Let your light shine

Published 4:00 pm Sunday, July 2, 2023

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

The above passage gives us practical instruction that is absolutely necessary if we are to accomplish the “Great Commission.” We must let the light that is within us, as a result of our surrender to the Lord Jesus, shine upon, and into, the darkness that enshrouds much of the world around us. This cannot be done from a passive position; neither can it be done by simply attending church services.

In order for our light to “shine”, we must stop merely doing church, stop simply going to church, stop resting on our church membership; we must become the church if our light is to shine beyond the walls of the sanctuary. It is the spiritual responsibility of every Christian to be a representative of Jesus Christ. Attending church services is a great activity, but it is not a given that those attending such services will be such a representative.

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In order for us to let our light shine, we must grasp what Jesus said to His disciples, and make it ours. Of all that Jesus said, the most powerful word He spoke to the disciples was quite simply, “Go.” “Go therefore and make disciples…” Matthew 28:19

How do we make disciples? We first show them Jesus through how we live our own lives. Yes, show them first, then tell them why you live that way. It’s not rocket science — just be able to talk plainly about your faith (1 Peter 3:15-20). We are the light of the world, but if we don’t allow that light to shine, no one can see it.

We can’t afford to continue to sit inside the church house; if we are going to do our part, we must become the church, the worldwide body of believers in Jesus Christ, that is dedicated to helping others find what Jesus has so graciously granted us. We must put aside denominational rhetoric, and begin in earnest to share the Gospel, the whole Gospel, with those who have not yet heard.

Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired pastor.