The Light Of The World:
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an 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.
We know what salt is and what it does, so I will not elaborate on that. I want to look at the aspect of light.
We are the phōs of the world, but how can that be if Jesus is the phōs of the world? The answer is simple. He lives within us—Christ in you the hope of glory. Paul stated-
...we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:5-7
Whilst we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. When we are born again, He makes His abode in us. His light shone into our innermost beings and gave us this knowledge of the God of light. It is like a treasure that is hidden inside a clay pot.
If the pot is broken, the light inside can be revealed to a darkened world.
Jesus said that we are not to hide our light by sticking it inside an old earthy container, but put it up in a prominent position to enable those in the darkness to see.
When He told us to let our light shine, the Greek word seen is lampō. I think you can see a familiar word derived from lampō. It means to bring to the light, to lighten, to shine, to be shining and to be like a beam that radiates brilliancy.
The reason is so that those who are in the darkness can see. The reason we are to do that is to testify to the love and goodness of God. The reason we are to do that is to give those who are lost, sick and dying a glimmer of hope.
Many of those people will never darken the doorway of any church. Most of them may never read a bible. How then can we do that? Perhaps Paul gave the answer-
Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3.
People might never go to a church, but they could come to The Church and that church is you and me. Peter said-
You, as living stones, are being made into a house of the spirit, a holy order of priests, making those offerings of the spirit which are pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5.
As I close, please think of Moses when he was called up to the mount to meet face-to-face with God. He came down off that mountain and it is said that his face shone so brightly that the people could not look at him. He covered his face in their presence but removed that vail when with God.
That was under the Law, but we are in a time when the glory of God has been revealed, firstly by Jesus and now by the Church. That glory (call it light) faded away and a Jewish scholar said that Moses placed the veil over his face, not to hide the light from the people, but to disguise the fact that the light was fading away!
My friend, if no one reveals this light, some people will die without Jesus or those who are already saved could live well below the standard God has for them. A portion of Romans 10 that is often used as a salvation appeal message states-
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:9-15.
We therefore have to tell them, but in the telling we must also ensure that we qualify to do so. People are watching us.
I hope that they see the light. Having said that I also do my best to ensure that I qualify and my preaching is effective.
I like what Paul said about this-
Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.
When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law.
When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ.
Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.
I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.
I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:19-27.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1.
As we approach Hanukkah, please remember the reason it was introduced. Those Jews refused to compromise. They would not adopt the world standards. They remained pure and holy. They dedicated themselves to God.
Can we not do likewise? Allow your light to shine, but also help someone else’s light to shine!