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Jesus stressed the positive effect we can have on others when He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 RSV).

But if sin dims our testimony so that our “light” is no longer visible, some of those we might have influenced for Christ may drift on in spiritual darkness.


On a dark and stormy night, with waves piling up like mountains on Lake Erie, a boat rocked and plunged near the Cleveland harbor.

“Are we on course?” asked the captain, seeing only one beacon from the lighthouse.

“Quite sure, sir,” replied the officer at the helm.

“Where are the lower lights?”

“Gone out, sir.”

“Can we make the harbor?”

“We must, or perish!” came the reply.

With a steady hand and a stalwart heart, the officer headed the ship toward land.


But, in the darkness, he missed the channel and the vessel was dashed to pieces on the rocks.

Many lives were lost in a watery grave.

This incident moved Philip P. Bliss to write the familiar hymn, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning.”

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