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Summary: Next message on the Sermon on the Mount. This one describes being the light of the world.

Shining the Light of Truth

Matthew 5:14-16

September 5, 2004


The Sermon on the Mount is, in my mind, one of the most down to earth, practical portions of the Bible.

That’s not to say that the rest of the Bible is irrelevant, because that’s not the case.

But here there is not mystery. We go through the Sermon on the Mount, and it’s pretty clear what Jesus is talking about.

I think just about anyone can read the Sermon on the Mount and “get it.” I think that’s one of the reasons I like it so much.

Today we continue our look at this passage. We finished the Beatitudes a few weeks ago, then looked at the verse where Jesus called us the “salt of the earth.”

Today we pick it up there, in Matthew 5, verses 14-16, which are printed in your note-taking guide.

I would like it if all of us would read this aloud together, okay?

"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.”

Jesus is telling us here that we are not to be “closet Christians.” We’re not to be “secret saints.” We’re to be living breathing lights for Jesus Christ.

That’s easy to say, but what does that mean in the everyday grind of life, with its time clocks, bills, and deadlines and such?

Well, let’s talk about that. I want to leave you with some concepts that I think will be practical and doable, okay?

Now as with everything else involved in being a healthy, authentic follower of Jesus, this takes intentional effort on each of our parts.

So keep that in mind as we go through this. Let’s dig in, and look at the first concept and that is…

Don’t cover your light.

Duh! Right? Jesus just said that! But it bears repeating.

The light isn’t for us – it’s for those out there. Believers in Christ, followers of Christ, have the light. Others don’t.

And if we’re hoarding the light, then we’re not obeying Jesus.

It’s easy to come to church and talk about Jesus, sing to Him, act like we love Him, and whatever.

But folks, shining our light is WAY more than church! We should shine in church, but it’s not supposed to end at the door on our way to eat after the service.

It’s when we get out in the world Monday through Saturday that we find out if we really shine for Christ or not.

It’s when we have to make decisions regarding work habits, relationships with family members or co-workers, etc. that our light will shine for Christ, or if that flame is dimmed.

Don’t cover it up – let it go, which leads to the next concept I want to cover this morning, and that is to…

Shine the light brightly and courageously.

What I mean by that is that you need to be a positive example of a follower of Christ, bringing the truth of Christ to bear in your everyday living and thinking.

In these times, we find a lot of error being promoted in the name of political correctness, tolerance, etc. But truth is truth, regardless of who likes it or who doesn’t.

Our world says that a lot of things are just fine. However, the Bible shines the light on that error, exposing it for what it is – sin.

And we need people who are willing to bring truth to bear when faced with error. But let me give you three guidelines very quickly to help you in that.


1. Do so in a reasonable and reasoned manner.

We don’t need people screaming their indignation. We need people who can articulate positions in a reasoned and reasonable manner.

If all you can do is scream about something, you need to re-think your position about whatever it is you’re screaming about.

Write letters, converse, or whatever, but do it in ways that communicate that you are a thinking person.

Jesus said we are to love God with all our minds, as well as our heart, soul, and strength. He gave you a brain to use, so use it when attempting to shine the light of truth.


2. Offer a positive solution.

Anyone can complain, and I’m willing to go on record as saying that we have too many whiners in the world as it is, and that we have too many whiners in the Church of Jesus Christ as well.

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