SHINE Sunday, May 28, 2023
GOOD MORNING! Every day is a new day and God’s mercies are new every morning. AMEN!
Today’s message is titled Let His Light Shine
TODAY’S TEXT IS Matthew 5:14-16
PLEASE STAND AS WE SHOW HONOR TO OUR CREATOR FOR HIS PRECIOUS WORD.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
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.
THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD!
We are almost at the halfway point of 2023. I still cannot believe it. Can you? How has it been going? Every day really is a new day! The Lord’s mercies really are new every single morning. That can be the most awesome reminder we need to hear daily. No matter where you are or what you are going through, God is still there. He is still on the throne. He is still good! He is mindful of you. He cares for you. He loves you! So today, look to the Lord in a thankful posture to begin each day. Start each day counting your blessings. I dare you. Start with Jesus. Go from there. I promise it’ll change your outlook. Amen!
A few verses came to my heart when preparing for this message.
- Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
- Ephesians 5:15-17 – Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Remember our theme last year was to DWELL in the Word and with the Lord. I hope you have continued to be intentional about making time with the Lord a priority. It is so vital.
Seek to understand the heart of God. The love of God. The favor of God. Turn to the light of God and don’t look back. Be encouraged. Amen!
Now, if you have been in a solid place with your relationship with the Lord, Praise God! Don’t let up. Continue to study and meditate on God’s Word. Continue in constant prayer. Continue listening to God. Be still and listen. It is so important, and nothing gets in the way of our listening to God more than our own voice.
If you are here today and you have yet to choose Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I have good news today. This message is for you as well. I am so glad you are here. It is not by accident that you are here. As I prayed earlier, I pray the Holy Spirit will move in this place. That the Holy Spirit will lead you to choose a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
As we dive into God’s theme for our church body, Shine, we must look at the context of today’s verses.
The text for today takes place shortly after Jesus preaches the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Arguably, the greatest sermon ever given where Jesus explains who is truly blessed and who truly belongs to God’s Kingdom. Jesus goes on in verse 13 to describe believers as salt. Being salty in today’s context and culture is a negative.
In the time of Jesus, salt was a valuable and precious commodity. Also, salt preserves. We too are to preserve influence in culture. Salt also provides flavor, and we as believers should add some flavor to the lives of others. We ought to be the most joyful people given what we know. Given what Jesus has done for us, how can we not be moved to joy? We are encouraged to influence in a way that is gracious and winsome to every person. We must take our words, thoughts, and actions into account to determine if we are providing gracious influence onto others for the glory of Jesus Our Lord. Pray on this and let’s be SALTY!
This leads to our focus today in today’s scripture. We begin with verse 14.
-Verse 14 – You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
The Lord is making a clear statement here. He is giving believers a compliment at first. He
is identifying each of us as the light of the world. It may not seem like much at first; however, He refers to Himself the same way. That is about a high an honor as one could be given.
John 1:5 –The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 8:12 – Again 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.”
John 9:5 – “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Romans 8:16-17 – The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
This demonstrates a key attribute for believers. That attribute places our focus on others and is no longer solely self-interested. We are called to be “others” interested. As believers, we no longer are simply to receive the light of Jesus which is great by the way. Let’s be honest there is nothing greater. When our eyes have been opened by the Holy Spirit, we become keenly aware that we need a Savior and a Lord. It is at that point where the light of the world has reached us. The Holy Spirit has moved. He has pierced our soul, and we come humbly to a place where we recognize our calling is to be a person who shares and shines the light of the world with the world.
Application: You are Salt and Light.
Jesus is not actually asking you to become Salt and Light. Actually, He is explaining your identity. He is telling us who we are as believers. It is not what we might become in the future. Jesus explains that is who we are right now!
The world is decaying, and Salt is needed to preserve and provide flavor to it. Flavor of love, truth and grace. Many parts of the world are covered in darkness, and Light is necessary. We must be intentional. We must be winsome, loving, and caring while being bold and willing to stand on the Truth in God’s Word.
Our faith cannot be a private thing any longer. Jesus tells us who we are. We have no light of our own, and we must let His light shine.
Application: We must connect to the source of light.
Psalm 119:105 – Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
John 1:4-5 – In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Can never extinguish it. NLT)
This source of light will not be extinguished. This is not a temporary source such as a light bulb or even the circuit breaker in your home. These are temporary as we know when a storm passes through. That light is extinguished. The light of Jesus cannot be. A couple points of scripture to reflect on.
John 12:46- I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
As verse 14 states, a city on a hill cannot be hidden. When we connect to Light of the World, the Light that will not be put out, His Light will shine unto to the world. The message of Jesus will illuminate in the darkness. The message of hope. The message of truth. The message of love. The message of grace. The message of mercy. The Light of the World will shine, and we are the conduit to shine His Light.
Application: Will you accept this identity and this awesome responsibility to shine the light of Jesus?
Verse 15 – Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
This verse and several outlined earlier illustrate further that we must be intentional about shining the light of Jesus. Ask yourself, “what is the purpose of light?” The purpose of light is to drive out darkness. We know that in a pitch black, dark room one little match can light up the entire room. Darkness is dispelled. It is diminished because of a small seemingly insignificant light. This brings to mind the song we all sang as young children. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” We are vessels that the Lord can use to shine His light for the world, and it far outweighs any little match. This light can save lives. Believe it! We must be intentional.
Verse 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.
When Jesus proclaims that we let our light shine before others, He is pointing out the purpose behind His instructions. It is to give God glory and not ourselves. This confirms that we are to be others and God-centered and not self-centered. This can be a challenge for us.
Charles Spurgeon says it like this: “The object of our shining is not that men may see how good we are, nor even see us at all, but that they may see grace in us and God in us, and cry, ‘What a Father these people must have.’ Is not this the first time in the New Testament that God is called our Father? Is it not singular that the first time it peeps out should be when men are seeing the good works of his children?”
It is true that this is first time in scripture that Jesus refers to His Father. Jesus alludes to the responsibility to demonstrate good works for giving God The Father all the glory. It is not to earn salvation. This action takes place upon the realization that we have been saved by Jesus who defeated sin and death. We are the Light of the World as we stand in the righteousness of Jesus the true Light of the World. It is then through our good works that the Light of the World shines.
Let’s look further at the Light of the World.
John 1:4-5 – The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. (NLT)
Revelation 21:23 – The city (New Jerusalem) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
It isn’t that the Word “contains” life and light; He is life and light. Jesus does not need us. We need Jesus to sustain us. Without Jesus we are lifeless, and we are in darkness. We are dead in our transgressions, and we have no hope. The Good News is that we have a Savior! We have been given the greatest gift in all of humankind.
John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Application/ Question: Are you truly seeking to be the Light of the World? What needs to take place in your life in order for that to occur?
Please consider praying about this. It may very well save someone’s eternal life.
Application/ Question: How will you Shine His Light?
- Pray – intentionally ask God to place His desire, will and compassion in us. Ask that the eyes of those we encounter are opened. Only God can give sight to those who are blind spiritually.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
- Love – Love people with passion. We must be compassionate for every person. Remember: Each person we encounter was made in the image of God. Scripture points us to the compassion of Christ during the height of His ministry.
Mark 6:34 – When he went ashore, He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.
- Be intentional – Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20 to “go and make disciples of all nations.” He did not suggest that we preach the gospel. It is a commissioning. The disciples were sent out. In the military, we see commissioning ceremonies for promotions in rank take place. Similarly, Jesus is commissioning believers. We have been promoted. Jesus did not state that we, as believers, should wait for people to come to us. We must pray for opportunities and go humbly yet expectantly.
- Provide care – People will begin to care about what we say when they see that we how much we genuinely care about them. That can take many different paths. It can start with a kind word; a conversation about interests; encouragement; an unexpected gift or good deed. Be like Craig while living like Jesus. See the song “Craig” by Walker Hayes/Mercy Me.
I still ain’t figured out church yet.
But Craig, I get.
Nah he can’t walk on water, turn the Napa Valley red.
But he just might be tight with a man that did.
Now he’s not the light of the world.
But I wish that mine was bright as his.
Yeah he just might be tight with a man that is.
John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.
- Proclaim it – If you are intentional, the opportunity will come. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Be sensitive to it but be ready. The opportunity will not always appear, in reality, how you envisioned it. Be prepared to give your testimony. Explain how Jesus has changed your life. I was dead but now I live. I was blind but now I see. I was lost but now I’m found. The point is that God gets all the glory; not us. Amen!
- Shine in everything – We are called to shine His light, and we certainly must do this as individuals. Wherever we are. Wherever we go. We ARE the Light of the World. We must shine His light as a family also. In our marriages, we must shine the light of Jesus. We must shine His light as a church body. We must be willing to serve and love for the glory of God. We must pray for God to show us blind spots in our lives.
Being light means not acting like the world around us. We cannot live corrupt, worldly lives. Being the light of the world means that everything we do is God-glorifying. Do people look at our relationships and marriages and see God being truly, sincerely glorified? Do people look at our families and see God being glorified? Do people look at us at work and see a God glorifying employee? Do people look at you on vacation and see a God glorifying life? People are watching. They look at everything we do, big and little things, and will they see God being glorified? That is what it means to be the light of the world. We must live such radical lives that people want to know God. Shine His Light in all you do!
Philippians – 2:14-16 – Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
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.
When you fail, and it will happen, seek forgiveness and you also must FORGIVE.
This is not optional.
Colossians 3:12-13 – 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Application/Question: Will you leave here today and actively, intentionally, humbly seek to shine His light? Will you be obedient to the calling of Jesus?
My prayer is that you will be moved to do just that.
Lord bless you all!