Of all the times in my 71 years, this ranks at the top as the greatest opportunity to shine a light to our families, neighborhoods, communities and world. Our world has become a village full of fear, dread and hurt. It is a dark time and folks are down-right scared. Isn’t it interesting that in the opening remarks of Jesus very first sermon were these comments, 14 “You are the light of the world, a town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 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).
What is it that shines the brightest to our world? What is it that makes the world stand up and pay attention? Look at the words of Jesus above, “that they may see your good deeds.” The most powerful verse in the Bible was a deed. “God so loved that He gave His only son…” (John 3:16). It was the only practical way that He could reconcile lost man back to Himself. God shined His light with greatest act of all times. Now, He challenges us to so love the world that we give to others sacrificially.
The Apostle John who penned the above verse restated it in very practical terms towards the end of his life. In 1 John 3:16-18, he challenges us, 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. How can we be assured that we understand the love of God? “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives” for others. Then, John showed us what this kind of love looks like, 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Words can be hollow and cheap especially today. The world has heard enough of our self-righteous, judgmental words. Yet, all along, the Bible has taught and modeled how to love. Do a selfless, thoughtful and sacrificial deed for another. Live out His sacrificial love to others. “God so loved that He gave…” The result? His light shines bright. Now, God is calling us to lift up our light and let it glow to the world. I love the description of this in Philippians 2:15, you will shine among them like stars in the sky.