Matthew 5:16 - Lighting Up the Dark.
Matthew 5:16 (NIV) In the same way, let your
light shine before others, that they may see your
good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 (NLT) In the same way, let your
good deeds shine out for all to see, so that
everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
I heard about a man in his senior years
who was walking beside a lake when he suddenly
heard a voice. Hey you! someone said,
Come over here and kiss me, and Ill turn into
a beautiful princess.
He looked around but didnt see anyone.
Again, a voice said, Hey, you! Come over here
and kiss me, and Ill turn into a beautiful
Then he noticed a little frog by the
waters edge. The frog said, Hey, you! Kiss me,
and Ill turn into a beautiful princess.
So the man reached down, carefully picked
up the frog, and put it into his shirt pocket.
Then he turned and walked away.
The frog called out, Hey, didnt you
hear what I said? I said, Kiss me, and Ill
turn into a beautiful princess.
The man replied, At my age, Id
rather have a talking frog.
Thats how it can be when we study
Bible prophecy. We can miss the whole point. In
Luke 12, Jesus tells us how we ought to be living
as we anticipate His imminent return: Be
dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as
though you were waiting for your master to return
from the wedding feast (verses 35"36 NLT).
Jesus was describing a first-century
Jewish wedding, which could go on for days or even
a week. They didnt know when the groom
would arrive, so everyone would be dressed and
ready. To have your lamps burning meant that
youd have sufficient oil in them. If you
werent prepared, then youd miss the wedding.
This world is a very dark place, and it
seems to be getting darker. But Jesus said, Let
your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that
everyone will praise your heavenly Father (Matthew
5:16 NLT). [Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries;
Light. Light has ever been a symbol of the
divine presence (see on Gen. 1:3; 3:24). John
refers to Jesus as the light of men shining
forth amid the darkness of this world (ch.
1:4"9). Toward the close of His ministry Jesus
referred to Himself as the light of the world
(see on John 8:12; 9:5). Having accepted Jesus as
the light of the world, a Christian, if true to
his calling, becomes a reflector of that light.
[SDA Bible Commentary]
No other light ever has shone or ever
will shine upon fallen man save that which
emanates from Christ. Jesus, the Saviour, is the only
light that can illuminate the darkness of a world
lying in sin. Of Christ it is written, "In Him was
life; and the life was the light of men." John
1:4. It was by receiving of His life that His
disciples could become light bearers. The life of
Christ in the soul, His love revealed in the
character, would make them the light of the world.
Humanity has in itself no light. Apart
from Christ we are like an unkindled taper, like
the moon when her face is turned away from the
sun; we have not a single ray of brightness to
shed into the darkness of the world. But when we
turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we
come in touch with Christ, the whole soul is
aglow with the brightness of the divine presence.
Let Christ shine in your life. Develop a
relationship with Jesus that will cause Him to be
revielded in your life and deeds.
Christ does not bid His followers strive
to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you
have received the grace of God, the light is in
you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord's
glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth
to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You
cannot help shining within the range of your
The revelation of His own glory in the
form of humanity will bring heaven so near to men
that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be
seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells.
Men will be captivated by the glory of an
abiding Christ. And in currents of praise and
thanksgiving from the many souls thus won to God, glory
will flow back to the great Giver. COL420
As your relationship with Jesus grows
your life will reflect more and more His glory.
Wherever there is union with Christ there
is love. Whatever other fruits we may bear, if
love be missing, they profit nothing. Love to God
and our neighbor is the very essence of our
religion. No one can love Christ and not love His
children. When we are united to Christ, we have the
mind of Christ. Purity and love shine forth in
the character, meekness and truth control the
life. The very expression of the countenance is
changed. Christ abiding in the soul exerts a
transforming power, and the outward aspect bears witness
to the peace and joy that reign within. We
drink in the love of Christ, as the branch draws
nourishment from the vine. If we are grafted in Christ,
if fiber by fiber we have been united with the
Living Vine, we shall give evidence of the fact by
bearing rich clusters of living fruit. If we are
connected with the Light, we shall be channels of
light, and in our words and works we shall reflect
light to the world. 1SM337
He who draws nigh to Christ need not try to
shine. As he beholds the Saviour, he catches the
divine rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness,
and he cannot help shining. The light that is in
him shines forth in clear, bright rays, in words
and works of righteousness. Christs grace
dwells in him richly, and heavens light shines
through him. UP322
He who lives nearest to Jesus shines the
brightest. (EGW Letter 94, 1903).
There is no mistaking the effect of light
upon a darkened place. Light boldly and
unabashedly announces its presence and vigorously
dispels darkness. Gods desire is to fill you with
His light. He wants you to shine as a brilliant
testimony of His presence and power in your life, so
that the darkness in the lives of those around
you will be displaced by the light of Gods
If, however, you notice the world around
you becoming darker and darker, dont blame
the darkness! It is simply doing what darkness
does. The only remedy for darkness is light. If
the world is becoming darker, the problem is not
with the darkness. The problem is with the light.
Jesus said His disciples should be the light of
the world (Mt 5:14). What an awesome
responsibility"to be the ones through whom God would shine His
divine light and dispel the darkness from around
others! In announcing His own coming, Jesus said,
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great
light, / And upon those who sat in the region and
shadow of death / Light has dawned (Mt 4:16).
There was no ignoring Jesus arrival
upon earth! Darkness was dispelled! Everywhere
Jesus went, Gods truth was boldly proclaimed,
people were healed, hypocrisy was exposed, and
sinners found forgiveness. The world was never the
same once the Father introduced His light through
His Son. Can that be said of you as well? Do
your coworkers recognize the light that is within
you? Does the presence of Christ radiate from
your home into your community? When Gods light
is allowed to shine unhindered through your
life, the darkness around you will be dispelled.
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby
re Mat. 5:16]
Every Sunday countless people all over
the world sit in church buildings with a false
sense of security. They assume that their
morality, lifelong church membership, or baptism will
earn them a place in heaven. While many of these
folks sincerely desire to please God, they are
confused about what the Christian life is all about.
They think in terms of doing rather than being.
So they imitate the actions of good Christians:
going to a weekly service, praying, reading the
Bible, and trying to be decent people.
However, salvation is not the product of
good works. We come into the world with a corrupt
nature, and all our wrongdoing is born of a heart
turned away from the Lord. Because we are sinful
people, we sin. It's that simple. The good news is
that in the salvation experience, we are given a
brand-new nature (2 Cor. 5:17). Our sin is wiped away
because Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us. From
the moment we trust in Him, the Holy Spirit
dwells in our heart so that we can live
The world values action, but the Father
prioritizes relationship--specifically a right
relationship with Him. People who scurry about flaunting
religiosity are missing out on the deeply satisfying and
joyous intimacy between a believer and the Lord.
We can help turn others' tragic
misunderstanding into triumph by being ready to explain why
we have hope (1 Peter 3:15). Speak of the
personal relationship with Christ that's possible
when a person admits his need and trusts in the
Savior. If your light shines, it reflects well on
the church. [In Touch Daily Devotional by
Charles Stanley at www.intouch.org]
First-century weddings were not like ours
today. In those days a wedding could last up to a
week. It was a big event, and there was a fun
element to it.
Everyone arrived ready to go, but they
didnt know when the groom would appear. He might
show up in the morning, in the afternoon, or in
the evening. And when he was on his way, they
made an announcement so everyone could take their
places for the wedding ceremony.
Jesus said, Be dressed for service and
keep your lamps burning, as though you were
waiting for your master to return from the wedding
feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and
let him in the moment he arrives and knocks
(Luke 12:35"36 NLT).
A first-century flashlight basically
consisted of a clay dish, oil, and a floating wick. To
be prepared, they would carry extra oil in a
If we were to put this into our
vernacular today, it would be like saying, Have
fresh batteries in your flashlight or Have
your phone charged.
Jesus also said, Let your good deeds
shine out for all to see, so that everyone will
praise your heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16 NLT).
We believe in verbal proclamation of the
gospel. Were not ashamed of it. But we also need
to live the gospel. We need to demonstrate the
gospel by the way that we live.
We can do this by being a good and godly
neighbor. If someone is in the hospital, we visit
them. If someone needs prayer, we pray for them.
If someone has hit hard times, we take a meal
to them. And we do these things in the name of
As Christians, we should be shining
lights in a dark place. And as our culture grows
darker, we need to shine brighter. [Greg Laurie from
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com]
Daily Deeds of Kindness
In the final days of Jesus life, he
shared a meal with his friends Lazarus, Martha, and
Mary. Within the week he would feel the sting of
the Roman whip, the point of the thorny crown,
and the iron of the executioners nail. But on
this evening, he felt the love of three friends.
For Mary, however, giving the dinner was
not enough. Mary came in with a jar of very
expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged
Jesus feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The
fragrance of the oils filled the house (John
Judas criticized the deed as wasteful.
Not Jesus. He received the gesture as an
extravagant demonstration of love, a friend surrendering
her most treasured gift. As Jesus hung on the
cross, we wonder, Did he detect the fragrance on
Follow Marys example.
There is an elderly man in your community
who just lost his wife. An hour of your time
would mean the world to him.
Some kids in your city have no dad. No
father takes them to movies or baseball games.
Maybe you can. They cant pay you back. They
cant even afford the popcorn or sodas. But
theyll smile like a cantaloupe slice at your
Or how about this one? Down the hall from
your bedroom is a person who shares your last
name. Shock that person with kindness. Something
outlandish. Your homework done with no complaints.
Coffee served before he awakens. A love letter
written to her for no special reason. Alabaster
poured, just because.
Daily do a deed for which you cannot be
Precious Savior, we pass people every day
who need a demonstration of your love. May we
search for ways to show extravagant gestures of
gracious love, and outlandish acts of kindness. Make
us people who set a goal of doing daily deeds
for which we cannot be repaid. Set our hearts on
fire for people who do not know you. Consume us
with compassion for the desperate and
downtrodden. Let us pour our lives out in love just
because, amen. [Max Lucado Daily Devotional at
Living a "fishbowl" life as both a
pastor's daughter and a minister's wife may have
contributed to my discomfort in the limelight. Or
perhaps it was simply my temperament. Regardless,
writing books ushered in new opportunities for
speaking and new challenges.
When the university I attended presented
me with a Distinguished Alumni Award a few
years ago, I was so shocked I actually asked if
they'd made a mistake. While recognizing that only
Jesus can bring success and honors from our broken
lives, I still struggled with "letting my light
shine." After all, Jesus was the true Light of the
World (John 8:12). Shining my light often felt
confusing and prideful.
But over time, Jesus helped me understand
that my light should simply be a reflection of
His Light. When our focus is on Jesus and not
ourselves, embarrassment flees. And letting our light
shine by reflecting Him eliminates the kind of
selfish pride and praise Jesus rebuked in the lives
of hypocrite leaders (Matthew 6:2).
Every God-given gift or moment in the
limelight should reflect our pride in the One who gave
us good gifts and Who began the good work in us
(Philippians 1:6). Whether it's accepting praise
graciously, using our gifts creatively, or blessing
others in caring, unseen ways, our goal and purpose
are the same: to bring glory to Jesus. With that
as our motive, it's always Jesus's greater
Light that shines through our works. And people
can see the difference.
Our Christ-like character will always
speak louder than our works. By Rebecca Barlow
Faith Step: This week, ask Jesus to let
His light shine through you. [Mornings With
Jesus 2019 Devotional by Guideposts and
My three-year-old grandson was right on
my heels, following me closely as I walked
across the lawn to the front door of our home. I
took my shoes of at the door and turned around to
help him, but he said, "I can do it, Papa." So I
watched as he sat there, took off his shoes, and
placed them right next to mine. Then he reached up
to grab my hand and waited for me to lead him
inside. In the same way, God wants me to follow
closely in his footsteps, doing those things I see
him doing. The Bible calls that sanctification -
becoming more like Jesus, one step at a time, which
leads to one day at a time.
For those of us who have walked the steps
in recovery, it's important to remember that
many are watching us. They want to know if God
can do for them what he has done for us. We walk
in God's footsteps because that's what we need
to do for ourselves, but it's also what we need
to do for them. God is counting on us not to
let them down.
Father, I am so happy to be following in
your footsteps. Help me to remember that others
are following in mine. In Jesus' name, Amen.
[Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by John & Johnny
ILLUSTRATION FROM NATURE
I am not sure why, but I think that we
all have a fascination with things that glow in
the dark. I remember that, as a child growing
up, I had a nightlight inside a mollusk shell.
The soft dim glow of that shell kept nighttime
monsters at bay. For biologists, critters that make
their own light hold great interest. Most
creatures that produce light have translucent skin or
transparent membranes that let the light shine out to
help find food, attract mates, scare away
Marine biologists Dimitri Deheyn and
Nerida Wilson, from the Scripps Institute of
Oceanography, recently studied Hinea brasiliana, a
bioluminescent snail that they collected from rocks of the
intertidal zone in Australia. A rather smallish snail,
the clusterwink snail perhaps acquired its name
because it gathers in clusters and winks its light
on and off. With its light on, what one sees is
a whole snail shell lit up with a radiant
fluorescent green. It can rapidly turn the light on and
off, much like the new LED taillights in modern
autos. When Deheyn and Wilson checked it out, they
found that the snails produced light from a small
region of their tiny body always kept buried deeply
inside the opaque and light-yellow pigmented shell.
What made them turn their light on? And how did
it shine so brightly through that hard
Various experiments showed that the
snails lit up best when other critters bumped into
them or otherwise touched them"a surprise
because this type of light switch mechanism is
fairly rare in other bioluminescent organisms.
Could it be the snail's way of calling for help,
signaling for predators to come eat what's bugging
The biggest mystery, however, was
learning how that tiny light source could illuminate
the entire shell. By shining different colors of
light on the shell, Deheyn and Wilson learned
that, with the one exception of the blue-green
color, the hard snail shell would let all other
colors pass right on through. The blue-green color,
however, diffused throughout the entire shell, giving
it a remarkably bright glow. The researchers
learned, too, that the yellowish shell did not change
or color-shift the blue- green color in any
way. It diffuses that particular light frequency
eight times better than any commercially available
diffuser and spreads it to an area 10 times larger.
You can bet that scientists are closely studying
the molecular properties of the shell to
discover how to improve commercial light diffusers.
Lord, how can I be a super diffuser of
the light from Your Word and the light of Your
love? My desire is to be effective in letting Your
light shine to others. [God of Wonders by David
Steen re Isa. 49:6]
When you do a good deed, check to see if
your motive is God's glory, or your own. [In His
Time; Walk With Wisdom]
As the world grows increasingly dark,
remember that you are the light of the world. Don't
waste energy lamenting bad things over which you
have no control. Pray about these matters, but
refuse to let them haunt your thoughts. Instead,
focus your energies on doing what you can to
brighten the place where I have put you. Use your
time, talents, and resources to push back the
darkness. Shine My Light into the world!
I am the true Light that shines on in the
darkness - even in the most terrible conditions. Your
light originates in Me and reflects from you. I
have called you to reflect My Glory! You do this
most effectively by becoming more and more fully
the one I designed you to be. Spend ample time
seeking My Face, beloved. Focusing on My Presence
and My Word helps you to grow in grace and
discern My will. Your time spent with Me nourishes
your soul, providing comfort and encouragement.
Thus I strengthen you and enable you to be a
source of strength for others. (Mat. 5:14; John
1:9; 1:5; 2Co. 3:18) [Jesus Always by Sarah
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS TOPIC
Matthew 25:31-46 - The Parable Of The Sheep
And Goats; The Final Judgment.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: