Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.
This week we are starting a new series titled Listening To Heaven’s Infallible Teacher.
The messages for the next couple of weeks will be coming from the Sermon on the Mount..
Today we are talking about The Light Of The World.
Matthew 5:14 AMP
14 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
Matthew 5:14-16 (AMP)
14 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.
In Jesus name we pray.
It may well be that Jesus’ greatest compliment to a Christian is, “You are the light of [Christ to] the world.”
In this statement Jesus commands us to be nothing less than what He Himself claimed to be.
Jesus said in John 9:5, As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world [giving guidance through My word and works].”
Thus, when Jesus asks His followers to be the light of the world, He is asking us to be nothing less than what He is.
Jesus is saying that we are important people.
We think of important people as those who are well known or who have prominent positions, for example, the apostle Paul, or the reformer Martin Luther.
Yet as Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, He spoke with people whose names we do not know, ordinary individuals, and called them “The light of the world.”
Jesus was telling tham that they were important, that they mattered in God’s kingdom.
Today Christ says to you and me, “You are important, you are the light of the world.”
In our reading today we find an exclamation in verse 14, an illustration in verse 15, and an application in verse 16.
- An exclamation.
I have a feeling that Jesus did not say passively, “You are the light of the world.”
Weather, I am convinced that He emphatically exclaimed, “You are the light of the world!”
It is absolutely astounding that Jesus would know us for what we are and yet say that we are “the light of the world.”
It is significant that Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.”
When we first start in ministry we believe that preparing sermons are the most important thing.
I prepare and deliver three messages, minimum each week, but I doubt if I asked people to give me a list of five messages I have preached this year that most people could maybe only list one or two.
On the other hand, everyone would be able to tell me how I lived, the spirit I had, and the impression my life had on them.
Our greatest sermon is the life we lead, rather than the words we deliver.
Jesus did not say, “In time you will bring the light,” nor did He say, “Someday you will bring the light.”
He said, “You are the light.”
It is not by things we say or deeds we do, but by the people we are that we can be the light of the world.
When Jesus said that we are the light of the world, what did He mean?
The meaning ids made clear in His illustration in verse 15.
2. An illustration.
In verse 15 Jesus said that a person does not put a candle under a basket, but on a candlestick, so it can give light to all in the house.
Christ said at least three things about the light the Christians life is to radiate.
- A light is to be seen.
The average house in Palestine was very dark with perhaps only one window.
A little lame would be lit so that people could see their way around the darkened house.
Once the lamp went out, it was not easy to rekindle it, there were no matches like today.
So the little lamp would be left burning hour after hour.
When the family left the house, for safety’s sake, they would take the lamp from its stand and put it under a earthen pot or bushel.
When they returned, they would put it back on the stand, since the primary purpose for the lamp was to be seen, not hidden.
So Jesus said that Christianity is to be seen.
Your Christianity should be perfectly visible to all.
No one should have to ask you, “Are you a Christian?”
The very life you live is a light to be seen.
B. A light is to guide.
As a plane approaches a landing strip, the pilot sees a line of lights that mark the path the plane must take.
So to the Christian’s life must make clear to others the way to Christ.
In other words, a Christian must be an example.
Our world needs guiding lights.
Your life and mine are to be that kind if light.
C. A light is to warn.
When a light is flashing at a railroad crossing, it is warning a train is approaching.
Sometimes it is a Christian’s duty to warn others.
If our warnings are given not in condemnation but in love, they will be effective.
Jesus has a disturbing habit of making perfectly clear what He expects us to do in regard to His teachings.
Such was the case here, where He made a pointed application of this lesson.
3. An application.
In verse 16 Jesus said, Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.
With this statement Jesus shifts our attention from the character of Christians to their conduct.
- A plea.
Verse 16 begins with a plea, “Let your light shine before men.”
This is an earnest plea that we live our lives so that others will be attracted to Christ.
But how are we to shine?
Here are four suggestions.
- We are to shine naturally.
Just as it is the nature of a bird to sing, it should be the nature of a Christian to shine before others.
2. We are to shine sacrificially.
Light is always costly.
Whenever we see a light we can assume something is being consumed.
Energy is being expended.
As a candle burns it gets shorter, if you have seen an oil lamp, the flame not only consumes the oil but also the wick.
When Jesus came as the Light of the World, His shining was at a great cost.
If we are to shine as lights of the world, we must consider ourselves expendable.
We must be willing to sacrifice a bit of ourselves each day we live.
3. We are to shine openly.
If we are to shine before others, we must shine openly.
We are never to be ashamed of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
4. We are to shine right where we are.
If I am not willing to shine right where I am, I will not shine at all.
I don’t know where you are today.
It may be in a conspicuous place, a place of high social position, or it may be in a place no one notices.
But where ever you are, you are to shine in that place.
You are not there by accident but by divine appointment.
And Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.”
B. A pattern.
In verse 16 Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
The word good means not only virtuous, but also beautiful and attractive.
There must never be a hint of hardness or austerity in the goodness of our lives.
Ours must be a goodness that attracts people to Christ.
There is a charm in Christian goodness that makes it an appealing thing to all who se it.
C. A purpose.
Jesus said we are to shine before others so they will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
Never is our shining meant to draw attention to ourselves.
The goodness that is conscious of itself and draws attention to itself is not the kind of goodness of which Jesus spoke.
Christians are never to think of what they have done or whether it has reflected favourably on them.
They must seek to draw the eyes of people not to themselves but to God.
I read a story of a Christian doctor in China who had built an efficient hospital through many years of hard work.
When the communist army came through they looted the hospital and left it in a shambles.
Many years of hard work was down the drain.
This was not an easy thing for him to forgive and forget.
But, undaunted, the Christian doctor followed the army and attended to its sick.
When the general of the army saw this, he asked, “What makes this doctor tend to the sick and wounded when they were the ones who destroyed his hospital?”
His wife, who was herself a Christian, replied, “It is his Christianity.”
The general then said, “The I must become a Christian too.”
The doctor was a major influence that led the general to become a Christian even when a strong anti Christian movement was sweeping his nation.
The Christian doctor lived as “The light of the world.”
And so can you and I.
God never asks us to be what He will not equip us to be.
We can be “The light of the world.”
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
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