LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
‘And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.’ (John 1:5) NKJV.
The first thing God Almighty spoke into existence was light. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light (Genesis 1:3) NKJV. The prominence of light in creation cannot be overemphasized. God understood the need for creation to be illuminated hence His speaking light into creation. Light is so powerful that the scripture makes it clear that darkness could and cannot comprehend it. That means darkness cannot fathom the mystery of light.
Darkness gives way for light. God is described as dwelling in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16). The scripture makes it clear also that Jesus is the light of the world; His life gave light to every man (John 1:4). This makes it clear that we mortal men are products of the light of Christ, that means we are beings of light. And as those who have Christ, we are to display this light in our lives and to other people.
For better understanding of the topic in question, we will consider forms of light.
FORMS OF LIGHT
We will categorize light into spiritual, physical, and psychological.
- SPIRITUAL LIGHT
As seen in the scriptural verse, the light spoken of is spiritual. And when we refer to spiritual, we are pointing out that which originates from the Supreme Father of lights (James 1:17). The light that appeared while God was creating the world I believe so well emanated from God. That is spiritual light. God who is light Himself shines upon every man and the life he breathed into us is the light that is functional in us but this light became corrupted because of sin. But upon receiving Christ, we were enlightened and we became participants of the light of Christ as seen in John 1:4.
It is this light of Christ in us that causes us to become lights in the world (Matthew 5: 14-16). Jesus said we should let our light shine that men may see our good works. This makes it clear that the exhibiting of good works makes us light. Light is symbolized as good works in opposition to evil works which are regarded as darkness. Jesus is the very light of the world that came to do away with darkness and we are co lights with Him. He came to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death… (Luke 1:79) NKJV.
Again the Bible says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). We are light in the Lord. However, we need to bear in mind that the prince of darkness portrays himself as an angel of light, he is not the true light; Jesus is the true light that gives light to every man coming into the world (2 Corinthians 11:14; John1:9). And many are deceived by this false angel of light.
There are certain religious sects that believe they are on the path of enlightenment; cults and movements like Illuminati, Eckankar and so on, but they have been deceived by the false light, Lucifer. Only if they come to the true light, Jesus will the veil of darkness be taken off. Such ones in those false religious movements have been blinded by the god of this age, Lucifer so that they don’t believe in the true light; lest the LIGHT of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them (2 Cor. 4:3).
- PHYSICAL LIGHT
The basis for physical light is the spiritual light that shone from God. The remarkably simple definition of physical light is the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible. Light is electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the human eye. The main source of light on the earth is the sun. Sunlight provides the energy that green plants use to create sugars mostly in the form of starches, which releases energy into the living things that digest them. Historically, another important source of light for humans has been fire, from ancient campfires to modern kerosene lamps.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL LIGHT
Psychology has to do with the mind. Psychology is coined from the Greek word “Psuche” which means the mind. And in this regard, this form of light actually points to knowledge, understanding or enlightenment gained from various sources. So when we say someone should shed light on a matter, we are actually saying the person should make us understand. Psychological light is knowledge gained by the mind of the soul. Even the Bible with regards to this form of light makes it clear that knowledge is gained by the mind.
For example, in Ephesians 1:17-19, we see the prayer of Paul in verse 18, where he prays that the eyes of our UNDERSTANDING be enlightened. Another word that can replace UNDERSTANDING is MIND. And to buttress this point, in Luke 24:45 we see how that Jesus opened the “understanding” (Mind) of His disciples that they may comprehend the scriptures. This makes it clear that even the knowledge of spiritual things comes first through the mind. Light or knowledge is gained through the mind.
Having laid a foundation for the understanding of the origin of light and how it relates to us, it is important that we delve into how we can affect positively the world around us as Jesus who is the true light of the world did. Light is the or should be the nature of believers in Christ. We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10) and Jesus said the good works we do are significant of light (Matthew 5:14-16). In Philippians 2:15 NKJV, we see the following, “that you may be become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you should shine as LIGHTS in the world.”
We are enjoined to SHINE AS LIGHTS in this perverse generation. And this will lead us into why and how we should shine our lights.
WHY SHOULD WE SHINE AS LIGHTS?
As seen in Philippians 2:15, we live in a crooked and perverse generation, so it is essential that we shine as lights. We should shine our lights for the following reasons:
- We should shine our lights or shine as lights because God our Father is light and He is the Father of lights. In Him is no darkness at all (1 Timothy 6:16; James 3:17). Jesus who is the image of God and God is the light of the world as we are to follow in His footsteps (1 Peter 2:6).
- We should shine as lights because our destiny is to be lights in this world (Matthew 5:14-16). Light is who we are. We are to shine as lights to dark areas which are areas dominated by the evil spirits so we can dispel them.
- We should shine as lights because the prince of darkness who is satan has dominated the mountains of influence; therefore we should shine our lights in sectors of the society to get rid of his influence in the world.
- We shine our lights to draw sinners to God. When men see our good works, they can be drawn to Jesus.
- We should shine as lights because we live in a perverse generation. As we shine as lights, we can turn the evil generation to Christ.
- We should shine as lights because we are partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light (Colossians 1:12).
- We should shine as lights because we are the church, the body of Christ and the church is a lampstand bearing lit lamps to the dark age.
HOW DO WE SHINE AS LIGHTS?
- We shine our lights by the good works we do. We are instructed to shine as lights that men may see our good works. The good works we do are to be the same as Jesus Christ did. We are to show compassion to the sick, needy, lost, helpless, backsliders and so on.
Acts 10:38 NKJV states thus, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing GOOD and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Jesus went about doing good. We are to do same.
- We can shine as light by receiving the power of the Holy Ghost like Jesus did so we can do the food works He did.
- We shine as lights by being obedient to the dictates of God. When we love holy lives with the help of the Holy Spirit we shine as lights for the Bible makes it clear that we are living epistles. We are the scriptures people read.
- Lastly, we shine a lights by preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14).