“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).
I’ve tried to live by this verse for most of my life. It is, in my opinion, one of the best descriptions of what we are to be doing as Christians.
Now, the problem is, I’ve been living my life according to an abridged version of this verse. I’ve been ending after “let you light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works.”
As a follower of Jesus, I’ve always wanted my Christianity to be authentic. I’ve always wanted to live in such a way that people know Jesus makes a difference in my life. After all, isn’t that what this verse is saying?
So for most of my life I’ve wanted people to see my good works. I’ve wanted people to say, “See Steve, he’s a pretty good guy!” But that’s not the message of these “be the light” verses. What I should want people to say is, “See Steve, Jesus must be a pretty good God.”
What I need to understand is being the light is not about me shining my light on people. Being the light is about me shining Jesus’ light on people. And, being the light of the world is about me shining Jesus’ light on people to show them the way to Him who is the Light.
I want people to see my good works not so that they will say how good I am, but so they will glorify God, so they will see Jesus in me, so they will see in me what God can do for them!
My life should reflect the goodness of God, not the goodness of Steve!
Now, this meditation may sound more confessional than meditational, but isn’t that the whole point of meditating on the Scriptures? To convict of sin, to challenge, to transform, to bring in the fullness of God, to show how to accomplish God’s will?
And when I’ve been missing the point that much for that much time, then the only appropriate response for a fail of these proportions is not to think about it some more, but to repent, to confess my failure and to determine to obey God and the Scriptures!
I’ve been missing your will, God. I’ve been missing it big time for a long time!
I confess, Lord, that I’ve been living my life trying to show how good you’ve made me rather than living my life trying to show how good you are!
I’ve been like a flashlight casting a small beam of light on people’s shortcomings rather than like a lighthouse emanating light and showing people the way!
God, I’ve been shining my 40 watt light bulb instead of radiating a row of 2,000 watt stadium lights of Jesus in my heart!
It’s time for me to start shining…brightly…the light of Jesus!
I no longer want just to be the light, I want to be the light of the world. I no longer want just to shine, I want to illuminate. I no longer want to be a good guy for Jesus, I want to be a guy that shows how good Jesus is, that shows Jesus is the Light!
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12, NASB)
- Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 2: Shining Jesus (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
- Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 3: Good Works (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
- Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 4: Clandestine Christians (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
- Shine On! – Isaiah 60:1-2 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
- Me & My Shadow (wordsfromm.wordpress.com)
- Shine! (scottstrissel.wordpress.com)