What does it mean to shine a light?
When we hear Matthew 5:14-16 preached it gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling and we think: “Yes! I want to be a light for God. “ We get excited and are all fired up. But as soon as we get out of church we forget all about it and we just continue with our old patterns and ways. And then we ask ourselves later on when we remember it again, can we really be a light in this dark world for Christ? Do we have what it takes? What does it actually entail?
Matthew 5:14-16 New International Version (NIV)
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Friend, I have also asked myself these questions. Many a time, in fact. But what I have come to realize is that it is sometimes in the everyday, often mundane things that we can be a light to this world for Christ. The things that often seem so small that we dismiss it, thinking that it doesn’t count. Of course, there are big things too that are just as important that are being done out there by amazing Christians. But our bit counts too.
Do you also sometimes feel frustrated with where you are now and that you want to do more, if only you had the time! Yes, I felt this way too. But once again I realized that what I am doing now – being a mamma to very small precious souls, loving my husband well, taking care of my aunt who suffers from mental illness and dementia and working on this blog and online business in itself is enough for now, because you see if I do that well and to the glory of God it will shine a light for the world to see.
The fruits will be a well-rounded, God-fearing and loving family. And children that can grow up knowing that they are loved and knowing Christ as their savior. Who knows the impact this could have for the Kingdom of God one day?
What we need to realize is that we are enough and that we should stop comparing our journey to someone else’s. We can be a light for Christ wherever we may find ourselves.
Times change, seasons change and before we know it a new season will have arrived. Perhaps in the new season, we can do other things that our hearts desire for God. But for now, let’s learn to be content and do our best for God with what we have and right where we are.
Homemaking is a ministry too. Working as a “normal” office worker is a ministry too. Sweeping the streets is a ministry too. Everything we do, if done to and for the glory of God is a ministry.
And let’s not forget about the often overlooked, but much-needed ministry that costs nothing to run: a prayer ministry. This ministry can be done while doing just about anything -laundry, cooking supper or during your own quiet time with the Lord.
Living in South Africa can sometimes be frustrating. Why? Because I see so many things that can and need to be done. Work for God, that’s what I mean. There’s just so much to be done and then I get frustrated and have to remind myself of my current ministry. The one God chose for me in this season of my life. And then I breathe a bit easier as I am reminded of that.
If God has called you to step out though and do something for Him, to shine your light in a different way from what you are doing now, then I absolutely encourage you today to do just that. Trust Him and go for it.
So now I want to shine some light on others whose light is shining so very brightly for Christ. As I mentioned before there is just so much to do here in Africa. There awesome souls/organizations are doing marvelous work. Here is just two of many I wish to shine a light upon.
The Christian Doctor who heals rape victims
Dr. Denis Mukwege is a Nobel peace prize -winning Christian doctor who heals victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since the war began in 1996 over 40 000 women have been violently raped as part of the war crimes, some often so severely physically scarred and damaged that it greatly decreases their quality of life. Read all about it in this article. It is a very inspiring story.
Swop Shop – Harvest Christian Church(Port Elizabeth, South Africa)
A swop shop operating in the poorest of poor communities in South Africa. Members of the community bring recyclable rubbish in exchange for basic household groceries and clothes. Watch their story.
Other key scriptures about letting your light shine:
1 John 1:5-7 New International Version (NIV)
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Philippians 2:14-16 New International Version (NIV)
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.