Main Text: Matthew 5:14-16
Additional Scripture verses: Ephesians 5:15-17, Romans 12:2, Proverbs 20:7, Matthew 6:33, John 15:19
By Kemi O.
All believers are meant to be the light of the world as Jesus has stated in Matthew 5:14. No matter where we may find ourselves and no matter what our status in life may be, we are called to make the best use of our time for Jesus using the skills, talents, resources and spiritual gifts given to us. We are to use them to impact the world for Christ and it begins from the community we live in, in fact, it starts from our homes, our inner circles.
Beloved, are we letting our light shine?If yes, praise God for you and I will encourage you to keep on shining for Him, if unsure or you believe that you are, but still require more commitment and sincerity in the things of God like me, praise God as well, because it means that you are ready to allow the Lord to make you a vessel fit for His use in these last days. I personally want to be an effective vessel, a useful instrument in God's hands in these end times and if you are still reading this message, I believe you want to be as well.
Are people seeing Christ in us and thanking God for us?
Are people seeing Christ in us and thanking God for us?
Wherever the children of God are, the light of God must shine in their midst. We are to shine in the midst of the darkness around us. We must live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. The bible tells us in Ephesians 5:15-17 to be careful how we live, we are not living for ourselves but living for Christ, allowing Him to manifest in our lives through our actions and words. Verse 16 admonishes us to make the most of the time given to us, why? Because the days are evil and it’s going to continue to worsen until the Lord Jesus returns for His church. We live in a world that persecutes believers daily, a world that does not honor and reverence the Almighty God, a world that is ready to bring follows of Jesus Christ down to their knees, causing us to compromise who we are . The god of this world, satan is being revered and honored more than ever before in the times we live in, we see it everwhere where we go. The society we live in has little concern for moral or ethical integrity. They will do anything to satisfy the lusts of the flesh, their sinful desires and it’s unfortunate that many believers have fallen prey to satan's schemes every day.
In order for our light to shine for Christ, we must be ready to face opposition, persecution from the world as we strive to maintain our moral standards, our Christian beliefs and integrity. Jesus reminds us in John 15:18 that the world will hate us because of Him. We are to stand firm in Christ in the midst of opposition and never compromise who we are. Many no longer shine for Christ because they have allowed themselves to conform to the things of this ungodly world. Definitely, this Christian journey can be quite challenging if we want to be sincere with ourselves, but one of the main things that personally keeps me going is my testimony ; when I reflect on what the Lord has done in my life over the years and how He has kept and sustained me through the ups and downs, I am always strengthened and encouraged to keep running the race.
Beloved, we must also understand what our purpose on this earth is. Why am I here at this moment in time, in this generation? I know I am not here just to occupy space. What does God want me to do for Him? These are questions we must ask ourselves. Getting married, having children, obtaining a career, getting an education, having the fine things of life are all good but after you have achieved them all, then WHAT? The Lord couldn’t have created you just to acquire all these, this cannot be the reason you exist. There is a higher calling and that calling is do the work of the MASTER. whatever it may be. It must be our highest priority in life. Many people in the world have achieved success, wealth etc. but at the end of the day, they feel empty, no joy, no peace. They have no peace, because they do not have the PRINCE OF PEACE who should have been at the center of their lives. No matter the little or much we may have, the joy of the Lord should always be our strength and we should also experience His peace in our lives, even in the midst of the storms we might face. Sisters, friends, we have to ensure that our priorities are in order. The Bible even reminds us in Matthew 6:33 that we should seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us.
Earlier I stated that in order for our light to shine for Christ, we must be ready to face opposition. Also probably stand alone because when you are a genuine child of God who listens only to the voice of the MASTER, and not ready to compromise your beliefs, even those who call themselves your brother or sister (believers) will forsake you. There are a handful of great men and women of faith, godly people both in scripture and in our generation who have served the Lord faithfully and stood their ground in the face of opposition, temptation etc. A few in scripture include Daniel, Joseph, Apostle Paul, Stephen, Modecai, in the case of Haman etc. They did not compromise their beliefs and moral standards. They were men and women of integrity. You have some preachers today that have compromised their beliefs and standards for fame, power, money, church membership. So sad!
Beloved, our light must shine by maintaining the high standards that every Christian, be it man or woman has been called to uphold by God. We serve a God of integrity.
Anyone (believer or unbeliever) can do good works and receive praises and admiration from men; but what separates our works from that of the world is our high standards, our sincerity, our genuine interest in what we are doing, our motives. Are we doing these wonderful things to please ourselves, others or are we doing it to please our God? Our goods works must please and glorify the Lord. Our standards as Christian women, godly women should be much higher than the world, because even the world holds us to a different standard. They expect us as Christians to exhibit a godly character always. Why do you think immediately a believer does something bad or sinful, he or she is quickly judged and shamed publicly? We see it all the time in the media whenever a famed preacher, televangelist commits an atrocity. We forget that our lives impact people either by drawing them to Christ or away from Him.
In our main text today, Jesus admonishes us to shine our light for all to see so that our Father in Heaven is glorified. Sisters, our lives are not ours to be lived thoughtlessly and selfishly as it cautions us in Ephesians 5, we are to effectively manage it wisely because at the end of our lives, we are going to give account of how we use the time and life He gave us. If you want people to see Christ in you, find something you love to do and do it well to the glory of God e.g. serving others in the area of hospitality, teaching the word of God to others, evangelism, praying for others, singing and dancing, visiting the sick in the hospital, those in prison, utilize the spiritual gifts and resources you have been given to shine for Christ effectively. Be women of God whom others can trust with keeping your discussions confidential, be a godly woman who encourages, intercedes for others, keeps her word, never intentionally breaking her promises, be a godly woman, who operates with the fruit of the Spirit, a woman who sees the good in others, who does not use her mouth to destroy others (gossip, backbiting, false accusation etc.) like we see often in the church, be a godly woman whom God can boasts of as He did about Abraham, Job and a few others and then say to you at the end of the day Well done! good and faithful servant. Matthew 25:21.
In conclusion, I just want to encourage us today to let our light shine brightly for Christ wherever we go and in whatever we do. Let our good deeds advertise us for the Lord; let our actions and words draw people to Christ. Let the world be able to identify us as women of God, true believers , daughters of the KING without second guessing if we are genuine or not. Let us strive to live by Christ's standard, be women of integrity and virtue Proverb 20:7. Only then can Christ be truly manifested in and through us.
Prayer: May the Lord empower and enable us in these evil times to be the light He has called us to be, shining for Him, utilizing all that He has given us and may the name of the Lord be honored, praised and glorified in everything we do in Jesus name. Amen.