Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Let’s consider three properties of light:
Light eliminates darkness.
Can we all agree that when a light switch is turned on, darkness is eliminated or transformed? Even in the case of a room where you walk in, turn on a switch and some of the bulbs in the light overhead are burned out, darkness yields to light. Even if the room only becomes dimly light, there is light. Darkness has to yield to or give way to the light. Light dispels darkness as Darkness has to submit to light. It has to. There is no choice.
In that sense, darkness and light aren’t equals in that they are exact opposites because light can overtake darkness, but darkness cannot overtake a light as long as one is shining.
Think with me about the fact that Jesus calls US the light. What does that mean? It means He has called us to eliminate darkness. That is, by virtue of our relationship with Jesus, the True Light, we have the properties or qualities needed to eliminate darkness as long as we are shining. The greater the number of us who are willing to shine our light, the more forcefully the light overtakes the darkness. Is anyone tracking with me this morning? I said, the greater number of us who are willing to share our light, the more forcefully the light will overtake the darkness.
I think it is time the church understands that the darkness with which we are faced isn’t simply ignorance or indifference to the things of God, but this pervasive and twisted darkness is the result of a highly strategic and sophisticated attack on the church of the living God by the devil and the forces of hell.
It is time that we truly moved from simply the saved ones of God to the army of God that is on the move to light up this world with the Gospel of Jesus and to dispel the darkness.
Light exposes what is hidden by the darkness.
Do you know how hard it is in this age of tolerance and political correctness to convince anyone that anything they are committed to or are engaged in is harmful to them or is wrong? In many cases, we might as well be Charlie Brown’s teacher (wah-wah-wah-wah-wah) If we are trying to just use words or arguments with many in today’s culture, it doesn’t work. They aren’t listening. Why aren’t they listening? I cannot give anything but my opinion. They aren’t listening because we live in a day and time when no one wants to be wrong or admit they are wrong. “I was wrong.” “I see now that I am wrong.” How long has it been since you have actually heard someone use those words? People don’t want to admit they are doing anything wrong.
In so many cases, people aren’t listening, but THEY ARE WATCHING. That is what Jesus says we are to let our lights so shine before men that people will SEE our good deeds and glorify our Father in Heaven. When people see us shining consistently and faithfully, not just a flicker here and a flicker there, but a constant and steady blaze for the Kingdom, they will take note. Our constant flame for Christ in their lives will begin to reveal to them that something isn’t right. Darkness has to react to the light. I said I would give you a Scripture about how our light will expose what is wrong with the world. Here it is.
Ephesians 5:11-14-Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.
We need to shine our light not only because we want darkness to flee, but we want people to see for themselves what the darkness has been trying to cover.
Light illuminates the way out of darkness.
Exit lights are always clearly marked with light? Why? Because people need a way out in a moment of crisis, right? People need to see a way out when there is distress. Jesus called Himself the Light of the World, and He also said of Himself that He was the Way—the Way to God, the way to Heaven. His life blazed with the glory of God. It was clear that those who followed Him had a different experience with God or what they knew to be religion than those who didn’t. Even to those who couldn’t understand it all, it was obvious that Christ’s followers knew and experienced something special.
Jesus knows the way out of here. He has already taken His journey. Beyond death’s doorway is eternity for every person, but it isn’t eternity in Heaven for every person. Only those who walk in the light, as he is in the light, are purified from their sin (I John 1:7) and only those who are purified from their sin will join Jesus in Heaven forever. As we follow Jesus and shine His light, others will see the path out of a life of sin and into a life of peace with God forever. The greatest gift you can give to anyone is to light their pathway to God.
And Jesus said, “Let there be light.”