16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
The imagery of light has great personal meaning to me. My name means “light” and my husband’s name means “bringer of light.” We purposefully centered our wedding ceremony around the theme of light.
Why are we attracted to the idea of light, of spreading influence, of dispelling the darkness? It’s exciting! It’s invigorating! It’s inspiring! We have influence through our deeds. Since its beginning, the church has been known for doing, for helping, for loving, for acting. But while we garner influence in the world, our aim shouldn’t be to gain anything from God or the world through deeds.
Jesus makes it clear that the end goal is not that people would applaud the church, but that they would adore God. Whose light are we shining? His! Not our own. We are the moon, not the sun. Reflecting His truth, allowing His Spirit to bear fruit through us.
Take a moment to confess any times you’ve sought recognition or approval or love for your good deeds. Invite Jesus to show you ways you can bring glory to your Heavenly Father. Perhaps you use this passage from Isaiah 42:5-10 to aid you in praying today.
5 Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Pray that these words would be true in your life, in your family, in our church family, in the universal church. Pray that we would live in the way of Jesus that all those around us might join in the song of creation giving glory to God.
By Ellen Rosenberger