Peninsula Community Church
Let Your Light Shine
June 18, 2017
Luke 11:33-36 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
In our passage today, although Jesus is not speaking directly to dads, He is speaking to believers and those who desire to be passionate followers of Christ. In this passage, Jesus does what He does so often. He uses a word picture to teach a spiritual truth. In this particular case, He is using the word picture of light. This is an important discussion as light refers to the work of Christ in our heart and the influence of that light shining through us.
Jesus begins the passage with an important statement. No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. This may seem to be a absurd picture but it speaks to the reality of our hearts. No one with any wisdom would take a light and hide it under a basket or put it in the basement. You see the purpose of light is to illuminate. Notice he says that we should put the light on a stand so that those who enter may see the light. Thus, the purpose of light is to light the way of those entering one’s home or one’s world. For us today this is a reference to our sphere of influence. Does our life illuminate the way of Christ?
As fathers and passionate followers of Christ we are called to influence those around us by letting our light shine. We are called to be a light to our families, our friends, our neighbors, and coworkers. Whether you realize it or not, you are influencing those around you in many ways. Our influence is never neutral. It is an active process in which we are engaged. To influence means we have “the power to change or affect something or someone.” It also means “the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen.” Know today you are an influencer.
The light represents our influence but it also represents our involvement because we are called to be involved with those around us. That is why we do not put our light under a bushel or in the basement. The point here is that we are to be people of the light. We are to be people through which the light of the gospel shines bright. Too often those who want to go to the cellar or the basement want to hide. But to hide is to conceal the light and that is never good. Christ’s desire is that our life is a light and a beacon of hope to others. So, do not hide your light but let it shine.
A good friend told the story of how he would encourage his kids to get MAD. He stated that MAD meant Make a Difference. His desire was that they would make a difference in the environment they were heading into whatever the environment. Of course his kids were not as excited when Jack would yell from the front porch… “Get MAD today!” His point was that he wanted them to be engaged with their culture and their environment so their light would shine.
But how do we do this? First, we must make a choice to let our light shine. The question is how do you want to affect people? What legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be remembered for the light you allowed to shine or do you want to be remembered for the darkness you share? It is your choice.
Secondly, remember that Jesus is in us and He is the light. When we walk in the light of Jesus then He will be revealed in us. The worldview of the day is that we are not suppose to let our light shine. This worldview says to us, be a good person but don’t let your light shine. Keep your religion to yourself is the mantra of the day by liberal thinkers. In other words hide your light or keep in the basement so no one wiles sees it. But the reality is those around us really desire to hear your thoughts and heart on Jesus. They are not as interested in your political position or spiritual arguments but they are interested in seeking answers to life problems. They need real answers for real problems. They need an everlasting hope and they need Jesus. So, let you light shine wherever you go and in whatever you do. Do not conceal the light but rather let your light shine brightly.
Thirdly, to know Jesus, the light, we must know the word of God. Jesus is the Word and we are challenged as believers to read the Word of God and allow the Word to be the guide of our life. As we hide the word in our heart, we become a lighthouse of grace where Jesus is revealed. By allowing the word of Jesus to affect us, we are changed and we begin to affect those around us. So let your light shine.
A third idea here is that we must be an inspiration. We are to be an influence, we are to be involved, and we are to be an inspiration. By letting our light shine we become an inspiration to those around us. Light dispels darkness. Light conquers darkness. As we let our light shine for Jesus, we find that the darkness in others is impacted. Sometimes they are convicted. Sometimes they refuse to listen. Sometimes they become more entrenched in what they are doing. But many will seek out the light for themselves. Our responsibility is to simply let our light shine. We are not responsible for the affect of the light on others. The light will take care of itself.
It is noteworthy that in this passage there is only one imperative noted. Jesus says “be careful lest the light in you be darkness.” This is a strange statement because how can light be darkness. The fact is there is much in the world that can be presented as a false light. There is much that seeks to negatively impact our influence, our involvement, and our inspiration.
I recently had to get my car inspected and I noticed that my headlights were not as bright as they had been. The problem was that road film had built upon the lens. The light was not able to penetrate the dirt and film build up. The light inside was the same. In fact, the bulbs were brand new. The problem was not the light it was the lens had been darkened and the light could not penetrate the dirt and grime on the lens. The solution was to clean the lens so that the light could shine brightly again.
You see there are things around us that try to mask the light and attempt to be the light. The enemy of our souls often disguises himself as a light. But when we go after that light the way ends in more hurt and more pain. Listen to Paul’s writings in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15. And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Notice here that satan, the enemy of our souls, disguises himself as a light. He is not the light but he presents himself as a light. It is for this reason that Jesus wants us to refuse to let our light be darkness. Cleanse your lens which are your eyes. They are the entry way into the mind and the heart. Purify your eyes and your heart and your light will shine even brighter.
So in the final analysis, we are called to let our light shine. By letting our light shine, we impact others. We become influencers for the all of the right reasons. By letting our light shine we make a big difference in others. That is our goal. That is our purpose. That is God’s plan for you and me.
Today, we need to get MAD. Today, we can make a difference. Let your light shine. Let your life mean something. It is in many ways easier than you think. Follow Him! Obey His word! Do not let the darkness overcome you and you will be empowered to make a difference. Your influence will be felt in your family, your job, your children, your community, and your sphere of influence. So as our friend Jack Crabtree use to say, “Go get MAD today.”
For an audio of this message go to http://pccministry.org/media.php?pageID=14
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved Robert W. Odom