Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "As Pants The Hart For Cooling Streams"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 5:14-16 – 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. (NIV 2011)
Isn't it interesting that "the light of the world" is a title that Jesus gives to us as well as to Himself? He never says that we are "living water" or "the bread of life", but He does call us "the light of the world".
A stranger once approached me and said that she had a word from God for me. She told me that I would be a light in my church. This had never happened to me before. I suspected that she was just canny enough to know that some things are true for every Christian. After all, we're all a light in our church … aren't we? Surely, if we attend church regularly, then aren't we a light? But then I began to wonder: what if we attend but we're not active? What if we leave quickly afterwards in case we're asked to do something? What if we hear an appeal for help but make excuses or ignore it, sure that someone else will step forward? Oh dear! Our light becomes dimmer.
Most of us avoid dark places, preferring to be in the light. Moths fly about the window at dusk, attracted to the light inside. There are some creatures, however, like cockroaches, that hide from the light and scuttle away into a dark corner. This is how it is with those who sin. We don't want the light to shine on us and expose our sin, so we try to hide. We know what God's Word says, but we'd rather do things our own way. Uh-oh. Now our light is barely a flicker.
But what if we're very active in our church? We flit about like those moths from one task to another. We're so comfortable that we claim the church as our second home. We may be the "bright spark" in the crowd, but did we ask God what He wants us to do? The apostle Paul said, "Live as children of light… and find out what pleases the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8b,10 NIV 2011)
Perhaps, we are blessed to attend a church that shines like a town on a hill — full of bright lights. Maybe it's time for us to shine our light somewhere else as well. We're to reflect God's light and attract others to Jesus.
Are we living in the darkness or the light? Where might Jesus be calling us today?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, shine into our hearts and into our lives. Expose any hidden sin. Help us to carry Your light out into the darkness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.