Jesus said that He was the light of the world. His light is indistinguishable, regardless of how dark the world is, the light is more powerful.
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:4-5 NLT)
A few years ago I visited a cave in Mt. Elgon, Kenya. I walked as far back as I could go in the cave and switched off my mini Maglite. It was so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face, but when I turned on my flashlight, the darkness had to flee away. No matter how dark the cave, the light overpowered the darkness. This incident in the cave made me think of our lives as Christians; like Jesus, we are very powerful because of God’s light in us. The darkness cannot overpower the light. Jesus is the Light of the world, but He also called us the light of the world. When we were saved, the power of God rescued us out of the kingdom of darkness and placed us in the Kingdom of Light. (Colossians 1:13) In fact, 1 Peter 2:9 says that we were called out of darkness into His marvelous light. The transforming power of God’s redemption makes us different in attitude and behavior, and as a result, we shine out in their world. The world may be dark, but the redeemed of the Lord will be visible and victorious.
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 (Philippians 2:14-15)
This light is attractive to those who are being saved, and the same light enrages our opponents. Those who are hostile to the Gospel are going to seek to extinguish the light because it reveals their wickedness. They mistakenly think that by ridding the light and muting our voice that they can then continue their evil practices. They believe that by eliminating the world of Christians that they will be able to express their freedom without our disapproval. The truth is, they are not opposing us as Christians, but they resist the light in us; this light is the glory of God found only in Jesus. This light is not our superior morality or personal purity, but it is the very presence of Christ in us.
2 Corinthians 4:3-7 (NLT) If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
I want to discuss briefly the three ways that we can be light to those around us:
- Through sharing the Gospel
- Through our example and godly character
- Through our good works
1. Through the Gospel
When we share the Gospel, it can turn people from darkness to light, and from the control of Satan to the Living God.
…to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:18)
No wonder the Apostle Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God to change people’s lives, deliver them from the grip of Satan, and grant them the new creation miracle. We, the saints of God, are entrusted with the Gospel. When we share the Good News, we are carriers of God’s light to those in darkness.
2. Through Godly Character
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) (Ephesians 5:8-9)
Our message, the Gospel, is powerful, but it is amplified when it is matched by a mature and developed life of a godly character. Some people teach that our message is our lifestyle, but I believe that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. On the other hand, our lives compliment the message and makes it trustworthy. Those who hear it and see it’s reality evidenced through our lives are more likely to lay hold of it. For this reason, the Apostle Paul encouraged the church to walk as children of light and to display the fruit of the Spirit. Lives that demonstrate godly character make the Gospel attractive. (Titus 2:10)
3. Through our Good Works
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. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Our message to the suffering, the poor and those in need, is made attractive when supported by compassionate acts of kindness. Our good works are a way of shining brightly into the world around us. Jesus taught the disciples to be engaged in helping the suffering. The disciples followed His example and made this a major part of their ministry. True religion is to care for widows and orphans. Sadly, many Christians today are not engaged in good works. They feel that the suffering and need is too big, and their few dollars will not make an impact in the sea of desperate need. Jesus said that we should let our light shine; this light is our good works and as a result, God will be glorified. When we give compassionate aid to the hurting we shine in their world of pain. Our gifts make way for us to reveal the love of God and gives us an entrance to proclaim the Gospel.
In conclusion, arise shine, be radiant, display the glory of God to your world, (Isaiah 60:1) through your message, your life, and your good works.