Light has a tremendous effect on people. When we encounter darkness, our instinct is to turn on the light. The tiny flicker of a flame is mightier than centuries of darkness in a cave. Light doesn’t just illuminate, it also brings life.
As a Christian, we’re called to be the salt and light of the world. Therefore, we’re at our best when we’re sharing our light in the dark. In a brightly lit room, a flashlight has little to no impact. However, the same flashlight used in the dark brings illumination and much needed guidance. Like the moon, we don’t have any light of our own but when we reflect the Light of Jesus, we cast a long shadow of hope in the lives of people surrounded by darkness.
Recently, I was on a mission trip to China. The people there have lived under oppressive communist rules for decades. We went to China to bring the Light of the Gospel to China’s 1.3 billion people. Our team had daily activities like visiting underground churches to encourage the persecuted believers. We delivered Bibles to those who didn’t have any. We touched, held, and played with disabled orphan children who have no hope of a bright future. It was great to shine our light in dark situations.
When we were getting ready to leave our hotel for the airport, I told our driver to give me a couple of minutes. Everyone thought I had forgotten something in the hotel. Instead, I ran to one of the restaurants where we ate quite regularly. It was earlier than lunch time so the restaurant workers were quite surprised to see me. I called for the owner of the restaurant, the cook, and the waitresses. They were getting nervous. I told them that we were Christians. I was there to tell them how grateful our team was for their hospitality and kindness. I thanked each and every person, shook their hands, and hugged the young people. They almost had tears in their eyes. Romans 2:4 says that the “Goodness of God leads people to repentance.” We were able to shine our light for Jesus and that illuminated their lives a little brighter.
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” This is where many Christians are not bearing much fruit in producing new converts. We think only the pastor or the clergy has the right or the authority to preach Christ to others. Yes, we may have a pulpit to share the Good News with the audience. However, Christians in marketplace have much more power, authority, and influence on people than any minister on the church pulpit.
So how can we shine our light effectively? Most of the time, people pay closer attention to our actions than our words. When we are at work and everybody is bad-mouthing the company, we can shine our light by being grateful for the job we have. When a fellow employee is spreading false rumors about us, we can be the light by not retaliating. When the commissions check that you worked so hard for goes to another sales person, we can shine our light by taking the high road and ask God to pay us back. At home, when things are stressed and everybody is on the edge, we can shine our light by going with the flow and overlooking an offense. We can certainly go to the nations of the world and preach Jesus with our words but our actions, wherever we are, will most likely produce more of a result than our words.
Jesus was the ultimate preacher of the Gospel. He spoke to thousands. People came from all over the place to hear Him teach. However, the most effective sermon He ever preached was not with His words but by laying down His life. We too have the same capacity to shine our light when we reach out to the people God placed in our lives. When we’re living a Godly life at home, we’re shining our light for Jesus. When you have integrity and honesty in your business, you’re being a bright light. When you empower Build International Ministries to take the Gospel to the nations, you’re being the light of the world. When we love our enemies and forgive them, we’re shining our light. Friend, let us be effective, powerful, and influential Christians by shining our light in dark. When we reflect Jesus with our lives, multitudes will come to know Him. Shine your light and remember it works best in the dark!
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NAS).
Let’s Change the World: www.buildinternational.org
Invite Sandy Anderson to Speak: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org