During the Christmas season, I absolutely love to look at my lighted Christmas tree from a spiritual perspective, especially during my morning devotional time. In my thinking, each light represents believers and the dark background of the tree represents our spiritually dark world (and those of the world). Each light sheds light in one small area of the tree, dispelling darkness. Sometimes a light is out and cannot dispel darkness in its area of influence. Then it’s time to investigate to see if it is burnt out or there is just a lose connection that can be easily fixed?
As I look at my tree and ponder these things, I remember that Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). And Jesus also said of His followers, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14a). Both statements are true. If we are true followers of Jesus Christ, our lives will shine with “the Light of life”.
While we ourselves are not the light, we are holders of the light. Reflecting Him to the world is the believer’s God-given duty, so it’s imperative that we keep our light shining. Let’s not put our light under a basket (Matt 5:15-16) as a result of neglecting our relationship with God or allowing some wrong-doing (sin) in our lives to dim our light or block it out all together. We are to keep it on the lamp-stand so it gives light to those in our area of influence.
We live in a spiritually dark world. Paul describes the condition of mankind without Christ this way: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:21). The state of unbelievers is the same as it has always been. Darkness plagues those without Christ because they live with a sense of frustration and futility as they attempt to please fleshly appetites that are never satisfied. When the Light of life shines in an area of influence, people see themselves as they really are: sinners in need of a Savior. When His hope penetrates the heart, darkness is chased away. Receiving Him as Savior means that sins are forgiven and the death sentence (separation from God for all eternity) is lifted. The Light of life does another very important thing in the life of a true believer. It illuminates the right path for our life so that we need not give in to temptation, including same-sex attraction temptations. By faith, the true believer chooses to walk in the light, obeying God’s commandments and seeking to live by His principles (Eph. 5:8-10), no longer walking in darkness. If a “so-called believer” still walks in darkness, living a lifestyle of sin, such as one Paul mentions in 1 Cor. 6:9-10; it’s important for us to shine our light on our interactions with them, proving to them that they are still walking in darkness. We allow Christ to shine forth when we speak about biblical truth but also when we model His ways. Some who have the Light of life shine on their life of darkness will see Jesus and want Him for themselves and thus find real hope (Rom. 15:13)! We never know who that will be.
In closing, may each of us take time to consider this: Is my light shining bright for Jesus? Not just during the holiday season, but all year, may His light shine in us and through us. Don’t be negligent in protecting your relationship with Christ (through lack of prayer and reading His Word). And, don’t allow sin to take root in your life. Both of these actions, brothers and sisters, will dim your light or put it out all together. It’s a great honor to reflect Jesus to the world. Someone in your sphere of influence needs your “light” to guide him or her toward the true Light of the world. This is God’s will for you. So let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
For God, who said, “light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6.