“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
The purpose of light is to dispel darkness. My grandfather worked for years in the lead mines south of Saint Louis, Missouri. When I was a kid, we toured a mine. Looking back, I’m not sure how healthy that was being completely surrounded by lead, but I was ignorant to its effects, and the tour was interesting. We reached a certain point of the tour deep inside the earth, and the guide decided to turn off the lights. We were soon enveloped by thick, inky darkness. You couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t see the outline of the person next to you. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. It was a little terrifying, except that I knew that it wasn’t permanent. Then our guide switched on his helmet light. It wasn’t a powerful light, but it completely transformed our surroundings.
People without Christ are living in black, inky darkness. Our neighbors and co-workers are not necessarily bad people. Our friends don’t seem to be evil. Some of them even go to church. Their darkness is not a long shadow or a dusky sunset sky. Their darkness is just as black as the criminal’s guilt or the junky’s addictions. That’s where we used to live, too.
Jesus told His disciples, “You are the light of the world.” Are you a disciple of Jesus? Then you are the light of the world. Boy, this is starting to sound like evangelism, one of our greatest fears. Before you dust off the Romans Road or the Four Spiritual Laws, look at Jesus’ instructions: “Let your light shine… that they may see your good deeds.” It’s what we allow God to do through us to help others that shines the light. We should “preach” with our deeds and not necessarily our words. People will see the light through how you serve.
Where do you start? Well, what needs do you see, and what can you do about it? Do it. Don’t wait until next Saturday. Help someone today. Offer a kind word, a caring smile, a helping hand. Let your light shine.
Prayer: Father, I want to offer myself to You as a vessel to shine Your light into the darkness of this world. Show me who to help. Show me how to help. Let Your light shine through me. Amen.
Over the next 10 days, you will be receiving the devotionals that the pastors of Brookwood Church have prepared for ServeFest 2010. ServeFest is a community outreach that will take place on Saturday, November 20, 2010 in Greenville County, South Carolina. If you would like to participate in ServeFest, register here: brookwoodchurch.org/servefest
The devotionals following the Beatitudes series will resume on November 24, 2010.