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Let your light shine to the glory of God

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Today’s bible study is from the Gospel of Matthew 5:16: Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

This, in some ways, appears to be a very easy verse, both to understand and to practice. Yet it is not as easy as it might appear. It begins by giving us instructions regarding the Christian's light, or influence, in the world. Among these instructions about the light is Christ’s forbidding us from hiding it under a bushel or allowing anything in our day-to-day lives to hide the light of the truth. Jesus also warned against hiding our light under a vessel by allowing the worries, concerns and occupations of life to take precedence over faith. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus further forbids us from hiding it under the bed of licentiousness, laziness, or idleness. What, then, should we do with the light of the Christian's life? We must let it shine and be a light to illuminate the love of God and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to all people.

How can we do this? We can’t flip a switch to turn the light on and off. We can’t simply screw a light bulb into our faith from time to time when it dims or dies. We have to constantly practice our faith as Christians and be bearers of the light each day of our lives. If we are having trouble finding the light, we can pray to our Lord and Savior, since the light comes only from God and can be found only through faith, love and prayer.

Good works have always been considered to be a part of the path to salvation, along with faith and prayer. Many of us may feel that we have done good works today. I vacuumed the upstairs part of the house, did the ironing, earned money for my labors, spoke lovingly with my daughters and my husband, and made a Caesar salad for supper. I even mailed a sympathy card to a friend. Are these not “good works? Yes, in our everyday lives, they probably are very good works. And almost all of us do them in one way or another.

But they are not the good works that Matthew is speaking of. The good works in Matthew call us to be like the followers of Jesus, to spread the good news, to trust in our Father in heaven, to help others, to live simply and humbly, and to always seek to journey further along the path of faith and salvation. May we all let our lights shine, today and every day. May we do the good works of Christ, our Lord and Savior, and may we always, with the grace of God, be an example to others of the light.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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