"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world, but as His followers we are to reflect His light as the moon reflects the light of the sun. Especially in these last days of earth's history we have the privilege of shedding light into this world darkened by sin. It is our duty as Christians who once lived in darkness, to reach out to people who are still living in darkness.
At the beginning of this text there is a little but very important word 'let.' "Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord's glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence." Christ Object Lessons by E. G. White, p. 420.
"Let the light of truth shine forth in your life. Do you say, How shall I let it shine? If before you accepted the truth, you were impatient and fretful, let your life now show to those around you that the truth has had a sanctifying influence upon your heart and character, that instead of being fretful and impatient, you are now cheerful and uncomplaining. Thus you reveal Christ to the world. . . ." Our High Calling by E. G. White, p. 326 par. 3.
Simple little acts of kindness that cost very little or nothing can bring light and cheer into the life of someone else. These acts can be as simple as smiling at someone, giving a flower, visiting or phoning someone to see how they are and letting them know that you care, etc. As you do these things remember, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40.)
So we are to let our lights shine so that men may see our good works. Why? So that people can see how good we are? So that we can receive lots of praise and money from others? So that we will be respected and held up on a pedestal? No!
We are to let our lights shine so that others will see Jesus Christ in us through the way we live, and give glory to God. The reason for this is because, "... without me [Jesus] ye can do nothing." (John 5:15.) Yet, Paul tells us that, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13.) So how dare we accept credit, praise, or money for something that we cannot do? It is stealing what rightfully belongs to God. This is why we cannot take any of the glory for ourselves, but give all the glory to God.
Let us all daily partake of the light of the world, Jesus Christ, be reading His word the Bible so we can live a life in accordance to His will by letting our light on those all around us, bringing honour and glory to our wonderful Father in heaven.
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2013. Last updated July, 2020.
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