We live in the reality that there is both light and darkness around us at all times. This world has both good and evil, right and wrong. As believers we must grow in both our acceptance of this reality and our pursuit of the light. We must allow God to mold and shape us into those who rid ourselves of any darkness, become fully known to God, and allow his light to transform us into reflections of his Son. May the Lord open our eyes to see the glorious light before us this week.
The heart of our heavenly Father is to partner with us in seeing the light of his kingdom advance to every dark corner of the earth. Why he in his perfect wisdom has chosen to use us baffles me. But his desire to co-labor with us is the truth of Scripture. God has called us to be the light shining into the darkness of others’ lives in love.
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 5:14-16,
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.
For a long time I considered myself incapable of giving “light to all in the house.” I know my weaknesses all too well. I see the darkness in my life. How can I give light to anyone? You see, I thought the light I was supposed to give was the light of my own perfection. I thought I needed to get my life sorted out before I could ever minister to someone else. And out of that misconception I failed to experience the abundant life that comes from being used by God.
The truth of Scripture is that God is not calling us to minister out of our perfection. He isn’t calling us to figure everything out before we can be used. The most powerful declaration we can make to those in darkness is that we who are in desperate need have been met by a perfectly loving Savior. When all the world sees is our facade of perfection, they know right away that they don’t belong in Christianity. But when we live with the courage to be truly vulnerable and honest, we open our lives for those in darkness to see the light of God within us—that he in his grace encounters, loves, and dwells with weak and desperate men and women.
God is not calling you to share with the world your own perfection. He is calling you to simply be who you truly are, encounter his loving-kindness, and share with the world the grace-filled hope we have in Christ. Take time today to simply let God love you. Allow him to mold and shape you into a child who wholly experiences the love of the Father. And from that place of being loved as you are, open up your life and love others as you have been loved. Live today openly and honestly before God and man. Open up your life to those in darkness that they might see the light of God’s glorious grace. And live as the light of the world, illuminating the path to God’s heart for all those around you. May you experience the joy, passion, and purpose that comes from being used by God to advance his kingdom today.
1. Meditate on your calling to be the light of the world. Remember that all God desires from you today is to be open and honest before him and others. He simply wants you to be loved and to love.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
“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 5:14-16
2. Take time to simply let God love you. Open your heart and draw near to him with confidence. Rest in his presence. Ask him how he feels about you. Experience his love today.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
3. Ask the Holy Spirit how he wants to use you to be the light of the world today. Whom can you be open and honest with about who God is and what he has done in your life? Whom can you love well today?
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:19-21
“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5
“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8
Extended Reading: James 2