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. (Matthew 5:13-16 NIV)
You cannot make yourself the light of the world. Jesus says you are the light of the world because of your relationship with him. “The God who said, ‘Out of darkness the light shall shine!’ is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God's glory shining in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 TEV).
God speaks the light of Jesus into our hearts, and his light shines so powerfully through us that we are like stars in the universe that point the whole human race toward real life (Philippians 2:15-16).
This is a portrait of discipleship. Jesus, who is the light of the world, re-creates us into the light of the world. We are light, not because of anything in ourselves, but because we are in a supernatural union with the light of the world. He calls us to follow after him, and he says, “Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness” (John 8:12 TEV).
Our focus must always be on the light, humbly trusting Jesus to reveal the light through us. Prayerfully remember --
- My influence and visibility is a result of who lives in me, not because of what I do. It is God who puts me in a place of influence and visibility.
- I am merely a steward of my influence and visibility, so it is important I get out of the way and let Jesus work through me.
- Only God can measure the significance of my influence and visibility. I may influence one person who will then influence the world. My focus is on following Jesus wherever he leads.
Jon Walker is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship' managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotionals. © 2011 Jon Walker. Used by permission.
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