You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14
After I had a conflict with my mother, she finally agreed to meet with me more than an hour away from my home. But upon arriving, I discovered she’d left before I got there. In my anger, I wrote her a note. But I revised it after I felt God nudging me to respond in love. After my mother read my revised message, she called me. “You’ve changed,” she said. God used my note to lead my mom to ask about Jesus and, eventually, receive Him as her personal Savior.
In Matthew 5, Jesus affirms that His disciples are the light of the world (v. 14). He said, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (v. 16). As soon as we receive Christ as our Savior, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit. He transforms us so we can be radiant testimonies of God’s truth and love wherever we go.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be joyful lights of hope and peace who look more and more like Jesus every day. Every good thing we do then becomes an act of grateful worship, which looks attractive to others and can be perceived as vibrant faith. Surrendered to the Holy Spirit, we can give honor to the Father by reflecting the Light of the Son—Jesus.
When have you noticed the light of Jesus shining through another person? How has someone else’s good deeds prompted you to praise God?
Dear Jesus, please shine Your vibrant light of love in and through my life so I can give honor to the Father and encourage others to put their trust in You.
Jesus’ words in the well-known Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) can seem intimidating—even overwhelming—in how they challenge the normal patterns of human behavior. He focuses on selfless kindness and compassion—even to the point of personal sacrifice (5:38–42). But the intent isn’t to cause believers in Christ to feel inadequate. Instead, this sermon paints a picture of God’s original design for humanity. In Genesis 1, God created us to bear His image—to reflect Him to the inhabitants of the earth. As people in the process of becoming like Jesus (Ephesians 4:12–13), we’ve been called to reflect who God is. Christ’s sermon invites us to return to our ancient role of reflecting our Creator to a darkened world.
For further study, enjoy this ODBU lecture Sermon on the Mount.