Having completed our series on the Presence of God last week, I have been asking the Lord what He wanted me to focus on next for this blog. I was quite surprised with His answer: ‘Share from your own journal.’ Initially I was aghast and thought, ‘My journal? My personal journal, Lord? That’s just between me and You!’ But after struggling with it for a couple of days, I believe that’s what He wants so here goes.
Matthew 5: 14 ‘You are the light of the world…’ In the Greek, the word translated ‘you’ literally means ‘you and you alone’. So this is a very personal exhortation to each individual disciple of the Lord. It is spoken to simple and entirely unimportant people from the world’s point of view. It’s to ‘you and you alone.’ That means me.
This implies that:
(1) the world is in darkness though claiming to be ‘enlightened’. Though there has been an incredible advancement of knowledge, yet most people still have no true understanding of what LIFE really is. And when we don’t know what to do with the knowledge we have, it becomes a source of tragedy producing broken relationships with God and with man. Paul said it this way: ‘Knowledge makes arrogant but love edifies.’ When our knowledge makes us feel superior, we lose the ability to love our fellow man as we have been commanded to do. ‘You are the light…’
(2) it is a disciple of Christ who can impart truly helpful advice and understanding. It is not more ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake’ that improves society but the knowledge of God and His Word. “You are the light…’
(3) you – the ordinary Christian with a living relationship with Jesus understands more about life than the greatest ‘expert’. For since in the wisdom of God the world through its knowledge did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. I Cor. 1:21
The same Lord Who declared ‘You are the light…’ also said, “I am the Light of the World.” These two statements are inseparable for He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life. John 8:12
And again, For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. Ephesians 5:8
What does light do?
(1) It exposes the darkness and what is hidden in the darkness until the light appears. You are a light switched on by the Holy Spirit. Lights don’t talk; they don’t make a sound. They simply reveal what was not seen before. The influence of the Christian as light in the world is to expose what belongs to darkness. This was the cause of the antagonism towards Jesus. His transparent purity and honesty exposed the darkness and hypocrisy of His contemporaries who had no interest in changing their ways. So they hated Him.
The condemnation of the world is this: Light came into the world but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19
(2) Light not only exposes the darkness but – good news – it shows the way out of it! So let your light shine that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matt. 5:16. Our example gives the unbeliever a look into what can be. People who never read a Bible read you – what are they learning?
A lamp in Jesus’ day had two essential elements – oil and a wick. To keep the lamp burning, oil was not enough. You had to keep trimming the wick.
You are the wick! Continually trimming the wick so the lamp will give light is descriptive of disciplining our character so that our light shines brighter and brighter.
Though this has been true for 2000 years, in these last days God is looking for those who will shine brightly, allowing His love and goodness to be demonstrated by our lives.
Let your light shine!
Has this spoken to you? Leave a comment or testimony below!