Among Whom You Shine

Have you ever been in total darkness?  Teresa and I have visited Ruby Falls in Chattanooga a couple of times.  We took an elevator deep into Lookout Mountain and then walked ¼ mile back into the cave to see these beautiful underground water falls.  The trip always includes the lights being turned out.  Now this is total darkness.  It doesn’t matter how long you are there and how much your eyes try to adjust to the darkness, there is nothing to see.

Then after a few moments someone lights a small light.  Everyone’s attention is drawn to the light.  No one continues to look around at the darkness.  The light dispels the darkness.  The darkness doesn’t overcome the light.  The light overcomes the darkness.

Although Martin Luther King was not the first to coin the phrase, he once noted that darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

It is especially true spiritually.  Light dispels the darkness!

There are more than 100 instances in the Bible where light represents good.  Darkness always represents evil.  John mentioned the word light more than any other New Testament writer. A survey of the following verses is but a sample: John 1:4, 3:19; 8:12; 1 John 1:7

In Matthew 5:14-16, we find:

You are the light of the world.

Let your light so shine before men,

That they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Our lives and our works are the lights that must shine forth in a dark world.  And we must never forget the purpose we serve, that is to glorify our GOD in heaven!

There is an interesting verse in Philippians 2:15 where a reference is made that we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  I recall a paraphrase of this that referred to this crooked and perverse generation as a bunch of crooks and perverts.

But finish reading the verse.  What is our responsibility in this darkness?  We are to shine as lights in the world.

If we analyze the phrase “You shine as lights in the world” in the Greek language there are several important lessons for us.  First we note the phrase is present, imperative, and active in the Greek text.  So what does that mean?  The tense is present which means it is happening now, it is on-going.  The imperative mood implies this is not a suggestion.  It is a command!  And finally, the active voice means it is something we as individuals must do personally.  It is not done for us.

So I (personally) am commanded (!) to shine my light (continually) in this darkened world in order to glorify my GOD.

Light dispels darkness.  I am told that in ideal conditions the human eye can see a candle on a dark night from 30 miles away.   The power of light to dispel darkness is amazing.  What a great influence such a small light can have.

Well my actions are so small and insignificant, they can’t make any difference in this dark and hostile world.  Or can they? Oh yes, a small light can have a great effect on casting out the darkness.

Yes we live in a world of darkness.  Are we shining our light for the world to see?

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