Let there be light
By Kyle Patterson
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. Matthew 5:15
Yes, I know this is probably one of the best known verses in the entire Bible. It’s so familiar that some may not even continue reading this post, but it’s so important in this time and season that it can’t be ignored.
I think the tendency as believers is to forget how badly the world needs Christ. To forget how badly we needed him, when he met us and meets us in our darkest time. We tend to forget the desperate state of the world so that we actually hide our light, as if the times are not desperate as they actually are.
In American culture it’s easy for people to self medicate problems. We are blessed to live in the free world, with a fair economy and opportunities for everyone. We have a government that help the poor, counselors and doctors who help the sick, medicine to deal with chronic pain and schools to educate ourselves. We have money that can buy us comforts and we have the ability to fill our lives with activities, to keep us busy, to forget the aching in our souls that only God can fill. The truth is no amount of money, medication or comforts can fill the God sized hole in each of our hearts. And if you take the time to get to know people, they will eventually open up to you that even with all the America Dream has to offer, they are still empty. And that’s our opportunity for the Gospel to turn that darkness into his light.
Paul taught the Ephesians to make the most of every opportunity,
People are searching, people are open, the harvest is plentiful, the need is now. Today is the time of God’s favor, the day of salvation, so don’t miss the opportunity, because a day of judgement is coming when every soul will give account to God for what we did with our days and years.
So stop wondering if people really want the light. When you’re in a dark place, there is nothing more welcoming then light.
But maybe the problem is we don’t know exactly what we are offering an unbeliever. We’re so bombarded with media and advertising that we may have a tendency to think we need to sell Jesus and all that he will do to help us live healthy, wealthy and wise. To present Jesus that if you will just follow Jesus, everything will be better, as if he were a product that you can take and make everything better.
The problem is, we know that’s not true so we don’t say anything rather than offer something that may not be authentic. Following Jesus is costly. It’s not a bed of roses and it’s not for the faint of heart. It takes courage and perseverance to swim upstream, to take up our crosses and die to our own desires until our desires are his desires.
So how do we present this Savior to a world that desperately needs him? Jesus is not so much a fix for your external circumstances, he is the Pearl of Great Price that renews our hearts, opens our eyes and ears so that no matter what you are facing, you’re not alone. And because he is with us and we’re connected with other believers, we can face anything and follow him anywhere because he is good. He may not be safe, but he is good and therefore can be trusted.
He is the Suffering Servant who was willing to pay the ultimate price for you and I to enjoy eternal life - knowing Jesus Christ. So no matter what the outside looks like, we are renewed by Christ daily and strengthened to do not our will but his, reconciling people to their Maker, until he comes again for his people , his Bride, ready and waiting.