Shine

Matthew 5:14-16
Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Jesus had just said that persecution would come to His followers because of our stand for Him in a wicked world, and then He goes on to say not that we hide and keep quiet to avoid that, but we shine it forth and make it noticeable to those around us.  We are not to be hidden, but visible, showing Christ to the world no matter what they do to us, speaking truth unashamedly no matter who denies it, doing good and showing love no matter who hurts us.

We are the light.  God has made us the light, and that is who we are to become in Christ.  The purpose of light is to make things visible.  A city on a hill is meant to be exposed and visible.  A candle is supposed to illuminate a room.  So likewise, we, as light, are supposed to make visible the love of God to all that is dark and desolate around us.  We are to illuminate God to those stumbling around looking for meaning in their lives.  In that way, our light benefits others who don’t yet have their own light.

There should be something unmistakable about us when we have Jesus.  And the good works that we do are the outward, visible manifestation of what Christ has done inside of us.  They should make people see Him, because our works are to glorify God, not ourselves.  Our lights are to illuminate Him and cast a shadow over us so that others can be drawn to Him, as well.  The purpose of what God gives to us is not so that we can sit comfortable and content with what we’ve gained, but so that we can share it with others and glorify our Father.

So may our light shine forth.  May God be glorified in our stand for Him in this dark and evil world.  Like an exposed candle, we are to shine unhindered into the darkness of the world around us.  When they see us, when they see the way we live and the things we do and the evidence of God in us, they glorify Him.  And then they seek Him and learn about Him and come to know Him for themselves.  So let us not hide the light away, but let it burn ever brighter to truly make a difference in our world.

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