Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hiding the Light

Jesus said, “Men do not light a candle and put it under a bushel” (Matt. 5:15). Then He said, “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” (Matt. 5:16). He tells us four things:

1. WHAT to do—“Let your light shine”  Letting your light shine is something we choose to do. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), so shining the light means to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to people living in darkness. You can’t shine your light until you first lighten up.

2. WHERE to shine the light—“before men” That means to shine the light wherever you go. Some people say, “My faith is a private thing. It’s just between me and God.” But Jesus never said faith is a private thing. Neither did Paul or Peter. So who said, “Faith is a private thing”? Satan said it. He wants you to hide it under a bushel so that no one can see it.  

3. HOW to shine the light —“in such a way that they may see your good works” There is a right way and a wrong way, and “in such a way” means to do it the right way. The way we communicate the gospel to others can make a difference in whether they accept it or reject it.
A woman was trying to give medicine to her dog. Every day she tried to force a tablespoon of medicine into the dog’s mouth but the dog would always resist and pull away. One day she knocked over the bottle of medicine and it spilled all over the floor. The dog went over to the puddle and lapped it up! The dog wasn’t resisting the medicine but was resisting the method its owner used—trying to force it down its throat. 
Don’t try to force the gospel down people’s throats. Communicate it in such a way that people will be drawn to God. More flies are caught with honey than vinegar. God loves them and can change their lives, so share it with joy.

4. WHY to shine the light—so they “will glorify your Father in heaven.” When people respond to the message and receive Christ, they end up glorifying God. But if we communicate the message in the wrong way, they may turn away from God.
The weirdest Christian I’ve ever met had a long white beard, wore an unusual looking hat and a coat covered with Jesus buttons. He peddled a bicycle that looked like a small car with signs all over it saying, “Turn or Burn” and “Jesus is Coming Soon.” He would ride it down the street, honk his horn and beat a drum, trying to get everyone to read his signs. Instead of people glorifying God, they thought he was crazy. I’m sure they were thinking, “If I become a Christian, I will have dress up like that, ride a bicycle with signs and beat a drum.” Of course, that’s not true, but that was the message he was sending.
Make a decision to shine your light today--and be sure to do it in the right way.

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