Friday, September 29, 2023

A Reflected Light

 Friday, September 29, 2023

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 5:14-16

People are watching you - what do they see? What they see has an influence on them. And it should. You see, Jesus told us that we would have an influence in this world, yet so many of us Christians are no different than the world. We all need the light of Jesus in our lives to flood the darkness of sin, fear, insecurity, and more.   

It is a Reflected Light 
Christ was light by His own nature and brilliance.  One of the greatest illustrations on this point that I have heard was often used by Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse. He used to say that when Christ was in the world He was a bit like the sun which is here by day and gone at night. But when the sun goes down the moon comes up, and the moon is a picture of the Church — of Christians. It shines, but it does not shine by its own light. It shines only because it reflects the light of the SON. 

Jesus said of Himself in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world." But when He was thinking of the fact that one day He would be taken out of the world He said, "You are the light of the world."  And that is why the world is in such darkness today. At times the Church is a full moon, in the midst of revival and at other times the Church is a new moon and you can barely see it. But whether it is a full moon or a new moon or only a waxing or a waning quarter it glows because of the sun. In the same way, you and I can show forth light only if we reflect the real light of the Lord Jesus - the son.  We have no light but that which we possess and reflect from Him.  

What You Feel Within…You Give Without
When I was a young girl, I was in a ballet class taught by an older German woman named Minta Boyce.  If there is one thing I remember that Mrs. Minta Boyce taught me it is that whatever you have inside comes out.  She always said “What you feel within, you give without”.  I can still hear her voice and it is true.  If we are angry, bitter, hateful, ungracious or any other array of negative feelings, we simply have a hard time hiding it.  We are human but sometimes we have to overcome.  That is our decision when we decide to be a Christian – to overcome through the power of Christ.  When we have “un-Christian” feelings, we need to take them to the cross and ask His help so we can overcome because the world will notice and they will be happy and quick to point a finger at a Christian who is acting “unchristian”.  I don’t believe in living a life where you are always pretending to be perfect.  I believe in authentic Christianity where we make mistakes and with the grace, mercy, and light of Jesus we can overcome and spread His light to the rest of the world.

Garbage In…Garbage Out
As Christians we also need to be careful with the “stuff” we let into our hearts and heads.  We "shine" whatever we reflect or stand before.  If the wisdom of men is what we receive then that is what we will reflect. The Christian will be as effective in shining as he is in maintaining his purity and cleanliness before God.  As a dirty mirror dulls any reflection, so will our sin dull our light before men. Our brilliance is not dependent on our knowledge, but our purity.  Fill your heart and head with the light of Christ so that you “shine” His love through your reflection.

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