Let Your Light Shine

August 19, 2015
by Joel Jongkind

John 8:12 – Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (NKJV)

When I was a young lad, we lived in a house without electricity. We had a variety of oil lamps in the house. There were some rather fancy ones in the living room, some plainer ones in the kitchen and bedrooms, and a couple of lanterns to carry when we moved around the house or went outside. Every day, the wicks were trimmed, and we made sure that there was oil in each lamp and lantern. All of them were put on a lampstand or hung from the ceiling. They were placed in such a way that they would light up the room. This is the way we lit up our house.

Jesus was preparing His followers to bring the gospel of salvation to those all around them. He knew that, later, they would be the ones to spread the word to all the nations. In an effort to make it easy for them to understand, He told them a short little parable, a story they could all relate to:

Mark 4:21 – Also He said to them, "Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?" (NKJV)

In His parables, Jesus used such ordinary, easy-to-understand stories, and this is one of those practical examples. After all, everybody in Israel of old had oil lamps. It was the only light they had; most of them burned olive oil. At dusk, they would bring the lamp out and put it on a lampstand so that it would light as much of the room as possible. The purpose was to light the room up, to illuminate, to supply with light the area where people spent the evening.

Just as we and the people of Israel of old would have otherwise lived in a literal darkness, so there are many people living in spiritual darkness at the present time, who just don't seem to be interested in the Word of God and Jesus. Through this parable, Jesus tells us, too, to let the light of our faith shine, to tell others about Him. He tells us, no, He urges us, not to keep our faith a secret. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we are aware that there are many people who need to hear about You, and we earnestly pray that we will have the ability and the desire to let the light of our faith shine to all around us, so that others will hear and believe. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word Joel.


    Joel, Thank you for sharing this memory from childhood and drawing an easily understood application from it. Blessings.


    Hello Joel:
    Maybe you remember the children’s song Give Me Oil In My Lamp. If you do, it’ll get your toes tapping.


    You say that Jesus urges us ‘NOT TO KEEP OUR FAITH A SECRET’. Oh how I wish I had not listened to the voice that told me to be an ‘underground’ Christian so as not to create conflict. The trouble was, I caused conflict within myself because I was listening to the wrong voice. Many wasted years! Thank you for this wake up call.


    Excellent theme to apply in our hearts.


    Thank you, Joel, for your continued contributions to the Daily Devotional. I always get a lift reading them. I too was brought up in the days of coal oil lamps with wicks. We then graduated to Coleman mantel lamps that Dad would light. He would say “Here comes the sun, you can blow out the moon”. I remember, too, The lantern we used to go to the “biffy” before retiring for the night and the weird shadows it cast of our legs as we walked along.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for bringing a parable into the 21st century for us.

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