We just got back from South Dakota, and I've come to the realization that I am getting too old for long drives. By the time we drove the five hundred or so miles last night, I was utterly exhausted, and just wanted to sleep. Feeling better this morning, so here's another post. God bless.
Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
It may sound like some hokey Eastern saying, coming from the likes of Confucius but I assure you it isn’t: ‘Before we can do something, we must be something.’ Countless well meaning Christians desire to make a difference for Jesus, to win the world for Christ, to have an international ministry, write bestselling books, and the list goes on. Too few however are willing to go through the process of becoming that which Christ requires us to become, namely the light of the world.
Becoming light is a process that begins with self renunciation, with self mortification, with emptying ourselves out of all that was there, so God may fill us with His Holy Spirit. It is not an easy process, and most often I liken it to pulling weeds. We must rip the old vices, the old sins, the old habits, from the earth of our hearts, and not simply clip them, hiding them on the surface while they are still rooted in us. Men might not be able to see the roots, but God certainly does, and He will not receive or accept a heart still cluttered and weighed down with various sins.
Before we can make a difference, before we can effect change, we must become the light Christ desires us to be. If the light is not within us, then we walk in darkness as the rest of the world, unsure of our footing, and always second guessing ourselves.
Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The light of God in us must be evident. Whether in our speech, our conduct, our actions, or our interactions with men, Jesus must rise to the surface, and His presence in us must be undeniable.
In order for the light to be effective, in order for men to glorify the Father in heaven due to the light they see in us here on earth, we must be diligent in separating the light from the darkness. I realize speaking of separation, when everyone else is speaking of all inclusiveness, is like being the only individual running in one direction while a sea of people are running in the opposite direction, but we must stand for truth, even if we stand alone.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers for what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.”
In his ever present wisdom Paul began to ask the church of Corinth a series of rhetorical questions to which they already knew the answer. There could be no fellowship between righteousness and unrighteousness, there is no communion between light and darkness, nor does Christ and Belial have any common ground. As believers we have no part with unbelievers, and as much as some today would like to see it there can be no agreement between the temple of God and idols.
Light and darkness cannot coexist; they must be separated from one another. The individual’s greatest stumbling block in achieving this much needed separation is the desire to be like everyone else. We fear being singled out, we fear standing out in a crowd, and we reject the idea of being separate, because we know in our hearts that we will inevitably be part of a very small minority.
This attitude is not new. It has been part of the human psyche for far longer than we care to remember, but in recent decades it has escalated to an entirely new plateau.
Even Israel as a whole suffered from this fear of being unique, when they went to Samuel and informed him that they desired a king to judge over them like all the nations. Up until that point they had been unique in that they were the only nation on the earth to be led and governed of God. They no longer desired this however, and in their desire to be likened to other nations, rejected the governance of the Almighty.
So why is it so important that the light be separated from the darkness? The reasons are many in number, but the most important reason of all, is that they will always be at odds with each other. The darkness will always attempt to overtake the light and the light will always fight back keeping the darkness at bay. To believe that light and darkness can somehow come to an agreement and call a truce, is the pinnacle of folly, because no matter how convincing the darkness might be concerning its intentions, its very nature will compel it to war against the light.
John 1:5, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
To a great majority in the world today, the light is a bothersome thing indeed. Light exposes that which is hid in the shadows and in the darkness, the light brings to full and unobstructed view that which men have tried to hide so well. How could those of the darkness not hate the light? How could they not make war against it?
It was Jesus who reminded all who would hear, that those who practice evil hate the light, and do not come to the light, lest their deeds should be exposed. Now if we are the light of the world, how can we live with the expectation that the world might ever embrace, love, or otherwise tolerate us?
I accepted long ago that the world would hate me, and even those I would consider my brothers or my sisters might throw a rock or two, because it’s easier to throw a rock than to build a wall, but I purposed in my heart that it would not deter me.
You are the light of the world! Shine with compassion, shine with love, shine with joy, shine with obedience, shine with righteousness, shine in this darkened world that those who would be drawn to the light might glorify God in heaven.
The light will always have opposition, the darkness will always attempt to overtake it, but try as it might it will fall short every time, because the light in us is none other than Christ Jesus, the selfsame Jesus that conquered death itself. Blessed be His holy name forevermore!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.