Jesus told His disciples, "You are the light of the world..." see Matthew5:14-15. He was speaking to them about carrying His light, the light of the gospel to the world. You know I love the idea of layers and I believe our God is a God of infinite layers. There are all sorts of lights. There are candles, flashlights, floor lamps, lava lamps, table lamps, tea lights and decorative strings of lights with all manner of cute displays like R2D2 and Minions. It may sound redundant, but lights bring light to the darkness.
Life without light can be very difficult. Have you ever made the trip to the bathroom or downstairs in the middle of the night? Of course, most of us try to maneuver the darkness on our own. And what usually happens is a thump, followed by a string of curses intermixed with, "Who left that laying on the floor?" or "When did that chair get put there?" I know you all are smiling and nodding your heads. The simple truth is we need light. We would not be able to survive without it.
The thought I want to address today is not so much the light of the gospel for salvation, but the light of the gospel for encouragement. If we know Christ, we are lights, plain and simple. Some of us are candles and the glow we put off is soft and warm. Some of us are Mag Lights, pointing a piercing beam at specific things. Others of us are reading lamps. We stand by a comfy spot and give off a pleasant light that allows others to escape the harshness of the world. Still, there are others who are silly and lighthearted lights, much like a string of Minions who make their friends smile and laugh.
What sort of light are you? What sort of light do you want to be? Are you like the Son, who gives light to all the earth, chasing the darkness from every corner? Are you a candle? A person who reassures others that they are there, warm and comforting. Are you a Mag Light? Do you lead your friends from the darkness of self-doubt and discouragement? Are you a lovely table lamp? Do you offer hospitality in your home by inviting your friends to dinner? Are you a comfy reading lamp, set off in a cozy corner who helps their friends feel loved by having them over for snacks and a movie.
Jesus said we are the light of the world. He didn't say we are all to be candles or flash lights or high beams on a car. We are all different. The goal is to recognize what sort of light we are and allow God to use us in other's lives. If we don't allow our light to shine we will burn out.
Renewal happens in our relationships with our friends as we allow God to use us in their lives to bring light. You may not be the one who brings your unsaved friend to the Lord, but you may be the light that welcomes him/her into your home. Or you may be the light that leads a friend out of a dark place. Let God show you what sort of light you can be and with His Spirit as your fuel you will never burn out.