Shine

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

A few months ago my wife and I spent a week ministering at Word of Life Bible Institute on Jeju Island in South Korea. One evening a friend took us to a restaurant with stunning views of the ocean.

As darkness came, I noticed dozens of bright lights filling the horizon. Our friend said those were squid boats. Just after sundown, the pilot turns on powerful lights that penetrate the darkness of the ocean. The squid are attracted to the light, and that’s how they are caught.

Here is a good word for those who despair about the overwhelming cultural darkness.

Is the world going to hell? Yes.
But the world has always been going to hell.

If we believe our current cultural rebellion has taken us into even darker regions, then we ought to meditate on the words of Jesus and the squid boats of Jeju Island. We can’t do much in and of ourselves to stop the cultural slide.

But we can let our light shine.
We can live for Christ.
We can serve others in Jesus’ name.

When Jesus mentioned “good” works, he used a word that means attractive. When you say a good word for Jesus, that is a good deed. When you stop and smile at a friend, that also is a good deed. When you bake a chocolate pie and give it to a neighbor, or when you stop by the hospital to see how a friend is getting along, or when you help your supervisor get her car started, that too is a good deed. It is beautiful, attractive, lovely. It is evangelism backed up by a winsome personality.

Jesus could have said, "When they hear your great preachers, or when they sit in your lovely sanctuaries, or when they hear your wonderful choirs, or when they read your Statements of Faith.”  But he didn't. He simply said, "When they see the way you live." 

As our world continues to move away from God, we can make an eternal difference to the people around us. As they see the light in us, they will see the One who gives us the light. They will be attracted to our Savior and God will get the credit.

Don’t despair!
Don’t give up!

An ancient proverb tells us “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” The world is dark and getting darker.

It’s time to shine the light.

Lord Jesus, help me be a “bright light Christian” today. Amen. 

Musical bonus: Lauren Daigle reminds us why Christ came to be the Light of the World.

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Originally published December 08, 2017.

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