January 7, 2012

Reflecting the Light of the World

For the artist side of me, I’ve studied a bit about light, even read books on this subject. Light does many things. Without it illuminating our surroundings, we are as good as blind. As far as spiritual matters go, we are blind to the realm of God and His will without illumination from Jesus. This is why Jesus called Himself, among many other titles, The Light.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
This is a transferable title. That is, those who follow The Light have His light in our own lives. We can actually become lights in the world ourselves. As Jesus said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:14)

In context of this declaration, I am supposed to let my light shine. I do that by actually following Him in obedience, doing what He says. He also asks that I not do some things that would dull or cover up the light that I have.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:14–15)
Light is about being contented. These days, a person that does not grumble about anything nor argue with others tends to stand out, if nothing else. The Bible says this is part of what it means to shine as a follower of Jesus Christ. However, there is more.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:6–17)
Another way to let my light shine is by being alert to false teaching and empty philosophies. Christians who fall for and repeat any worldly ideas --- from old wives’ tales to current trends of thought that are not biblical --- are walking away from the light. The truth found in the Bible is neither old fashioned nor subject to modern ideas. It stands forever and gives illumination that keeps the people of God walking with Him in ways that are good, right, and true.

Another way to let my light shine is by refusing to participate in sinful activities. This can mean anything from laughing at off-color jokes to telling them, from watching sinful stuff on television to actually doing it. I did not earn my salvation by my behavior and I cannot lose it by my behavior, but I can be foolish and walk in darkness, causing loss of reward to myself and loss of clarity to those who are in darkness looking for light.

Here in our holiday location, we are sharing a two suite unit with our son and his family. One of the girls is sleeping on the sofa in our unit. With the drapes closed, it is very dark in here, even after the sun comes up and is shining brightly on the other side of the fabric. When I get up and come into the living room, this little one, who is eight years old, is sitting up in her sofa-bed waiting for someone to put on the lights. She is amazingly patient and quiet, but grins broadly when I open the drapes.

This is a visual reminder to me that others could be waiting for spiritual illumination, light from God. I need to always obey Jesus so that my light can give them enough illumination to discover His Light --- and perhaps find for themselves the will of the Lord. 

Today again is bright and sunny. All that light floods into our place as soon as the drapes are open. Lord, I do not know what You might ask of me today, but I’m aware that I need to keep my life open too. Help me reflect at least some of Your light into this world. Whether it is for my family, or someone else, keep me alert to Your voice and willing to do whatever You ask.

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