Matthew 5:16 shows how God calls people to shine their “light” before others. The “light” is the spirit of Christ that believers acquire once they have come to accept and receive saving faith in Christ. Indeed, it is God’s love in us that radiates from us like, well, a light. Jesus’ words in the Matthew verse then are an imperative, as well as an encouragement, to practice Godly, motivated good deeds that others will witness and that will glorify God.
God knows how dark the world can be at times with all the forms of violence and human suffering that take place. So the light will overcome the darkness, He calls people to stand up and to reflect the light they have in them. Many Christians may be reluctant about this call because of the fear of rejection or the opposition that may occur when it is taken up. But as the Scriptures teaches us, we can and should expect such things: “Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it (2 Timothy 3:12 MSG).” But the good news is this… God also promises that as we lean into such trouble, the kingdom of heaven shall be ours (Matthew 5:10).
We, at Union Church of Manila, want to help you shine your light in places where God has you now. Here are some of our insights that we would like to offer.
What does shining your light mean?
“Shining” means both to reflect light and to excel at something. Both definitions apply to what the Scriptures teach.
When we let God into our lives, we are rewarded of His Spirit, who encourages us to follow in the ways of Jesus. The Spirit inspires us to be of good character, to be a peacemaker, to do good deeds, and to be contented in life.
Jesus Christ was indeed the source of light during his life and ministry. When He walked on earth, He was different from other people but He connected with them. Christians then try to mirror His humility and authority, His life, which brings light into darkness.
While the engines that drive people’s appetites for worldly desires are constantly working for our attention, Christians instead try to focus their sight upon the Lord. We focus by intentionally trying to be a good example to others, by “shining” in the ways of Christ in every area of our lives. We focus by taking the view that we live not for the worldly desires of power or wealth but for self-giving love and service. We focus by keeping our highest ideal – to grow and mature into the likeness of Christ – in front of us to pursue it in everything we do.
How do we shine?
To shine, first continue to acknowledge and pay tribute to the source of the light. Develop your personal relationship with the Lord through Bible reading and prayer. God’s light is not, and won’t be, something you can manufacture. It’s God-supplied. God teaches us to be a shining light everywhere we go, may it be at home, in the workplace, or in a place away from the usual. But be careful not to act as a shining light only when there are persons watching. God sees all including the motivation of our heart.
What can we actually do to shine?
There are at least a couple ways to help you reflect the Lord’s light in your life; here are some to consider:
- Immerse yourself in prayer and practicing the presence of the Lord (Joshua 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
- Fight against any grumbling or complaining that may arise with others (Philippians 2:14; James 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:23-24).
- Reach out to love and to serve others regardless of their race, age, belief, and culture (James 2: 8-9).
God understands how difficult it can be to shine your light for Him, yes. But, He has promised protection… guidance… and great blessing… when we do.
Union Church of Manila is an international Christian church in Makati. There are three Sunday Worship Services at the following times: 8:30 am; 10:30 am; 12:30 pm. Contact us today at (632) 812-5609 or visit www.unionchurch.ph and learn more about our worship services and ministries.