Summary: A message encouraging us to not just "rail against the darkness" but to be active in bringing the light of God’s Word to society.

Shine the Light

Matthew 5:14-16

October 27, 2002


You’ve probably noticed that the days are getting shorter.

Actually, the days are still the same length. They are 24 hours long, just like they’ve always been.

But the darkness is getting longer. Night falls earlier, and the light comes later in the morning.

Well, our society is a bit like that, isn’t it? It seems to be getting darker all the time. Sin is rampant, and is being lauded as good.

ISA 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil, who put darkness for light

and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

So what do we do about it?

We can rail against the darkness, complaining about it, or we can do something about it.

Please turn with me in your Bibles to

Matthew 5:14-16 (page 683)

MT 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

My intention today is to help us be people who do more than rail and complain, but rather do something about it. I hope you will be blessed, and more than that I hope that the Holy Spirit will quicken your heart and mind to helping the light of God go out into our world.

In our effort to do that, I want to look at what does light do, where does it come from, and how do we shine it.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

I. What Does Light Do?

A. Gets rid of darkness.

This is pretty obvious, right? When we turn on a light, or shine a flashlight, the darkness goes away.

The point here is that darkness and light cannot exist together. They are mutually exclusively.

Are there still shadows? Only where something is blocking the light from something. But by definition, light and darkness cannot be together.

The Bible says in 2 Cor. 6: what fellowship can light have with darkness?

This is talking about more than physical light and darkness. The apostle Paul is talking about the darkness that resides apart from the things of God.

God and His Word are light that can get rid of darkness and confusion. The Word is truth, and lights the way in the darkness.

One of my favorite things in the whole world to do is tell people about Jesus, and especially when I have the chance to answer questions people have had about God, or to gently correct misconceptions a person holds about God or themselves.

Sometimes I will be visiting with somebody and you will just see the light come on in their mind and heart, and it shows on their faces.

I’ve shared this before, but one of the greatest examples of that came when I was sharing with a young lady about how she can go to heaven.

I had told here all this before, but this time, as we were talking, she just stopped and said, “You mean I don’t have to be perfect to receive Jesus as my Savior?”

I explained that no one can be perfect, and that Jesus does the cleaning.

Pow! She understood, and gave her heart to Christ shortly after that.

It takes a while sometimes, and a lot of the effort is just allowing God to chip away at people’s understanding by using His Word.

The other day I had the opportunity to tell a lady at my favorite convenience store about Jesus and going to heaven.

She had a question about her sister, and knowing I was a minister, felt free to ask.

She mentioned her belief that everybody goes to heaven regardless, and so I just shared a couple verses. I didn’t have time to go into a full-blown gospel presentation, because she was at work.

So I am praying that God will use those few words of light to help chip away at her misconceptions, and that later I will have the chance to give her a more full picture of how to get to heaven.

The idea is that the light of truth will get rid of the darkness of error in her life.

The next thing light does is that it…

B. Reveals what is hidden.

When you go into a room to look for something, what is one of the first things you do? You turn on a light.

Why? Because the light will hopefully reveal what is hidden in the dark.

Sometimes you have to get pretty aggressive with the light – grabbing a flashlight and poking around under the bed or in a closet where the other light is not reaching.

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