Evil is running rampant on the world stage. Global terrorism in on the rise. Putin is bullying eastern Europe. Human trafficking is a huge international business.
And things aren’t much better here in the good ‘ole USA. Greed, immorality, addictions, self-absorption, and pornography seem to be the accepted norm.
Some do try to push back the tide. Recently the Houston police department conducted a sting operation to identify men looking to purchase sex. The goal was to be proactive in the fight against sex trafficking, to lower the demand. HPD arrested more than 60 men. Sad.
But the world needs more than just feeble attempts to contain the darkness. The only real solution to darkness is light. Somebody needs to turn on the Light.
According to Jesus, we are that “somebody.” Believers are the light the dark world needs.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16, NIV
When believers shine the light of Christ, we reveal the glory of the Father to a dark world. But what does it mean to be a light? Just how can we “shine?”
Paul lays it out for us in Ephesians 4:17-32 and Ephesians 5:1-21. Here’s a quick summary of the main points:
- The lost world lives in “darkness” – They are separated from the life of God because of their sin and can’t even understand the way to salvation.
- Christians are “children of the light” – We also lived in darkness before God saved us. But now we are filled with the Light of Jesus.
- Christians have an obligation to be clean receptacles of the Light – Because God saved us, we have an obligation to rid our lives of anything and everything that would hide the Light of Christ in us.
Not long ago, I noticed the headlights of my car didn’t appear to be shining enough light on the dark road. When I checked it out, I discovered that the lights were not the problem. Instead the headlights were covered with dirt and grime. When I cleaned them, the light shone as brightly as before.
The same is true with us. The Light of Christ within His children always shines brightly. But too often we “hide it under a bowl” by living like the dark world. When we live holy lives though, His light will shine forth and those who see it will glorify God.
Are you shining or hiding the Light of Jesus? What steps can you take in your life today to “turn on the Light?”