“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
When you are driving at night, it is never hard to see the lights of a city, or the lights at a distance when you are in a dark place. As a boy, and even now, I always enjoy seeing the lights of a city. When I’m flying at night, I love to look out the window of the plane and see the lights below. When I’m at a hilltop that overlooks a city, I always enjoy looking down and seeing the city lights which light up the sky.
Just as the lights at a distance gives you direction at night, so the believer is to be the light of the world. The times in which we live are certainly dark times, and there is no way this world will have hope or direction without the believer being the light that God commands them to be. Let me point out several thoughts to consider about letting your light shine in this dark world.
First, you are the only light the world will see. Verse 14 says, “Ye are the light of the world.” God has placed you in your world to be a light to those around you. It doesn’t matter how influential you think you may be; you are the only light that your world will see. The question you must ask yourself is, how well is your light shining in your world? You are the light of your world, and without you letting your light shine, your world will never be changed and will continue to live in darkness.
Second, you have a choice whether or not to let your light shine. When God says, “Let your light so shine…,” He is saying that it is your choice whether or not your world will see the light. You must not let anything prevent your light from shining in your world.
Third, your light can’t shine as it should without a candlestick. In the Scriptures, the candlestick is a picture of the local church. According to verse 15, the candle is to be on a candlestick. You cannot be the light that God wants you to be to your world without being faithful to church. In other words, your world will miss the light that it needs to go where it should go if you are not faithful to church.
Fourth, your light can’t shine without the Light. Jesus is the “light of the world.” You cannot be the light to your world without allowing Christ to live through you. If you live for the world, your light will be dim. You must always remember that the closer you get to Christ, the brighter your light will shine for your light is simply a reflection of Christ. The further your life is from Christ, the more dim your reflection of Christ will be to the world.
Fifth, your light is to shine so others may see. God didn’t say to just let your light shine, but He said to let it “so shine before men.” The key to this phrase is the word “so.” The word “so” defines how it shines to the world. God says that your light shines through your works for Christ. In other words, just attending church is not how your light shines. Your light shines by taking what you learn in church and applying it to your daily life. The world only sees what you do, and what you do for God is the only light of Christ they will ever see.
Let me ask you, how bright of a light does your life shine for Christ? What you do for Christ does matter because it is the only light this world will see. If you fill your life with works of faith, your light will shine brightly to the dark world around you and will point them to Christ, Who is their only hope.