Summary: This sermon explores our responsibility to the world as little lights shining for Jesus Christ.
Let Your Light Shine
Text: Matthew 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 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. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Neighbor: IS YOUR LIGHT SHINING FOR JESUS
In the realm of gospel music, there is a smorgasbord of songs that refer to the shining of light. From our very youth, we are taught to sing “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine; let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” Am I right about it? And when we got a little bit older, we graduated into singing a new song: “Let your light shine, shine, shine; there may be someone down in the valley trying to get home.” We went from just letting our light shine, to letting it shine so someone could seeit and be helped by it. Oh I wish I had some help up in here. And then even that song stopped working for us. We began to get up in years, and we couldn’t sing those fast songs like we used to do, so we had to adopt another song. We started singing “Shine On Me, I Wonder If the Lighthouse Will Shine On Me.” At this point we are no longer concerned about helping someone else find their way, but we start focusing more on trying to make it on our own to where we have to go. Can I get a witness?
These various songs all focus on one central theme, and that is that we as Christian, as followers of Jesus Christ have a responsibility to the world to let our light shine.
Paul tells us in Philippians 2:15, that even in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, we should be shining as the lights in the world. But is the light of the church shining right now?
You see, there used to be a time back in the day when you could always see the light shining from the church, or from the folk who were in the church. Can I get a witness?
Church folk were always doing something positive in the community. If someone needed food or clothing, the church would get together and make sure that they had it. If someone needed a roof over their head, if the church couldn’t find them a home to live in, it would give them some blankets and let them sleep right in the church until a place could be found. If someone came up short on the money they needed to pay their bills, the church would be right there to help them. If there was a need for positive social or political action, the church was right on the frontline of the battlefield, putting up a good fight for the Lord. They supported the community and collectively let their lights shine. They were more than just talk back then. They let their works speak for them.
It was because of their good works, because of their good fruit, that people came to church. People would pack the church every Sunday that its doors were open. People would pack the church every night of revival all through the week. People would pack the church for Bible Study and prayer meeting. And if Bible Study was held at someone’s house instead of at the church, you can believe that there would be standing room only. Wherever and whenever church was going on, people were going to be there. Can I get a witness?
People didn’t mind coming to the church because they knew that the church had something to offer. They knew that the church was doing something in the community. They knew that the members of the church were living right and doing right, and loving one another unconditionally. They were letting their light shine and you could see Jesus shining in their light.
But, something happened. People in the church stopped letting their light shine. People stopped loving like they used to love. People stopped depending on one another like they used to depend on one another. People stopped caring about, checking on, and helping brothers and sisters in the community. The church became nothing but a club because it started keeping to itself and looking after it’s own members. It stopped going out into all of the world to spread the gospel and to do good works unto every living soul.
And sadly enough, all of the problems didn’t come from the pews. Even the pulpit became corrupted. Even today, preachers are being caught stealing money from the church. Too many preachers are being caught sleeping with somebody else’s wife or somebody else’s husband. And yes I said somebody else’s husband. But no I’m not talking about woman preachers. I’m talking about these dirty so-called preachers who are living lives that are an abomination before the Lord. For the Bible tells me over in 1 Kings 14:24 that sodomy or homosexuality is an abomination.