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How Bright Is Your World?

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Jesus referred to his followers as the light of the world. Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. If we are his followers, then He is talking about us. I believe most of us have not given enough thought to what it means to be a light. Understanding this function would change the way we live and interact with others.

 Christians acting as lights is an ongoing theme in the New Testament. Philippians 2:15  that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Jesus began by saying that He was the light of the world while He was in it but also passed the role to us. It is apparent that we are to carry on the function since His ascension. John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

 Many of us often wonder, what is my purpose? The answer is to be light. The role of light in this context is to illuminate, to expose, and to reveal. Our purpose for being in the world is centered on this role. God intends for us to reveal His truth through our words and action thus illuminating the lives of others. Darkness is not an actual entity but rather an absence of light. We are to fill the void left when mankind rejected the knowledge of God. By flooding the world with light, we expose the actual conditions in it and reveal the motivations behind people’s actions.  Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I believe we can also learn something from what light doesn’t do. Lighting a room doesn’t change the room or the people in it. The furniture is in the same location with the lights on or off. Illuminating the room simply gives the people in the room the opportunity to avoid running into the furnishings. How they react to the information revealed is still up to them. Some may be bothered by the light and close their eyes. Others may be distracted and look the other way. In either case the light doesn’t prevent them from running into the furniture. As Christians, we are to influence people, not control them. We can see this in the life of Jesus. He continually demonstrated the Kingdom of God in word and action but never forced or manipulated anyone into doing what He wanted. Keep in mind that He was fully capable of subduing anyone to His will.

One reason we sometimes avoid taking on the role of light is that we don’t like the consequences that are associated with it. John 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Light can be a very unpopular thing. Many people don’t want their actions exposed to the truth and can be quite hostile to anyone doing so. Persecution and rejection can sometimes be the reward for fulfilling this God given purpose.

Another unpopular aspect of this calling is that being light to the world defines the way we live. The idea that we can live as we please based on God’s grace is precluded by the requirement that our actions must reveal God to the world. When people observe our lives they must see the light of God in us. Matthew 5:14-16 “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.

One other important lesson to be learned about light is that it shines from where it is placed. The sun shines from the position God has placed it in space. A lamp shines from where the owner places it. We must shine from where we are placed by God. Where ever we are, we must demonstrate God’s truth. We don’t choose who we shine upon. We must be light to anyone who approaches us.

Christians must fully embrace our role as light of the world. We must be influential in every area we contact without regard to consequences or outcome. We can’t shine selectively and we must realize we are not in control. Most importantly, remember that light will always dispel darkness. How bright is your world?

All scripture is from The New King James Bible

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