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Devotionals Sermon on the Mount

Light of the World

We are in the process of slowly, slowly renovating our house. The house is a good one but old. The baths, hand basins, toilets and tiles are being re-enameled as from yesterday. Due to this we needed to move out of the house because of dust and smell. Hennie and Beth have allowed that we stay at the manager’s cottage near their lodge (Izapa) in the bush. Our opposite neighbors open and close for the contractor. Last night at about 20:30 I received a notice from the security company saying I need to check the power to the alarm system. I called my neighbor, he went to check and found the safety breaker on the DB Board had tripped. He put the switch back on, yet soon the system tripped again. Although I received a message from the security company, my neighbor called to say the “timer light” I had on in the lounge was on once he had put the switch on and immediately the system tripped the light went off. No power, no lighting. We drove back home this morning to meet an electrician there and he found that the chest deepfreeze’s motor we moved from the kitchen into the outside room had overheated causing the tripping. No power, no lighting. He switched off the deepfreeze and everything is working fine again. We all know how much we who are blessed to have electricity have suffered in our country due to the “supplier’s” inability to provide a consistent electrical supply throughout the country. I ought to have mentioned it yesterday … we have returned to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. We found firstly that as Christians we are salt (yesterday). Today we come to the next passage:

Mt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”

1) You are the light of the World. Jesus said

Jn 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

This is very interesting. God is light … light represents purity and holiness. He steps into our world and declares that He, the Lord Jesus, is the light of the world. He brings the light of God. Where He is there is no darkness. Darkness in the spirit world is associated with sin, evil and wickedness … whilst light is associated with purity and holiness … Godlikeness. Those who are in a relationship with Him through faith, redemption and commitment are the ones who … whoever follows me will never walk in darkness … because such are the ones who enjoy through possession … the light of life. Everyone who is spiritually regenerate are light and have the light of life. Being spiritually alive means being light and enjoying the light of life because the eternal life Jesus died to give us in now ours, present and future. The great comfort for every child of God is the fact that related to Jesus Christ because of His sacrifice … is that you will never walk in darkness. The assurance is further motivation to keep following the Lord Jesus all the way to heaven.

2) The reason for being the light of the world. Our Lord said whilst he was on the planet

Jn 9:4 “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

The concept in His day as He walked those dusty Palestinian pathways was that work could only be done during daylight. Unlike today, work happens twenty-four hours a day because we have access to such good lighting systems. In those days work happened at daytime. Once night arrives no work can be done because of the extreme pitch-black darkness of the Middle East. Naturally Jesus was pointing to spiritual ministry. There would come a time that He describes as “Night”. Perhaps He was referring to the “night” of His arrest, trials and execution. He could only do His work of ministry when it was “day” and whilst He was in the world. He was as He says … While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Once He leaves the world when He Ascended into heaven … He leaves His followers as His light to the World. Look at this:

Phil 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life”.

(1) Behavior (v14) must lead to you as a follower of the Light being blameless and pure (v14a).

(2) Results (v15b) are being Children of God in a depraved world (v15c).

(3) Effects (v15d) are that you shine like stars (light) in the universe! Extraordinary! Not only in our environment … not only on earth … but in fact, throughout the universe. That is the impact of us believers being light for Jesus on earth. The effects ring throughout all the universe! God’s people serve Him and their service is known everywhere!

(4) Reason (v16) is because you are holding the Word of Life … the Gospel of Jesus … the Light of the World to those living in Darkness.

Consider these four issues … You are the light of the world as a believer. You are as a Christian, together with all Christians, His representatives, offering people lost in darkness His eternal light through the Gospel.

(a) Your behavior needs to be Gospel. Too often we lose credibility because our words and ours deeds do not match. Our moaning and groaning steals Gospel credibility.

(b) The results of Gospel behavior shows the dark world that we are indeed the people of God. Before a believer opens the mouth, actions reveal character and personality.

(c) Gospel people behaving in a Gospel manner has effects that transcend our immediate environment. The Bible says it touches the universe!

(d) The reason this is all possible is because of God’s Word which contains His Gospel. Working it backwards we may say, the Word of God, containing the glorious Gospel of God’s Rescue Plan, that when declared to the world has effects upon the universe, causing God great pleasure, because the behavior of His people shining like His bright lights brings the Glory of the Cross to people living in darkness, challenging them to consider the claims of Jesus and believe it, confess their sins, repent and live under His Lordship. We will need to continue Christians being the Light of the World tomorrow, but for today we have some food for thought, meditation and contemplation.

Our Father, You who are the Father of the heavenly Lights. Thank You for allowing us to be Your Gospel Lights on earth. Amen.

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