Lighting the way: Letting your own light shine through is committing to what God wants you to do. *Photo supplied
Lighting the way: Letting your own light shine through is committing to what God wants you to do. *Photo supplied
Over the last few weeks we have been learning some powerful lessons that Jesus taught on a mountainside near the Lake of Galilee.

Two weeks ago we learned the importance of being salty for God.

Imagine this. Try to picture the large crowd that had gathered on that mountainside — a diverse population from various regions of the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean area.

Men, women and children sit covering the hillside.

They listen with rapt attention as Jesus speaks directly to their hearts and encourages them with His unashamed teaching of God’s truth.

Saviour

He teaches that no matter what their background they all a need personal relationship with God the Father and they can attain it by placing their faith in Him, Jesus Christ as Saviour. 

“You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Jesus said that those who follow Him are “the light of the world”.

Light is such a powerful energy — darkness cannot stand-up to light.

Biblically light has to do with God’s glory or revelation — darkness is a symbol of evil or deception.

However, no matter how effective the “dark” of this world may seem, it is rendered powerless against light. As our Teacher states in the passage, light has a purpose to help others to see. 

People don’t turn on a lamp to then cover it up. Rather, they place it on a lamp stand for illumination so that everyone in the house can see. 

Archaeology has shown, and various references in the Bible have revealed, that in Jesus’ day homes were quite small, often just one room.

When Jesus taught about the importance of consistent prayer in Luke 11:5-10, the person who kept knocking on the door asking for food to give his unexpected guest at midnight woke up the whole family because they slept in the same room.

Just one light in a first century house would  illuminate the entire home. 

Using this illustration, Jesus tells us to let our light shine before men so that they will see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven.

To “let your light shine” is to commit to doing that which God has asked you to do. Letting your light shine before men is equivalent to doing good works for God, but not in a corner and not in secret.

There are some works that the Bible talks about that seem to be between God and us, things that are done in private.

The Bible also teaches that some good things we should do so that others can see and experience them, such as helping someone to raise funds for an operation, or helping to support orphans or the elderly, or providing free tutoring or mentoring. 

The motivation is important: we accomplish these works not to make ourselves look good, but to make God look good.

In other words, when people look a little closer as to why we do these good works, they will realize we are doing them for God’s glory rather for our personal advantage or selfish ambitions.

The end result is glorious and the people that see you do these works will see the light and love of Jesus reflected in your heart and will come to know Jesus as their personal Saviour and will glorify God, our Father in heaven. 

We should be excited to let our light blaze in this dark world and we should let our light shine before men, women and children so that God will be glorified by what we do. How will you answer this question before God — how bright are you?

Gary C. Simons serves as the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, presently meeting at CedarBridge Academy each Sunday at 10am.