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Light of the World: Created to Shine

“You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)

The apostle John tells us that Jesus was the true light coming into the world (John 1:9). He shone into our darkness, but the darkness did not understand Him. Jesus takes His identity a step further. He tells His disciples—He tells us—that we are also lights in the world. The One who came to shine uses lanterns He has Himself redeemed. We have a bright, holy purpose.

We often think that we are called to shine as lights because this world needs light. That’s true, but we have an even higher calling than that. We are to shine as lights because Jesus is light. Our holy calling is to reflect Him, to display Him, and to worship Him by being the vessels by which He reveals Himself to others. Radiating Jesus is the highest honor we can give Him, not just because the world needs Him, but because He is beautiful. If that’s hard to believe, consider our future: We will be shining His light and reflecting His glory long after this world has passed away. It won’t be because someone needs convincing; it will be simply because of who He is. Our shining is more for the sake of His eternal glory than for the needs of this present darkness.

Worship brings God’s rule—and even better, His comfort and joy—visibly into a rebellious world. It represents His Kingdom here and now. It brings heaven and earth into a sacred meeting, letting the Kingdom of God invade our lives and our environment. It shines the light of heaven into a dark, dismal night.

We often think that we are called to shine as lights because this world needs light. That's true, but we have an even higher calling than that. We are to shine as lights because Jesus is light. Our holy calling is to reflect Him, to display Him.

Do you reflect Jesus? Have you ever been able to put your agenda aside—even the good parts of it—simply to be like Him? There is no greater task. Our primary responsibility in this world, as His servants and His children, is to show His kind of mercy, do His kind of works, pray His kind of prayers, tell His kind of stories, and seek His kind of justice. The grace, forgiveness, and love of Jesus are to permeate everything we do. Why? Because He is light, and we were created to shine.

Our great honor lies in being just what Jesus was and is. — A. W. Tozer

Additional Reading: 
Matthew 5:14-16

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