“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.“
The last part of the passage, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,” is a verse that my kids memorized from Susan Hunt’s ABC Bible Verse book for children. At the time I thought it was a great verse to help me as a mom modify my children’s behavior or deeds, whether in the home, school, or neighborhood. I didn’t realize that the verse started with, “In the same way.” These words are important! “In the same way,” refers to the lamp that is put on a stand to give light to everyone in the house. But who is the source of our light? What is the purpose of our light? In my growth as a Christian, I am now more focused on knowing the source of our light: God, and on praising him, than simply on behavior modification.
God is light and 2 Corinthians 4:6 tells us “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” God, by His grace, has given us illumination to see the sacrifice of Jesus as the atonement of our sins and to grant us eternal life.
It occurred to me that we are a kind of lamp too. We have small lamps in our den and they give off adequate light. Just recently, we removed the shades to dust off a fine, imperceptible layer of dust, and then the light was so much brighter! My “shade” of sin: pride, envy, and selfishness, dims the light of Christ in my family, relationships, and the world. I pray that as I confess my sins and God cleans my lampshade, that my light will shine even more brightly in order to bring praise to our Father in heaven.
Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.