decide how you feel about that person.  In the same way, other people decide what kind of person you are by your appearance, your actions and your speech.  Jesus wants you to be the light of the world.  Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Your motive for having good works should not be to have the praise of others but instead your motive should be love for God and a desire that He be glorified.

You were once darkness.  Ephesians 5:8-14 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’” The encouragement is to walk as children of light.  That means to walk in all goodness, righteousness and truth.

You are a light when you abstain from fleshly lusts and have honorable conduct.  1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” You are also a light when you are filled with good works.  1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”  Good works includes helping others and giving and sharing with those in need.

You are a light when you do not complain or dispute or argue.  Philippians 2:14-15 “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”  You are a light as an employee when you obey your boss, are a good worker, and are trustworthy.  Employees have similar functions today as bondservants did in the first century.  Titus 2:9-10 “Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.”

You are a light when your conduct is blameless, and others are unable to find fault with you in your actions.  1 Peter 3:15-16 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

You are a light when you demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is working within you. When you bear the fruit of the Spirit, you will be different from those who do not have the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  You are a light when you show love for your enemies, neighbors and friends.  You are a light when your life is filled with joy.  You are a light when you show calmness and peace in your life.  You are a light when you are patient and longsuffering with others even when they are difficult.  You are a light when you are characterized by kindness to those around you.  You are a light when you demonstrate genuine goodness in all of your actions.  You are a light when you demonstrate faith in God and Jesus Christ.  You are a light when you are gentle with others.  You are a light when you exercise control of your tongue and your other actions.  In other words, you are light when you show the Holy Spirit is within you and you walk in the Spirit.  You will be a light because people in the world do not have the Spirit and thus do not have the fruit of the Spirit.

When you appreciate that others decide what kind of person you are by your appearance, actions and speech, it should cause you to be careful to be the kind of person that draws people to Jesus Christ and causes them to glorify your Father in heaven.  I am not suggesting that you be a hypocrite and pretend to be good when in your heart you are not.  But I am encouraging you to be careful of your actions. I encourage you to let the Spirit of God work within you so that you will be a light in the world and your Father in heaven will be glorified.

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