“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
From the beginning, light has been associated with the presence and the glory of God. His first recorded words were, “Let there be light.” And at His command light burst forth into the darkness of a formless and empty world. In John chapter 1 Jesus is described as the light that “shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” And Christ’s own words in John 8:12 were, “I am the light of the world.” A burning bush signaled God’s presence to Moses. God led the children of Israel by fire at night. A golden lampstand was to burn perpetually in the Holy Place of God’s Tabernacle and Temple. And a shining star led the wise men to the Christ child. These are just a few of many examples throughout the Bible.
In His first recorded sermon, Jesus tells His followers, “You are the light of the world,” just as He referred to Himself. We are intended as lights of the world to illuminate and give light to others. There is a wonderful example of this in nature – the sun and moon. The moon has no light of it’s own. The source of it’s light is the sun, which it reflects, causing it to appear to have light. In the same way, we have no light apart from Christ. We can, however, reflect Him and shine in the darkness of the world.
How should our light shine? Like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. When the Church reflects Christ, as she is intended to do, she becomes bright and conspicuous. It is impossible to hide such a light. Many eyes will be on the Christ-follower who abandons all to burn brightly. Some will be drawn to follow, and some will hate. But either way, like a city on a hill, our lives should obviously and unwaveringly point to Jesus.
As we burn and shine, people will not only hear our good message but also see our good works. Then they will know that Christ isn’t only a profession that we make, but He is our treasure. The glory of God must always be our goal. The light we shine comes from Him, and as we shine it, others will see Him through our lives and praise the Father in heaven. All glory is from, through and to Him.
Dear God, It is such a privilege to shine for You. Thank You for saving me and calling me to participate in Your work. I want to burn bright in this darkness for Your glory. Help me to remember in all I do that Your glory is my goal. Please use my life to draw others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.