Let Your Light Shine!

Published 11:32 am Sunday, December 3, 2023

Recently I noticed that the light in our kitchen was not giving out the amount of light that I thought it should. Upon deeper inspection I confirmed what I suspected the problem was–one of the two bulbs was no longer working. I am at the stage of life in which plenty of light is essential (except for the bright lights of approaching cars which nearly blind me at night even when they are on low beam). As soon as possible I made my way to the hardware store to purchase a replacement bulb. When I got the new bulb connected, it was time for the real test; when the switch was turned on it did what it was supposed to do–it brightened up the room so we could see more clearly. After the successful test I did what we often do with light fixtures–I put the cover back on. The cover made the appearance of the light fixture look better than two exposed bulbs, but it came with a price–it blocked out a portion of the light being produced. There was still adequate lighting coming through, but it always seems a bit odd to me that we place ornamental covers over perfectly good lighting and block out a substantial portion of the illumination that we were trying to achieve.

Now that we have passed Thanksgiving Day, the focus on Christmas will intensify. And as always, included among the many decorations that we will observe celebrating the season will be colorful lights. I always enjoy driving around and admiring the lights during the Christmas season. Yet there is another Light that we must not neglect nor block out; that Light is what the celebration is meant to be about. Christ came to earth for a purpose–to provide spiritual light for all of us. We need to make a conscious decision not to allow holiday activity to cover up the Light of the world. In Matthew 4, we find recorded words of the prophet Isaiah who foretold the coming birth of Christ hundreds of years before it took place: “Land of Zebulon and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (verses 15-16, New International Version). The birth of Christ came about just as it had been long promised and He completed the mission that He came to fulfill as He brought spiritual light and hope to humankind that was stranded in the darkness of sin.

The Bible reminds us, as followers of Christ, that we are to let our lives shine like a bright light so that others can see His presence being demonstrated in how we live. In Matthew 5, He reminded His hearers (and us today) that like Him, we are the light of the world and our spiritual light that radiates from Him is not to be covered up or hidden, but instead we are to be like a lamp that gives light to the whole room: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).

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As believers in Christ, we must be careful that we are not ashamed to let our lights shine for Him. Paul, one of the great men of Scripture, stated without hesitation his determination to let his light shine for his Savior: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). To be ashamed to let others know, both by our words and our lifestyles, that we are Christians would be like having a perfectly functioning bright light for a dark room, but putting a covering over it to block out the needed light.

May we never be ashamed of Christ and His Word, and always make sure the spiritual light within does not become blocked out by ungodly attractions. Instead, let’s allow His light to shine brightly through us always.