CALLED TO SHINE
"Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life'" ( John 8:12).
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The world we live in is engrossed in the darkness of sin. The Prince of darkness, Satan is very busy spreading about more and more darkness over this world. It is as Prophet Isaiah prophesied that darkness shall cover the world and gross darkness its people (Isaiah 60:2). It is as our Lord Jesus Christ spoke of concerning these days that iniquity shall abound (Matthew 24:12). Never in history has there been so much lawlessness and wickedness as we have today. Man's inhumane treatment of his fellow men, unkindness, cruelty, selfishness, has led to all kinds of vices; murders, blackmail, robberies, rape, terrorism, occultism, sorceries, and a host of others too numerous to mention. Technology has helped man develop very sophisticated light gadgets that illuminate our homes, offices, streets both at day time and night time, but the darkness occasioned by sin has become even more gross by means of technology such that today cybercrimes, internet pornography, cyber warfare between nations, and a host of other sins have been facilitated by technology. In the midst of this gross darkness, God has called out a people to shine in holiness and purity and to dispel darkness of whatever form.
Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, came into the world over 2000 years ago and brought an end to the dominion of darkness over the world. He overcame the Prince of darkness, Satan, and liberated his captives. He brought out those who all their lives had lived in darkness and translated them into His marvelous light (Matthew 4:16). These are the redeemed of the Lord who have been turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18). These are children of God who have received forgiveness of sins and an inheritance through sanctification by faith in Christ. These are followers of Jesus Christ who have been delivered from the power of darkness and have been translated into God's kingdom (Colossians 1:12-13). This is the position of every genuine Christian; he or she is a light, called to shine forth and dispel darkness in the world (1 Peter 2:9). Darkness can no more have dominion where a child of God is, because by virtue of superior power, light shines in darkness and darkness cannot comprehend or overwhelm it (John 1:5).
Dear friends, if indeed you have accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and saviour and have yielded yourself totally to Him, you are the light of this world for Christ dwells in you. If you have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal lord and saviour, you are yet under the dominion of Satan and you are in darkness, but you can make a decision to come out of darkness and become a light in Christ Jesus. Repent of your sins, confess them to God and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Saviour of your life. Pray to God and yield your life to obey and follow Him for the rest of your life. You will be translated and you will no more live in the darkness of sin but shall have the light of a pure and holy life.
The solution to this world's problems does not lie in the hands of politicians. It does not lie in the powers of the United Nations organizations; their charters and conventions have not solved the problem of human depravity. God has entrusted the solution of this world's darkness to His children; the lights of the world. We have been called to shine the light of God's love to a hateful world. We have been called to repay evil with good (Romans 12:17); to do good to our neighbors irrespective of their disposition to us. The love of God will shine forth through us to darkened hearts and dispel hate, anger, envy and all other vices and bring them to the feet of Jesus Christ in repentance. Let the light of God's unconditional love shine through you to people all around you at home, at the workplace, and in whatever community you may be.
We are called to shine our light by our good works. Jesus Christ our Lord says to us, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Mathew 5:16). We must show forth God's goodness to everyone. God's mercies to us will extend to others. We will forgive our offenders just as God through Jesus Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). We will help and supply the needs of the poor and needy just as we have enjoyed God's bountiful care. While everyone else may be busy amassing wealth and living selfishly, we will shine by living selflessly and sharing our resources with those in need. We are called to shine the light of compassion and dispel the darkness of greed and selfishness. We will ring no bells nor broadcast our good works just to be known and applauded by men as philanthropists do; our Lord Jesus admonishes us not to do so (Matthew 6:2-4). However, as light shines without making noise, our generosity and goodness will shine forth for even the blind to see.
We are called to shine by a righteous life that cannot be reproached. Our light of purity and integrity will dispel the darkness of immorality and corruption wherever we are. Some people may seek to speak against us but they will be ashamed by a lack of evidence to support their blackmail (1 Peter 3:16). We will shine forth as Daniel shone in Babylon and could not be incriminated or implicated in any evil dealing (Daniel 6:4-5). Sinners will have no way to hide and they will have no comfort continuing in sin in our presence.
Friend, have you been shining brightly or has your light become dim by reason of your compromise with worldliness? It is time to arise and shine (Isaiah 60:1). Our Lord Jesus Christ, the light of the world bids us draw nearer to Him because we can only shine as we abide in Him. Let us get back to daily communion with Him through study of His word and prayers. Let us give ourselves totally and unreservedly to Him. Let us deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him daily (Luke 9:23). It is only in this way we can have the power to shine forth in the midst of a world engrossed in darkness. Let us rise and take our rightful place of dominion over the kingdom of darkness and bring out those who have been bound in darkness. When you shine in your corner of the world and I do so in my corner, we will lit up this world with the glorious light of God.
God has a wonderful purpose to bring many to the light as we arise and shine today. Prophet Isaiah prophesied that "Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isaiah 60:3). The world has been waiting for the manifestation of our light (Romans 8:19). They are tired of the darkness of sin and they eagerly await that man, that woman, that will have something different and better to offer. God has called you to be that man, that woman, for whose shining Gentiles; unbelievers and sinners will come to for salvation. Do not hide away your light and pretend to be like everyone else. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden and neither do men light a lamp and hide it under a bucket but they set it up on a lampstand so that it illuminates the house (Matthew 5:14-15). Dear Christian brothers and sisters, we have been called to shine and we must shine today without fail!
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