Summary: We should not waste our light; it is to shine brightly for all to see! It is our duty to stand out, not for prominence sake but for the spreading of the gospel, for light into a dark world, for the glory of God!
KEEPING THE LIGHT SHINING
Isa. 9:2 (NIV)
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned."
The story is told of a lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline and who received his new supply of oil once a month to keep the light burning. Not being far from shore, he had frequent guests. One night a woman from the village begged some oil to keep her family warm. Another time a father asked for some to use in his lamp. Another needed some to lubricate a wheel. Since all the requests seemed legitimate, the lighthouse keeper tried to please everyone and granted them all. Toward the end of the month he noticed that the supply of oil was very low. Soon, it was gone, and the beacon light went out. That night several ships were wrecked and lives were lost. When the authorities investigated, the man was very repentant. To his excuses and pleading their reply was: "You were given the oil for one purpose-- to keep that light burning!"
We should not waste our light; it is to shine brightly for all to see! It is our duty to stand out, not for prominence sake but for the spreading of the gospel, for light into a dark world, for the glory of God!
The Nature of Darkness
Let’s begin by looking at the opposite of light-darkness. Quite simply, darkness is the opposite of light. If you walk into a room with the lights on, and you turn them off, then the room becomes dark. Darkness is where light isn’t. That being the case, spiritual darkness can be described as the lack of spiritual light.
The New Testament gives several clear examples of the effect of spiritual darkness in our lives. "Men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (Jn. 3:19). "…their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:21).
People would rather stay in the darkness of a broken relationship with God, rather than seek His light. That’s part of the sinful nature that lives in us. Its rebellious attitude says, "I would rather walk the way that I want, rather than the way God wants." Darkness conceals the reality of our standing before God. 90% of all violent crimes happen after sundown. Why? Because darkness conceals what people are doing. It works no different in spiritual darkness. Light reveals. The Bible tells us that God has a plan for each of us to walk. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Ps. 139:16).
God’s plan is like a light, showing us where to head. But darkness allows them to remain in spiritual denial. The truth of God, God’s light, shows them what they are really like. "… but the way of the wicked is like deep darkness" (Prov. 4:19).
The Nature of Light
We defined darkness as the absence of light. But light is a little different. Just the smallest amount of light dispels the greatest amount of darkness. Light breaks darkness. Spiritual light breaks spiritual darkness. The New Testament clearly portrays Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. Jesus is the light that has dawned on those walking in the land of the shadow of death. Jesus recognized this fulfillment: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). John 1:9 tells us that Jesus’ light is available to everyone. "… the true light that give light to every man was coming into the world.”
Keeping the light burning on you is going to change you. It will change your priorities (Mat. 5:14). It will change your behavior (Eph. 5:18). And it will change your standing before God (1 Pet. 2:9).
The Light Must Keep in Shining
The proper motive to influence us is not simply that we may be seen, but that our heavenly Father may be glorified. Our light should be a light that is reflected from Jesus, back to Jesus. People need to know that we do what we do for the glory of God! If the last point has not added, then it would seem that we are to be self-serving, self-glorifying, but our works are not to our own credit, but for God. So lets keep our light burning!