Have you ever wondered if there’s more to the Christian life than what you’re experiencing? I have, especially when despair came knocking on my heart’s door. But the following words opened the door to more—more reasons to rise up and shine Christ.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden;”Matthew 5:14 NASB
When I consider the fact that I didn’t–couldn’t have–earned my salvation, I see the same principle in this verse. I didn’t–couldn’t have–become ‘the light of the world.’ I am the light because The Light indwells me.
The illustration of “a city on a hill” implies that city is lifted above its surroundings. The Light of Christ is meant to be visible—a source of hope that leads others out of darkness. We are meant to rise and shine Christ!
“…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.”Matthew 5:15 NASB
The awe of this verse catches my breath. Christ is the Light of the World (John 8:12), and He literally gifted Himself to me! I am a lamp lit by the The Light of the World—the solution for darkness. Why would I allow the darkness of despair to prevail when I am called to rise and shine Christ?!
“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 5:16 NASB
Do you see the love in this verse? Christ commands us to shine—to emit truth that triumphs over darkness, sin, and death. His love for mankind is the motivation behind every command, and I am one who is born again because others chose to rise and shine Christ.
Christ commands us to shine—to emit truth that triumphs over darkness, sin, and death. Charla Matthews #family #parents #GospelTweet
Have you ever loved someone so dearly you couldn’t help but do things for them? The types of actions that were purely motivated by love—not to show off or pilfer praise? That gets to the heart of the “good works” Christ speaks of in verse 16; actions that are born of an authentic life in Christ.
Here are a few ways we can rise and shine Christ:
Be born again.
It is impossible to be light without Christ, the Light. When we see a fellow follower struggling to rise and shine Christ, we could share joy in our testimony. I’m amazed at how often this good work sparks a beam in others. Only God knows the heart of each person; choosing to share may lead someone who is without Christ into the the Light of salvation. Rise and shine Christ by telling others about Him from personal experience.
Study Christ—the Word.
Studying our Savior is how we grow more like Him; it’s how we grow closer to Him. Visit your local Christian bookstore for guidance on purchasing a good study Bible and other helpful resources. Follow through by reading your Bible—even if it’s a few verses at the time. It isn’t just a book, it’s a message written by your Father…to you. When we learn of our Savior, we become equipped to grow in confidence of what and Who we know.
Expand the city.
Build relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ. Fellowship in praise, Bible study, and ministering to one another. Do life in Christ together; it’s God’s intent. The beauty of joining with other true believers is the growth that occurs. New believers learn from mature believers, and mature believers recall what it was like to meet Christ for the first time. Just think of that city on a hill—a multitude of believers who choose to rise and shine Christ cannot be hidden!
Choose to be visible.
Like Christ said, “Let your light shine before men….” All the points from above culminate to this command. When a person is truly born again, Christ draws him/her to a deeper knowledge of His attributes. Studying His Word leads us to join with others who minister to the church and the world. Joining with others builds relationships that expand the city, which devours the darkness. There are many examples of good works that glorify God in His Word. But the one that I choose to share as an example is Christ’s declaration of the greatest commandment.
A pharisee, an expert in the law, asked Jesus: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He (Jesus) said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 26:36-40 NASB).
Brothers and sisters, we’re equipped with His Light and His love. Thank God for His sovereign power immersed in His perfect love—for all His people. Feel free to shout, “Amen!” wherever you may be. I pray someone asks you the reason for your outburst of praise because then you’ll have the perfect opportunity to rise and shine Christ.
Rise and Shine Christ! Sharing the reason for the light and hope that we have. Charla Matthews #Hope #ShineforChrist #FamilyTweet