Believers: Called to be “Light”

By Jim Schneider, Executive Director, VCY America

In our present day there is great boasting of the many advances in our society. We brag of our technical
innovations, our military prowess and our ever-expanding knowledge. But, despite this age of
“enlightenment” and knowledge increasing at faster rates than ever before, it does not take long to
observe we live in a very dark and depraved world. Mankind continuously does “that which is right in
his own eyes.”
(Judges 17:6)

In the February 2020 issue of Wisconsin Christian News, I provided a challenge entitled, “Believers:
Called to be ‘Salt.’”
This article presented 11 different characteristics of salt with application to the
Christian life. I’d encourage you to review that article in connection with this column. It is important
for us to realize that our responsibility does not end with being salt; believers are also called to be light.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle,
and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let
your light so shine before men, that thy may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in
(Matthew 5:14-16)

When it is completely dark, it becomes easy to see light. Years ago, I visited Mammoth Cave in
Kentucky. At one point the guide turned out all the lights and struck a single match. Everyone in that
dark cave could see that light from the single match. I have also sat on the shore of a lake seeing the
light of a far distant campfire illuminate the area. It is quite true, “the darker the night, the brighter the
light shines.” As dark as our culture is, consider these questions: Can your light be seen? Can others
see how you stand out in the world?

We are prone to compromise with our culture; we just want to blend in and be a part. Certainly, we do
not want to create waves or be viewed as being odd or intolerant. This attitude falls far short of I John
1:5, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” We are exhorted to “Be ye therefore followers of
God, as dear children;”
(Ephesians 5:1)

Indeed, we must sense the keen responsibility of the believer, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but
now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
(Ephesians 5:8)

Consider these five characteristics of light:

1. Light penetrates. It pierces through the darkness. As we share the Gospel of Christ, it cuts
through the darkness of this world. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness,
we lie, and do not the truth: 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 sin.”
(I John 1:6-7) The light of
every believer ought to penetrate this very dark world.

2. Light distributes. Sadly, many will try and suppress their light. The Matthew passage speaks of the
absurdity of lighting a candle and then hiding it under a bushel. The purpose of lighting a candle is to
disperse the light.

We distribute light with our vocal witness, through action and through acts of caring. We do it through
passing out a gospel tract. We do it through our stewardship. We do it through bowing our head in public places giving thanks for our food. Are you distributing your light? How defeating it is to have
light and to walk around with a bushel over it.

Paul and Barnabas rightly understood, “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to
be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 13:47)

3. Light increases visibility. The passage reminds us that men will “see your good works and glorify
your Father which is in heaven.”
This present generation is so consumed with self. “I” will do what
makes “me” happy. “I” just need some “me” time. “I” do not feel like doing such and so. The
spreading of light is not increasing our visibility, but it is pointing people to God – it is glorifying Him.
It is not about us; it is about Him.

4. Light impacts our focus. Just like a spotlight follows the action, our life must be a shining example
of Christ. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of
(Ephesians 5:8) We must be an example pointing others to Christ. It is imperative we put away
those things that are a distraction to letting your light shine. “That ye may be blameless and harmless,
the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as
lights in the world;”
(Philippians 2:15)

5. Light reveals. “If our works are motivated by love and empowered by the Spirit, they will point
others to God.” (Warren Wiersbe) It is more than what we say; it’s what we do. Those walking in
darkness do not always appreciate the light because it reveals the evilness of the heart. “And men loved
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
(John 3:19)

Notice where the light is put? It is put on a lamp stand or candlestick – and it gives light to all in the
house. If our light is going to shine at all, it must begin first at home.

Further, we must share the light of the Gospel to this lost world.

Salt and light go together and reinforce each other. We must have both. It impacts both character and
conduct. Salt and light must make contact if they are to do any good. The passage does not state we
“should be” salt and light; rather we “are” salt and light.

We are here for such a time as this. We cannot afford to squander our stewardship as believers. May
we be both salt and light!

(Portions of this article were based on information from “Heirs of the King” by Warren Wiersbe.)

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