Light of the World
For years I’ve tried to start my day with a “quiet time” where I can read, reflect and pray. In all honesty, my efforts in this area have been sporadic at best. Nevertheless, I’ve persisted and frequently experiment with different approaches to this discipline. My tactics have ranged from reading through the Bible, journaling, and embracing daily devotionals, with Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest being my all-time favorite.
For several months now I’ve been using the First 15 Devotional app which I’ve downloaded to my phone and tablet. As the name suggests, in 15 minutes, the app delivers content which includes a five-minute devotional, five minutes of guided prayer and five minutes of praise music.
Sometimes this fifteen-minute exercise has minimal impact on me, but on other occasions, the message hits home with an observation on a particular struggle I might be dealing with or an encouragement that I need to hear. The latter occurred earlier this week when I listened to (and read) the following. I hope it’s also an encouragement to you today.
Being the Light
September 17, 2023
As we finish our week on Light, today we’ll explore our calling to be the light. What’s beautiful about this call is that the pressure is off. We have so many misconceptions about what God requires of us, however, he is not the task master we so often mistake him for. May you be encouraged today to live out your calling as the light of world, free from the weight of the world.
The heart of our heavenly Father is to partner with us in seeing the light of his kingdom advance to every dark corner of the earth. Why he in his perfect wisdom has chosen to use us baffles me. But his desire to co-labor with us is the truth of Scripture. God has called us to be the light shining into the darkness of others’ lives in love.
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
For a long time, I considered myself incapable of giving “light to all in the house.” I know my weaknesses all too well. I see the darkness in my life. How can I give light to anyone? You see, I thought the light I was supposed to give was the light of my own perfection. I thought I needed to get my life sorted out before I could ever minister to someone else. And out of that misconception I failed to experience the abundant life that comes from being used by God.
The truth of Scripture is that God is not calling us to minister out of our perfection. He isn’t calling us to figure everything out before we can be used. The most powerful declaration we can make to those in darkness is that we who are in desperate need have been met by a perfectly loving Savior. When what all the world sees is our facade of perfection, they know right away that they don’t belong in Christianity. But when we live with the courage to be truly vulnerable and honest, we open our lives for those in darkness to see the light of God within us—that he in his grace encounters, loves, and dwells with weak and desperate men and women.
God is not calling you to share with the world your own perfection. He is calling you to simply be who you truly are, encounter his loving-kindness, and share with the world the grace-filled hope we have in Christ.
Take time today to simply let God love you. Allow him to mold and shape you into a child who wholly experiences the love of the Father. And from that place of being loved as you are, open up your life and love others as you have been loved.
Live today openly and honestly before God and man. Open up your life to those in darkness that they might see the light of God’s glorious grace. And live as the light of the world, illuminating the path to God’s heart for all those around you. May you experience the joy, passion, and purpose that comes from being used by God to advance his kingdom today.