LET HIS GLORY ABOUND!
If somebody tells me “you are salt,” I would feel annoyed and consider it a big joke. If he tells me “Be encouraged, you are light,” I would think this guy is a motivational speaker, trying to use some expressions to pep me up. I certainly would not take these guys seriously. However, when my Lord Jesus Christ says, “You are the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world,” I would sit up and start reflecting on these statements. I would invite the Holy Spirit to teach me everything about these statements so that I can learn their full implications for my life (Jn. 14:26).
Read Matthew 5:13–16. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world.”
It Is About Your Potential
Salt has the potential to enhance the taste of food, to act as a preservative and prevent decay of food material and to restore health to dead tissues in our body. When Jesus says “you are the salt of the earth,” he is reminding you of the salt-like potential with which he has created you. He demands that you use that potential to bless the life of people around you. He expects you to play your role in preventing the moral decay in the society and restore its moral and spiritual health. Light has the potential to remove darkness. When Jesus says “you are the light of the world,” he is reminding you that you have the potential to remove the darkness in the lives of people around you and challenges you to do that.
Jesus is warning those who do not use this potential given to them by God. In verse 13, he says ‘But, if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.’ The only process by which Salt loses its saltiness is by adulteration. Be careful not to lose your potential to be a blessing to others by allowing sin (sinful thoughts, words, looks and actions) to adulterate your life (Rom. 3:23). You need to watch out, because, the consequence of losing your saltiness - to be thrown out and trampled by men-is too severe to overlook
Jesus tells you:
“In the same way, let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt.5:16).
It is a directive to you from God that you let your light shine and thereby bring Him glory. When He gives a directive, you better obey.
The Light In Us
Jesus uses the parable of the ten virgins to remind that you must have oil in your lamp at all times and keep alive your potential to shine (Matt.25:1-13). The popular song ‘give me oil in my lamp keep me burning’ is a prayer, seeking God’s help to keep your light burning all through your life.
Many have problem believing that they have light in them and that they are the light of the world. One reason why many do not let their light shine and bring glory to God is that they do not realise that they have light in them. When Jesus said ‘you are the light of the world,” they think that is interesting, but not a fact with them. The devil blinds their mind’s eye and prevents them from understanding, believing and using this truth (2 Cor. 4:4). Let us, therefore, trace the origin of the light in us so that you will know how to keep your light on the light stand and let it shine.
“God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and He separated light from darkness” (Gen.1:3). God’s words brought light. The light was the first creation of God. This light was not from the sun, as the sun was created only on the fourth day, but it came from the Word of God.
The Psalmist says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa.119:105). He confesses, “The unfolding of your words gives light” (Psa.119:130).
Paul refers to the “light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor.4:4).
One of the ways you can have light within you is to keep the Word of God in your heart (Deut. 6:6) and act according to it. The Word of God will remove the darkness of sin and ignorance from your life and illuminate it. You can then use the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to illuminate the lives of others.
God is the source of all light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12). When Isaiah prophesied the coming of Jesus, he said: “people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isa.9:2). God revealed to Isaiah that Jesus Christ is light.
When Moses was on Mount Sinai, he was standing close to God. “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him” (Exo. 34:29,30).
If you meditate on these two verses, you will trace the radiance on Moses to the words he received from the Lord and the time he spent in the radiant presence of the Holy God.
John’s description of the Holy City, the new Jerusalem is awe-inspiring. He writes: “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it (Rev.21:22-24).
It is simple. If you receive God into your life, you receive light into your life. You can then let your light shine. Paul’s description of this blessing is beautiful. He says, “For God, who said, “let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
To receive God’s presence and light into your life, you have to sanctify yourself by confessing your sins and getting washed by His blood. “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you. God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by truth. But, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sins” (1 Jn. 1:5-7).
Light Through Your Eyes
“Those who look to him are radiant,” says David (Psa. 34:5). You can see the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, if you so desire. When you look at the face of Jesus, you will become radiant and there will be light in you. Bible prescribes holiness as a condition for you to see God. Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” (Matt.5:8). Paul reinforces the same and says, “Without holiness no one will see God” (Heb. 12:14).
I suggest that you use a technique which I call ‘seeing reading,’ for seeing the face of God. In this technique, you read the Word of God and attempt to see in your mind, a vivid picture of what you are reading. Refuse to move further with your reading till you are able to visualise the verse fully. If you do this, you will see the face of the Lord many times during your reading and that will be an awesome experience for you. For example, read the conversation that the Samaritan woman had with Jesus (Jn.4). If you use the method of ‘seeing reading,’ you will see the face of our Lord Jesus many times, as you read through this chapter. Your life will not be same after that, just as it happened to the Samaritan woman.
It is worth reading in this context, a warning, given by Lord Jesus: “The eye is the lamp of your body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But, if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt.2:22, 23 and Lk. 11: 34-36).
Let Your Light Shine
God has given you the potential to be a light. His Word, His presence and His face are the sources of this light. This light is meant to illuminate the lives of others, and not to be hidden or simply used for selfish purposes. You have to bring glory to God through appropriate use of the light in you. Paul says, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor.10:31).
The question that you must ask yourself at this stage is: “If people have to look at me and glorify God, what should they see in me and what should I be doing?”
Peter comes out with some answers to that question. He says, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 4:11). Your life itself can be a powerful and life transforming light if people see in it the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). People who are transformed by the impact of your life will in turn glorify God through their life, words and actions.
Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned you to “Go, preach, make disciples, baptise them and teach them to obey all that I have taught you” (Mk. 16:15; Matt.28:19, 20). It is a call to let your light shine through your ministry.
In Acts 2, we get a graphical account of how Peter let his light shine in the lives of 3000 people and transform them. He was first filled with the power of the Holy Spirit for which he was waiting patiently (verses 1-4). This is the act of filling his lamp with oil. If you follow the events that unfolded that morning, you will notice that the disciples who were freshly anointed by the Holy Spirit were speaking in tongues. Some people who witnessed this were telling each other that the disciples were drunk. Peter utilised this opportunity to let his light shine by preaching powerfully the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He challenged people “to repent and be baptised.” God was glorified when 3000 people were baptised that day. He never missed an opportunity to preach the Gospel and to bring glory to God.
The other disciples did exactly the same. “Those (disciples) who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4). When Saul was baptised, “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God” (Acts.9:20). You are called to join these people of God and let your light shine. People, who receive salvation through your ministry, see the light that is in you and glorify God who saved them from the clutches of sin.
When Jesus commissioned us to go and preach, He promised that He will be with us always and give us the power to perform signs and wonders. When the disciples obeyed and went around preaching the Gospel, lives were transformed and God enabled them to perform signs and wonders (Mk. 16:20). People who were transformed and healed, glorified God (Acts 3:8). We live in an age of great challenges and greater opportunities. This is the age of electronic revolution which makes it possible for us to let our light shine brighter and with more power and reach. We can now cause more multiplication of our blessings in Christ Jesus and bring Him greater glory!