The line “Let your light shine” is not something new to most of us. It’s in the bible and was also included in a number of christian songs for kids. But what does it really mean to let our light shine? What was the word “light” suppose to mean?
One sunday afternoon, Were about to jumpstart a discipleship group with 4 young believers I met at church. I arrived at our meeting place an hour earlier so I could reserve a table for us and also do a quick review of what I will to share to them. After 30 minutes, Dino (a working student) arrived early also, so I decided to just talk with him and ask how he was doing with his first job opportunity.
He was very excited to update me that he finally have a source of income and that he slowly learning how to stand on his own be more responsible in some of areas of his life. But after that, his face suddenly changed to a sour one when started talking about his colleagues how he was shocked with their “worldly, sinful lifestyle”. He is sad that there ‘s 2 of them who are christians there.
I immediately tried to encourage him, I said, “Look this is an opportunity for you to reach out and share the gospel to them.” He agreed with me but later said, “But I am more excited being here with you guys and I feel closer to God. I don’t like being around them.” I just decided to pray for him as its time to start our discipleship group already.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Perhaps, you were not in the same situation as that guy was, but we can relate with them in some way or another. You might have also asked the same questions like the ff.;
-What does it mean to share the gospel to the world
(workmates, classmates, non-believer friends, business partners)?
-Why is it so hard to be a christian in my office (or in my school if you’re a student)?
-How do I strike the balance of being “friends with sinners” and “not be yoked with unbelievers”?
-How do become an effective witness and not become a legalist pharisee-like-person spirit that a lot of people avoid?
The last thing we want to happen is that we would all just clam up and hide to them the truth that you are a follower of Christ, dismiss the truth that you are called to be His effective witness.
Our lord Jesus said in Mark 4, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.” This meant, a lamp is placed to give not hide light, so Jesus will be revealed. Jesus is talking to His followers.
This picture is a straightforward one. Night is falling and the small house is in growing dark, and then the master of the house takes and trims the lamp and brings it in. He does not hide it under the bed but put it on the lampstand which would display the light for all. It’s real purpose is to lighten the house.
In Christ, there are no undercover believers or secret christianity. We were meant to his witnesses, his ambassadors, his evangelists in this dark world. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Question is, how do we do it?
THINGS TO AVOID
Before answering how do we do it? It’s important first to know some of things that hinder us to be able do it effectively;
– We thought were the one who could change people’s minds and hearts only to realise we are not the saviour, Jesus is.
– Extreme application of “Not being yoked with unbelievers” without knowing were already branded “religious” by the world.
– Prayer alone works. We just keep quiet about our faith and believe prayer alone is enough in reaching to this people.
– Instead of winning people to Christ through friendship evangelism, they were the ones being defeated by the temptation of sins they practiced.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
The word “light” here refers to our faith in Christ and our relationship with Him. As believers our light is a reflection of Jesus Christ who is the Light. John 8:12 says, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” We know that when Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world.” he speaks of light in an originative sense. He is the source of such light so that He can add, “He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” Christians are light in a sense in that the “light” we have comes as a result of relationship to Jesus Christ. We do not produce the light yet we could reflect His indwelling life.
LET JESUS SHINE
Therefore, “Letting your light shine before men” means letting Jesus shine, letting Jesus take the lead; His love, grace, power flow and witnessed through our lives. When people see that we are people who care because we are people who know Him, they will see more clearly. The light will shine on them. By always depending on Jesus to work in and through us, we get to be His hands and feet to wherever we are. And as He is our source, we become an extension of His love, forgiveness and grace . As we continue being intimate and total dependence on Him, we are letting Jesus be experienced by more people.
Is the light of Christ shining through you? are you allowing His light to be made visible in your life? or has the light gone out? Has the passion for God become religious ritual and routine? Don’t hide His light. Take it out and hold it high. We were not created to be secret disciples or to just have quiet discussions on religious topics.
Our lives should be lives that reflect something more than the world has, because we have more than they have, we have Jesus. He has saved us, forgiven us, changed our hearts, given us hope, put His love in us, given us joy, set our feet on the rock which cannot be shaken.
But we must never forget that when Jesus commanded us (in Matt 28:19,20) to “go and make disciples…” he also told us that “And surely I am with you always…”. He did not commanded us to do it alone. by our own power, knowledge, strength, or gift of persuasion. He want to do it with us. He promised that as we step our of our comfort zone to be an effective witness, He is with us, never that he has left us alone. So let us not just let our own light shine before men, LET JESUS SHINE in and through our lives.