“Let your light shine before men…”
A Godly life gives convincing testimony of the saving power of God. That brings HIM Glory.
I recently heard a pastor say, “When is the last time someone came to you and said, ‘you’re just so different; you’re always happy…how can i have that?’ Lets be honest, this doesn’t happen. No one comes to us and asks about Jesus simply because of the way we live.”
The point the pastor was making is that, as believers, we cannot keep our mouths shut about our faith and hope that the sole witness of our uncompromising/non-conforming lifestyles will win some for Christ. While it is true that our faith cannot remain a personal/private matter when it comes to sharing the gospel, it is in fact true that unregenerate and lost people do take notice when a christian lives rightly and is truly joyful.
Those living in darkness (non-believers) are sensitive to light and therefore when they encounter a true believer, who is living a righteous and holy life, those in the dark cannot help but take notice of the light that expels the darkness. Throughout life, we will encounter hardcore enemies of God whom have dwelt in the darkness so long, they despise the light; they hate it. We will also encounter those who have had enough contact with a believer somewhere in their life that, they may squint a bit as they cast a short gaze in the direction of the brilliance that Christ is when Christians live like they actually believe in the one they say the believe in.
So how do we let this “light” shine from ourselves and what is the purpose?
Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may SEE your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Two things happen when we actually live like followers of Christ:
1. Others – non-believers – SEE how we live life against the grain.
2. Our light; our redeemed life in Christ, causes them to turn from their sins and give glory to God by believing in Him as their only hope for salvation.
Peter covers this topic of personal conduct amongst others for the sake of the gospel and resonates what Christ said…
1 Peter 2:12 – “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Don’t be an undercover Christian at school or at work. Verse 15 of Matt 5 says you don’t turn a lamp on in your house and then put a cover over it, but you let it shine brightly so you can SEE. Jesus calls you the light of the world. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify God.
Even if you’ve been a Secret Agent Christian your entire school/career and it’s allowed you maybe to tarnish or even obliterate your witness, don’t feel like your witness is unredeemable. We worship and believe in a God that resurrected His son from death. Surely, He can bring back life to your holiness. It won’t be easy. You will undoubtedly have a voice in the back of your mind saying, “Nope…no…you can’t start living for Christ now! You’ve messed up and it’s too late,” and “if you tell people you’re a christian now, they’re just going to add you to their long list of religious hypocrites.”
Don’t worry about that. There is this awesome thing called GRACE. and Forgiveness. Don’t take it for granted, but don’t forget about it either.
Romans 5:8 – “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Christ died for you because you were ungodly…not because you were worthy.
You’re going to be a hypocrite all your life because you will never be perfect until we are standing with Christ in heaven and all sin is abolished. The choice you have to make today is, are you going to
a. Be a hypocrite secretly and keep a blanket over your light?
b. Be a hypocrite that shines brightly before others and lets everyone know, you’re forgiven for being a hypocrite and that same forgiveness and grace is available to anyone that wants it?
Conduct yourself honorably…