You are the light of the world

 "No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts in on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.  For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.  Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he things he has will be taken away." Luke 8:16-18

As Christians we are given to the world as salt and light.  Our lives and our faith are to be lived in the open.  As the saying goes, we should be open books - accessible and with nothing to hide.  When the world looks at our lives the only offense they should see is the offense of the Gospel. The only crime of which we could be convicted should be that of preaching Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected, assuming that ever becomes a crime.  And even that "crime" is one of which we should not be ashamed, but be willing to commit openly.

We must beware of our tendency to create sub-cultures which hide us from the world and put our light under a bushel. We must abandon any practice, besides the affirmation and preaching of the gospel, which puts us in violation of the laws of our government. (See Rom. 13.) All our behavior, public and private, should be above reproach and such that if exposed openly the cause of Christ would not be brought into disrepute.  We must be willing to forgo even our rights, if it becomes necessary, for the sake of the Gospel. (See 1 Cor. 9) We must never let our politics, or our lifestyle preferences become a barrier between the light of our Gospel and the  world so steeped in darkness.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. 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."  Matthew 5:13-16


That's Life said…
I take to heart from your post and make it my own searching question:
"What are the barriers in my own life between the light of the gospel and the world so steeped in darkness?"
There's work to be done and changes to come - thank you Laurie!
Debbie said…
Great words of wisdom and caution Laurie. I think of the song that I used to sing as a child. "This little light of mine. I'm gonna let it shine."

It can be easy to become influenced by the culture around us. But we are called to be salt and light to a world that doesn't know Him. I pray each day that I would see others as Jesus sees them and love them as He loves them. As I live my life in light and love, I pray that others would see Jesus in me. And when they ask about the difference, I have the opportunity to share that light and salt.

I'm glad to stop by today. I've been moving and so busy lately but it's good to spend some time here with you.

Lynn Cross said…
Very similar message and thoughts to the post I just wrote on being meek, losing oneself. Where the rubber meets the road are those relationships that are the closest to us. Good post. LOL, Lynn
Jeff Culbreath said…
Hello Laurie. Glad to have discovered the blog of a neighbor. Your warnings are well-considered, but I do think there's a tension Christians need to acknowledge - "to keep one's self unspotted from this world", and to be "a light unto the world". We find both admonitions in Scripture and certainly in the lives of the saints through the centuries. Furthermore not everyone is meant to be "in the world" to the same degree - some, indeed, are called to very public lives, and others are called to the cloister. Anyway, thanks for an interesting blog, which I've enjoyed and will continue reading.
jeri said…
Some great and encouraging thoughts Laurie. To pursue the thought further...I take this verse to mean that the glorifying our Father when they see our good works may not come until the day when every knee bows and every tongue confesses Jesus is Lord (to the glory of God the Father!) I think it because of 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." So they speak of us now as evildoers, but not forever.

Keeping this in mind will help us not to be offended and stumble when unbelievers aren't positively affected by our good works and lights shining. We hope they will be! But more and more, I think many won't be.
Laurie M. said…
Thanks, Jeri. And an "Amen" for your added wisdom - a helpful addendum.

Jeff, I'm so glad you stopped by. You're always welcome. Your remarks put me in mind of the words of Christ's prayer on the eve of His crucifixion: "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world..." John 17:14-18;
(and also: 1 Cor. 5:9:13) - which speak of that tension.

I would also add that there are seasons in the lives of each individual when, for any number of reasons, they may find they are called to serve the Lord out of view. They may be mommies with small children who just can't get out much, or others who are ill, or suffering grief or emotional pain, or recovering from addictions. These are folks who others in the body should be tucking under their wings protectively and nurturing until such time they are able to step out.

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