January 30

Text: Matthew 5:14-16

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.  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. (NASB)

When I was a teenager, my family visited Mammoth Cave.  Deep inside the earth, the guide had everyone to sit down or lean against a wall.  After explaining what he would do and why we should secure ourselves, he turned all light sources off.  Was it ever dark! NOTHING could be seen in that darkness!  The darkness destroyed our ability to balance as it induced an immediate helplessness.

Lights by their nature shine!  Without light, eyes cannot function!  Even a small light in an elevated position will light a room enough to reveal obstacles.  A basic purpose of light is to reveal.  Light declares danger’s existence.  Light is so powerful in piercing darkness that it is as obvious as a city on a hill.

An analogy used in the Bible calls evil darkness, and God’s message/guidance/Son light.  Light shatters darkness!  Darkness and light cannot co-exist!  Darkness cannot conquer light, but light can destroy darkness!  Darkness is a negative—it hides dangers and destroys the unsuspecting.  Light is a positive—it produces benefits.  They knew light grew plants.  Light enabled people to work.  Fishing on Lake Galilee, a rare exception, occurred at night.  Why?  The fish could not see the potential danger in the darkness.

We do not have to tell light to shine—it just has to be light.  As Christians, we should not have to be told to shine—just be genuinely godly.  Good deeds glorify God because God—not the darkness of evil—is the source of goodness.  Elevate God in your works, not yourself.  It is God’s influence on us, not us!

Suggestion for reflection: Focus on being godly, and God is credited for good.  (Read 1 Peter 2:11, 12.)

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