Growing up in New York, I’ll never forget the blackout that hit the city in 1977. I remember my mother being in the shower when the lights went out, and blaming my brother and I for playing a prank on her with the lights.
But it was far from a prank, the city lost power and the streets were quickly flooded with looters who robbed the stores of their merchandise…it was a frightening sight.
Blackouts are bad but spiritual blackouts are even worse. God has named every Christ-follower to be the ‘light of the world’.
As followers of Christ, we reflect the light of Christ that is within us, the same way the moon reflects the light of the sun. The moon doesn’t have light of its own, but only reflects the light of the sun.
In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus tells us that we’re the light. He starts in verse 14 by saying ‘You’ are that light. God has uniquely given His children the power to impact the world.
Notice that the power of impacting the world isn’t given to the government or the schools, but to Believers. Why is that? Simple, because only His children can accomplish God’s goals achieved God’s way for God’s glory.
We are called to shine our light. What’s so special about light that Jesus likens us to it? Well, the primary purpose of light is to shine, and when it shines it exposes darkness.
As children of God we shine light on dishonest practices, corruption, gossip, racism, etc. And don’t be surprised that the followers of darkness won’t like it. We must be willing to stand up against that which is wrong, and do it with the love of Christ.
But not only that, light produces warmth. We’ve been experiencing some varying temperatures over the past couple of weeks. Some days I have the heat on and the next day I’m running the air conditioning. But one thing I notice is that when the temperature is a little low, as long as the sun is out, it doesn’t seem quite as cold. Light produces warmth.
As Christians, when we’re around those in darkness, it should warm their hearts and provoke them to love God and others. Our warmth should help others to repent and create an atmosphere of fellowship, comfort, and encouragement. Can I ask…what do people think and feel when you’re in their presence?
Allow me to sneak in one more important thing found in Matthew 5:14-15. Jesus also tells us that we’re a city that sits on a hill and cannot be hidden.
What’s that all about? Well, during biblical days cities were often built on hills so that they can easily be seen but also to shed light on dark surrounding areas.
But a city is a product of social order and government, it’s the opposite of chaos and disorder. The church, the collection of lights, should be the model that chaos and disorder look to for guidance.
So your friends and neighbors shouldn’t depend on the news for guidance, but rather on what God says that rids darkness and shows the right way.
Go forth and shine your light!
By Rick Wood