"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16)
We are called to be the salt in the world! Salt and light...just what does that mean?
- When salt is applied, it dissolves inward and disappears. The salt speaks of the inward part, the character of the Christian.
- Jesus also described His people as being like light, which is on the outside. The light speaks of the testimony of a follower of Christ, revealing and illuminating the truth.
Let's now look at the Scripture and ask: who, what, and how.
Jesus was speaking to a crowd of just ordinary folks. Yet Christ said to them, "You are the light of the world." And today, you are the light of the world. That's how God intends to get his work done on earth today: through you!
And that's how God intends to get his work done on earth today: through you! It's not just pastors and missionaries who are the light; it's everybody who loves the Lord.
You see, the world doesn't understand. The world looks at Christians and thinks, "They don't count." God takes an ordinary person and uses them to share His message to people who needed Him. When we share our faith, we spread His light.
Jesus describes what we are in this passage — the light of the world, not the light of the church. That means we have to get beyond the church walls and take the light out to where it is dark.
You were saved to shine! Don't hide your testimony or be ashamed to take your Bible to work. Don't be afraid to pray over your lunch at school. Let others know that you love the Lord Jesus.
Jesus also talked of the strength of collective light. Each house in a city with its lights on cast a glow across the sky. As Christians come together, there is a glow for the Lord that we cannot create individually. We shine brightest when we shine together.
How can we shine for God? Jesus says that we are to let our lights shine before men in such a way that they will see our good works and glorify God. That's how we do it. We live for God.
We have to surrender our lives to Him completely. Christ says we are to "let" our lights shine. In other words, when you get right with God and are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will simply shine through you. You can't help it; light just pours forth. Are you willing to burn brightly for the Lord?
How can you become a bright light in a dark world? As we begin a new year, here are a few thoughts and questions to begin letting your light shine.
1. What does it mean to be "light"?
- Where do I find myself being light?
2. What do I do to cause my light to shine?
- Where do I struggle being light?
3. Why do you suppose God chooses to use ordinary people, rather than a few specially selected people, to reflect His light?
- Where does the world look for light, and where do they find it?
4. When am I tempted to conceal my light?
- What opportunities do I have for sharing my light with others?
So, now that you have a better understanding about your part in reflecting God's light, take a few minutes and write a short testimony that you can share with non-Christians. Don't just go over it in your head. Write it down, so that you know what you want to say. It should be about two minutes in length, following this outline:
- What was your life like before you met Christ?
- How did you meet Him?
- How has He changed your life since then?