You are the Light of the World

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

John 8:12 declares to us, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  When Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world then it is pretty obvious where the origin of that light is.   It is first in Christ and now abides in us by virtue of the fact that Christ is in us.  We are the lamps of God to show others the way of salvation and to bring His light to illuminate the souls of others so that they in turn may be lightbearers.  It is interesting that the Word doesn’t say that we necessarily share our light by preaching at people.  Jesus says, “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  People often hear people saying a lot of things about Jesus and God, but what do you think that they look at to confirm the authenticity of what you may be speaking with your words?  They are going to observe your life.  If you are really this godly person that you speak of then the proof should be in the pudding.  They want to observe the reality of Christ in our lives in our daily living, actions and deeds.  There are many voices saying many things about the way to God.  Why would someone believe that maybe ours is the right way?  Could it be because they see in us someone who is not like the rest of the world?  Could it be because they are seeing someone living out of kingdom principles of love, giving, putting others first, compassion, kindness and self-control?  They probably aren’t going to see perfection, but they must be able to observe the difference through our good deeds.  That is what will draw men to the Lord and make the words you have to share about Christ and salvation more effectual.  

Where the light is, there is a conviction of sin.  If the life of Christ is truly evident in our lives there will be those who don’t want to be around you because of the conviction just your presence brings.  You may not say or do anything that is condemning them and yet they will feel the conviction of their sin.  On the other hand others will be drawn to the light because they see that you possess something that can deliver them out of the power and destruction of sin.  Jesus says in John 3: 19-22

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”  Sin, by nature, abides in darkness.  Men that love their sin will not enjoy your company if you are bringing with it the light of God.  

When we make the decision to live in truth, it doesn’t mean that there is not darkness left around us.  We experience through acceptance of Christ a cleansing, but there are still attitudes, behaviors and strongholds in our soul that are still in darkness.  The difference is that we have given the Holy Spirit permission to deal and convict us of those areas of sin so that we may gain freedom from their stronghold and influence.  This is an ongoing experience of salvation and work of the Holy Spirit in us.  

1 John 1:7 tells us, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sinOur safety and salvation is walking in the light so that sin has no place to hide in us.  Our greatest place of danger is when we harbor our sins, our secret lust and desires in the darkness.  It is in the darkness that they feed and grow.  James 1:5 reveals the progression, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  We must think of sin as like a cancer.  Early detection and treatment is the key.  The body of Christ is not to be a rumor mill of gossip and condemnation.  It should be a safe haven where we can confess our sins one to another.  It should be a place of healing and restoration.  James 5:16 tells us, “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Our accountability to one another as well as to the Lord is what can help us when we are struggling with areas of sin in our lives.  We tend to all want to act like everything is fine with us when we are in Christian circles, because we are all suppose to be so spiritual.  We need times to get intimately real with one another and really confess and pray for one another in the areas where we struggle and we all do.  Find that Christian friend in your life of the same sex that you can bear the secrets of your heart too and they can share with you.  Pray for one another, be accountable to one another and help each other to walk in the light, for you are the light of the world.

Blessings,

#kent

Shine a Diamond

January 28, 2015

Shine a Diamond

Romans 14:19
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

We live in a very negative world in a lot of respects. Life is often taking twist and turns that can bring us discouragement and despair. Many around us only know how to speak death. They, like many of us, can become cynical, skeptical and suspicious in a world that is always seeking to exploit us in one manner or another. It is hard for us to be real, even with one another, for fear that someone will take opportunity in our vulnerability and openness to hurt us or will despise and not respect us because of some weakness that we allow them to see in us. As a result we become individual sealed houses, our own little islands in some respects, keeping a certain amount of distance and aloofness so that we won’t be hurt. Certainly we have to be careful about who we share the more intimate parts of our lives with. Jesus gives the warning in Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” As it is with the holy and precious things of God, so it is with the matters of our heart. We need to really know the character of those we share our hearts with. If the love of God is truly operating within them, then they understand the grace that not only they have been given, but that which they must extend to others. God wants us to cover one another’s nakedness, not expose it, gossip about it or despise them for it. He wants us to be a people that can truly edify and build up one another. We need to have that place and safety to truly confess our sins and faults to one another without fear of rejection and judgment. James 5:16 tells us, “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Does that mean we condone whatever sin someone shares or confesses to us? No, we can’t because then we would share complicity with their sin. The reason for sharing our sins or faults with one another is for repentance, support, help in our weaknesses and restoration of our fellowship with God and one another. If we share our faults with one another it shouldn’t be for approval, neither should it be for judgment but our response to another’s faults should be that of humility and love, knowing that we are also weak and vulnerable to sin. Galatians 6:1 teaches us, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” You see we are not one another’s judges, but we are one another’s watchmen. We watch out for one another, because we are of the same body and share the same common faith and purpose, to glorify the Lord. It can be easy for any of us to become distracted and turn aside or grow complacent concerning our faith. This is why it is so important for us as the body of Christ to have personal friendships and relationships with others in the body, not just for fellowship, but also for accountability. We need to be speaking life into one another to build each other up in who we are in Christ. We need to pray for one another and exhort one another, always stirring up faith. A healthy body is one in which individual members and cells are ministering health and blessing into those around them. The words that we speak into one another’s lives should be for building up and not tearing down, even if they must be honest, direct and hard words, the motive behind them should always be love. Sometimes, like Paul, we must tear down to build up, but what are our motives and the end of what we do?
Are you and I the brush that polishes the diamonds of the Lord? Are we causing others to shine in His glory and come forth in the image of who they are in Christ? Remember that the power of death and life are in the tongue. Our actions and our tongue can make or destroy another’s life. Let our lives and our ministry be for building up and not for tearing down, for edifying and not for condemning. You are your brother’s keeper and he is yours. Let us honor and seek to bring forth the Christ in each other. Speak life, hope and blessing into someone today and let it become your lifestyle. Shine a diamond!

Blessings,
#kent

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