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Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matt. 5:16

     Letting our “light shine before men” accomplishes a real purpose that is essential to the Christian life.  It allows them (the unredeemed around us that God has sent us to bear witness of God’s goodness and glory) as Matthew say that it is for the purpose of them to see our “good works”.  Many have defined the primary meaning of these “good works” as doing good things for others, for society, etc.  But I believe that, Biblically, these good works can best be defined as living and walking in such a way as it is clear that the beauty of the glory, grace and power of the Lord that has worked in us. 
    One writer said that to see our good works is seeing the character of God by means of us, and this is to see Christ in us. That’s why Jesus says, “Let your light shine.” It is not something we create or make up, but something that God has both begun and continued in us as we allow the Lord to do things through us. It is God’s light; our choice is whether to hide it or let it shine.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matt. 5:16

    There are a couple of implications in the verse that we need to see.  
·        First, we need to see that this light is something that God has “placed” inside of us, or enabled us to have shine forth.  When we came to Christ, God indwelt us with His Spirit and that Holy Spirit began a work in us that builds the capacity to serve and to bear witness effectively within the plan of God.  In other word, from the time we become born again, God has equipped us with the “tools” necessary to bear an effective witness.  This is NOT to say that we do not have to apply ourselves and put in the work and effort needful to cultivate that gift of God so that it can be as brilliant as is can be done.
·        Now, we should also note that this isn’t something that simply “shines” out from us, but something that can shine, and, in fact, might also be somewhat less than “shining” if we do not hold up our end of the agreement (so to speak).  It is a light that God has given us, but something that we must “let” shine out from us.  It may also be that there is a sort of comparison drawn here.  The word shine can speak of a “beam” of light and was often used of the brilliant shining of the sun or some other brilliancy produce thing.  So Matthew is saying here that we must see to it that we are “letting” our light shine “like” or in the fashion of the beaming source of light of which everyone would know.
·        We should also see that, because we ae told to “let” our light shine, it is implied as possible that we might, unknowingly, because of our nature, prevent or decrease the shining of this light.  It is imperative, then, that we see to it that are not hindering and, instead seeing to it that we are doing all we can and that God and His Word tell us that we are able to do in the shining forth of the light.
·        It is also a light that can shine in different ways and perhaps even differing degrees, depending on our own submission to God and His diving purposes for our use.  W are to let our light “so”, in such a fashion, to shine.  It doesn’t just shine forth, at a given degree or brightness.
    We allow God’s light to shine through us so God will receive the praise and the glory for what He has done and for for what He has enabled us to be. Our intent should be that in what we are and what we do, others may see God and “glorify [our] Father who is in heaven.”    
    Our good works should magnify God’s grace and power. That is the supreme calling of life: glorifying God. Everything we do is to cause others to give praise to God, the source of all that is good. The way we live ought to lead those around us to glorify our heavenly Father.
    However, when what we do causes people to be attracted to us rather than to God, to see our human character rather than His divine character, we can be sure that what they see is not His light. We must make sure our deeds point people to God, the author of those deeds.

Consider This:
     As we’ve seen before, some will respond to your good deeds with derision and persecution, but others will shower praise on you for your acts of Christian character. How do you respond to those who give you credit for your servant’s heart and faithful obedience? How do you deflect that praise to God so it doesn’t nestle down in your own heart?  We must surely see to it that it is God Who receives the praise and glory.

     Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matt. 5:16

 


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