In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5.16). It is the responsibility of every Christian to shine the light of Christ in this world of darkness. If people in the world are going to see the light and come to Christ it will be through His followers. People of the world do not lead other people of the world to Christ! Like the city set on a hill our light for Christ cannot be hidden. Like the light of the lamp on its stand our light must shine to all who are in the house. Therefore, as followers of Christ our goal for the New Year should be “Let your light shine in 2009!”
Decisions, decisions, decisions! We make so many decisions on a daily basis! We decide what time we will get up, when we shower, what and when we eat, what we wear, where we go, what kind of day we will have, whether or not we will be kind to others, how we will perform the smallest of tasks, among a multitude of other things. Some decisions we make well in advance (where we will go on vacation this year); others we make with little thought (adding salt to our food); still others we make on the spur of the moment (taking an alternate route to avoid traffic).
Being a Christian, a follower of Christ, is a decision that we make as well. It is not, however, a decision that is to be made in a hasty or thoughtless manner. Jesus, Himself, said that we should count the cost before making the decision to follow Him (Luke 14.25ff). Since baptism is the point at which we come into Christ (Galatians 3.27), receive forgiveness for our sins (Acts 2.38), and are added to His church (Acts 2.47); it is also the point at which our decision to become a Christian, to follow Christ, and to let our light shine is made. That means that whatever one does as a Christian is based on his decision to live for Christ that he made when he was baptized into Christ.
We must also realize that we make decisions daily concerning various ways in which we live our lives for Christ and honor the decision we made at baptism. Since our subject under consideration is found in Matthew 5.16, and since we are talking about decision-making, the following suggestions are offered as ways that each of us can “let our lights shine in 2009”…
⇒Decide to draw closer to God through personal study of His Word and increased prayer life.
⇒Decide to joyfully participate in every worship service and activity of the church.
⇒Decide to contribute to the unity of the congregation and peaceful progress of the church by encouraging others and solving problems before they fester.
⇒Decide to faithfully support the work here with an increased regular contribution as God has blessed you.
⇒Decide to show your loving care as you have opportunity to do so to those in the church and to those in the community who have needs that you can help meet.
⇒Decide to have the courage to talk to others about the blessings that they, too, can enjoy in Christ.
⇒Decide to live your life the way God wants you to live it without letting the world influence you to do things differently.
⇒Decide to always speak well of your brothers and sisters in Christ and give them the benefit of the doubt.
⇒Decide to let the Cross be the center of your life and bear your own cross as you follow Jesus.
Remember: Let your light shine in 2009!
- Kevin Williams preaches for the Walnut Grove church of Christ in Benton KY. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org