You are the light of the world …. 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. Matthew 5:14A, 16
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
As a hospice chaplain I have many conversations with other caregivers in the facilities I visit. Some time ago, I had a conversation with a very nice lady who provides personal care for the residents in one of these facilities. She is a seeker who is less than satisfied with organized Christianity and seems to have adopted a hodge-podge of spiritual-like understandings that are less than Biblical. She spoke to me about her sister and her sister’s Biblical faith. This dear caregiver is not very impressed with the outworking of her sister’s faith. She told me that recently she said to her sister, “you are not shining.”
She was telling her sister, who claims to know, love, and live for Jesus, that she doesn’t see Jesus shining out of her life. Repeatedly, she told her sister, “shine, shine, shine.” She saw little or no evidence for all her sister’s claims of having the truth. The overall impact of the “Biblical Christian” on her was a negative one. She would have welcomed a bit of love, joy, and care, shining out of her sister’s life and coming her way. What a commentary, but a commentary that is so often true of Bible believing Christians who claim to have the truth.
We did not touch on the end part of yesterday’s passage where Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” In today’s Scripture Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” You may recall from yesterday that Jesus said, “we (you and me joining Jesus) must work the works of Him (God, the Father) who sent Me (Jesus).” While Jesus was here, he was “the light of the world.” Through redemption which he secured for us while he was here, he lives in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are now the “light of the world.” We join Jesus in “working the works” of God by letting him shine out of us and touch the world around us. So, brothers and sisters, let’s let Jesus “shine, shine, shine.”
Our calling from God is to let the new person we are becoming and the new life that is unfolding have an impact on the people and world around us. The work of letting who we are in Christ and what we do through Christ matters. Letting Jesus shine out of our lives so that we truly are “the light of the world” is the one and only way the people and the world around us will experience the impact of the central work to which God has called us.
It is interesting that when we meet someone new, conversation almost always turns to the question, "what do you do (for a living)?" and not "who are you (as a person)?" So, generally what we do is very much a part of who we are. “Vocation” on the human level almost always has to do with one's career. Some people have a sense of calling to their careers, but many do not. Spiritually, we are all called to a career of serving the kingdom. Serving the kingdom is our primary vocation, just as our primary identity is who we are in Christ.
It is important to keep in mind that it usually does not necessitate a change in career and calling on the human level to make serving the kingdom your primary vocation. As a matter of fact, God is particularly interested in showing his people how to make an impact for the kingdom right where they are in the middle of all they are already doing. Remember, our spiritual vocation is all about letting the new person we are becoming and the new life that is unfolding have an impact on the people and world around us (right where we are).
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I get it. I am to be “the light of the world” because you live in me. I see that the central “work” of my life all boils down to one simple but powerful word: “SHINE.” Thank you for the calling of my life to be one who impacts the people and the world around me by “shining”. Teach me more and more of what it means to “shine.” Continue to help me surrender. Continue to shape my identity in Christ. Continue to accomplish your purposes by making my life a blessing to the world around me as I “shine, shine, shine.” Amen!
Posted on Tue, September 18, 2018
by Ken Hart