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. ~Matthew 5:14-16
I want you to read the verses above carefully. Pay especially close attention to the words “you are”, “in the same way”, “let your light shine”, and “that they may see”.
When you put an emphasis on those words, what happens? I mean, what message do you get?
I’ll tell you. You get the clear and definite message that being a light is not an option. Jesus doesn’t say “if you choose to be a light” or “I really hope you will let your light shine”. He says you are the light and that you have a responsibility to let it shine for the whole world to see.
Yep, the whole world. Not just the people you go to church with. Not just the people at the shelter you volunteer at. Everyone. And here’s how he expects you to do it…
Know God’s Word
Several years ago Leonardo DiCaprio starred in a movie called, “Catch Me If You Can”. It was about a guy who was a con artist and a master of deception. He fooled people into believing he was a doctor, a co-pilot, and a lawyer. He was able to fool people for a while, but he had to keep running because sooner or later the truth came out… every single time.
The same is true when it comes to being a light for Jesus. You can’t be his light if you don’t know him… really know him. You might be able to fool people for a while, but your light won’t stay lit once you run out of people to fool.
Additionally, if you don’t truly know who Jesus is—what he expects, how he thinks, what is his truth—your light won’t stay lit. You can’t claim to be the light of Jesus if you don’t use Jesus to fuel that light.
Live God’s Word
If you wanted to make a chocolate cake but insisted on using oatmeal instead of cocoa, it wouldn’t be a chocolate cake, would it? Even if you used everything else the recipe called for, without the cocoa, it just wouldn’t be right.
Likewise, if you are going to be the light of the world Jesus calls us to be, you need to know it’s an all or nothing thing. Your light can’t be switched on and off. It is meant to burn 24/7 all the days of your life.
Share your light
A light does absolutely no good if it doesn’t illuminate—if it doesn’t reveal what is there to be seen. To be the light Jesus calls us to be requires us to reveal the truth of who Jesus is. To be light means we love as Jesus loves, show compassion and mercy as Jesus shows compassion and mercy, and hate sin the same way Jesus hates sin.
To be the light of Jesus means we light the way for others by sharing the truth of the Gospel with as many people as possible. By living life with a genuine Christ-like attitude, by supporting missionaries, and by treating the world around you as your mission field, you will be the light Jesus has called you to be.
If you have accepted Christ as Savior, being a light isn’t an option. It is a command. So… get out there and shine!
~ By Darla Noble