For You are my lamp, O LORD; And the LORD illumines my darkness (2 Samuel 22:29).
God is a light, the brightest light in the world. We are each like unique windows surrounding Him. When God created us, He gave us the tools necessary to spread His light to the world. Like a stained glass window takes a pure white light and turns it into vibrant colors and stories, God expects us to let His light shine through us, revealing His love vibrantly and enthusiastically to all. He expects us to paint a story of God's love through our lives.
Some people paint their windows black. God's light is still shining on them from within, but they choose to keep this light from showing through. They miss the whole point of having a window in the first place.
Others, however, choose a different route. They use the gifts God has given them to construct a beautiful stained glass window. God's pure light shines on them, and these people turn it into a vivid piece of artwork that catches the eye of all they meet. They glorify God through their lives, fulfilling the true purpose of their windows. Even strangers often notice that "something special" in such a person. They have an inner light that overcomes the darkness of the world. They are able to create light from within, from God's light. They are living examples of God's love.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).
During sophomore year retreat, my small group leader, Haley, passed out Christian CDs to my fellow group members and me. We each had different verses on our CD's. Mine read, "You are the light of the world; a city on a hill cannot be hidden." At the time, I didn't pay much attention to this verse. That's cute. It's a good quote for when you're not feeling very special, I thought. And that was all it meant to me at the time.
I never imagined that this verse would define the way I wanted to live my life.
Only later, when I came face to face with and recognized countless "lights of the world," did I realize the significance of what has now become one of my favorite verses in the Bible. God doesn't tell us that we are lights of the world so we can feel good about ourselves. It's so much more than that. God tells us we are lights of the world because He wants us to use our lives to bring God's light to a dark world. He tells us we are lights of the world to make us aware of our purpose on earth: to be a light and to share God's light. Such a glorious light as this does not deserve to be hidden. It cannot be hidden. When we are on fire with God's light, we cannot help but let it show in our lives.
Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket. If you had the brightest light in the world shining through you, why would you want to conceal it? Why would you want to paint your window black instead of constructing a beautiful stained glass window? God did not give us His light so that we could hide it, but rather he wanted it placed on a hill and on a lampstand. He wanted us to share our light (HIS LIGHT) with everyone in our homes and everyone on earth.
When others see God's light within us and when they see God at work in our lives, it should inspire them. It should cause them to stop and think twice. It should help them realize that only a life lived glorifying God can bring us true fulfillment and joy. Though it is ultimately up to them, such light-sharing may even kindle in them a spirit eager to God's will and share His light, inspiring them to glorify [the] Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 is not just a little pick-me-up verse. It gives us PRICELESS instructions on how to live our lives.
Will we hide the light God has entrusted to us under a basket? Will we attempt to conceal a city set on a hill? Or will we stand up and stand out as lights of the world, making God's light visible to all we meet?
Allow God to fill your life with His light. Then share this light with all you meet.