What the world needs most right now is not more preachers, churches, or Christians preaching judgment and hell. No. What the world really needs is the light. We need Christians who are not afraid to shine brightly in the darkest of places. Christians who aren’t ashamed to be different – to stand out.
You see, the world has a problem. And that problem goes beyond violence, crime, and hatred. The world has a darkness problem. We’ve gone so far into the dark that we can’t see what we’re doing or where we’re going. The right thing to do has become the wrong thing to do and vise versa.
The truth is that when you are walking in darkness, you can’t see. You are literally blind to any form of truth.
So what’s the cure for darkness? You guessed it – light.
As a believer, you don’t just have the light. You are the light! I heard a preacher once say that the children’s song “This Little Light of Mine” has it all wrong. Our lights aren’t supposed to be little. The Bible describes us as a bright city on a hill. We are a beacon or a lighthouse to those who are lost in darkness. A lighthouse does not shine dimly, rather it shines as brightly as possible.
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What the world needs most is for God’s light to shine brightly through us.
Light helps us to see clearly. It brings joy and removes fear.
Light guides our paths and draws attention to the areas in our lives where we need to change.
Jesus is the light, and this world clearly needs Jesus.
So how do we light up our dark world?
We allow the light of Christ to shine through us at full capacity.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, 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 (NASB)
I will be the first to admit that I’ve been guilty of dimming the light. It can be hard to shine brightly when everyone around you seems to be content in their darkness.
When your co-workers talk badly about your boss, do you jump in with your own complaining?
When your kids are having a particularly rough day, do you show them patience or do you lose your cool?
Do you justify your little white lies by claiming to have good intentions?
As believers, we aren’t called to be dimly lit candles. Rather, we are called to be a brightly lit city on a hill.
The Bible tells us that a life led by the Holy Spirit will produce godly fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Yet, I’m the first one to be stressed out about tough circumstances or finances (which is a lack of peace). I lose my cool (lack of self-control) when someone irritates me (lack of patience) giving way to voicing my frustration to others (lack of both kindness and goodness). Do you see my point? How is the world supposed to see the light of Christ in me when I’m constantly dimming it?
Now I know that God is still working in all of our lives. Perfection certainly hasn’t come yet. But I do think that as believers we have been justifying these behaviors for too long. We’ve been justifying our gossip, lying, lack of kindness, etc. by saying that we are still “works in progress.” And while it’s true that God is still at work in our lives, my response would be to ask if we really are progressing and growing or if we are simply justifying our hypocrisy with no intention to change our ways.
Christians today are known for our hatred. We are known for being hypocrites. It’s time to shine brightly for the world to see! It’s time to live in such a way that the Gospel is attractive again. The truth is that if our lives were truly marked by the fruit of the Spirit, everyone would want what we had because it would be so contrary to the stress, hate, and fear of this world.
What our dark and fear-driven world needs today, is the light and hope of Jesus Christ.
*Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations taken from the NASB.