By Noel Mal
Special to The Guardian
As people of faith, Christians are called to reflect the image of our saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. In a world where there is so much darkness, being the light is the only answer.
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said these words to his followers: “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (MSG)
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we, as God’s children, could truly see ourselves as light to dispel the darkness? Of course, it’s Jesus’ light that we carry. He said as much in John’s gospel. “Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn. 8:12 ESV)
We are not to fear darkness, not to complain about it or to be overcome by it. We’re simply to be light and let light do its work, shine, reflecting His image. “The Light of the World” is Jesus. By believing and living as that light we will see the darkness crumble around us, whether this darkness is in and around our own personal lives and circumstances or in a larger global picture.
Is it possible that we, as Christ followers, can be too focused on the darkness that we forget or neglect the presence and power of Jesus we carry as light to put out the darkness? We can so easily be caught up with what’s wrong and “whine instead of shine”. Yes, there is societal evil, immorality and injustice. However, our response to the darkness is to let His light shine through us.
Hear what the apostle Paul would say in the letter of Philippians: “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:13-16)
Maybe it’s time to do “reset” according to factory settings. Is it possible that our attitudes and behaviours need to readjust with Jesus and His Word. Once again, the apostle Paul instructs us how we are to live in Ephesians 5:8-10.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”
As God’s children of light, let the fruit of our lives, goodness, righteousness and truth, do its work in putting out the darkness around us. So, when darkness is around you personally, at home, at workplace, in the community or the world at large “shine instead of whine”.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Pastor Noel Mal is with Harvest House Celebration. A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.