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I was visiting with one of our Baptist men before preaching in his church on a Sunday morning. After we had talked for a while, he said, “Have you ever noticed that so many things in our homes these days have a light?” I kind of nodded in agreement and said, “Well, yeah.” He said, “Well, like your VCR has a light on it. Our television has a light on it … telephones, fire alarms, clocks.” As he mentally walked me through his house, indeed a light began to come on in my feeble brain. Yes, there are a lot of things in our houses that have a light indicator, but then he made his most important point as he said, “Every one of us is supposed to have a light. In fact, we are to be a light shining for Jesus.” How true that is. The fact is that when He was here on earth with men, Jesus said, speaking of Himself, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Later He would tell those who followed Him, “Ye are the light” (Matt. 5:14). It is from that truth that the precious little song we used to sing comes, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
Every light can make a difference. It doesn’t have to be big and bold and bodacious like the sun. Every light can give direction and most of them can cast light on our pathway. Have you seen that ad that runs sometime on TV these days that tells the incredible power of the human eye? A candle can actually been seen from 10 miles away. That is astounding. If that be true, it is absolutely true that your light can be seen more clearly and much, much farther than you can even imagine. You probably think that just a handful of people even notice you being on planet Earth. Wrong. If you are walking with the Lord of Light, He is shining in you and through you and there are people outside of what you would consider your own little world who are seeing and taking notice and being blessed by the light that emanates from you.
In addition to just shining in the darkness, a light gives direction. I do not know all the constellations in the sky but on a good dark night when the moon is not visible and everything seems to be touched by darkness, I can generally find the Big Dipper. Those stars that make up the Big Dipper are light-years away from us, but I can find it. If I can find it, I can tell what direction I’m going and sometimes it means I need to change direction. Jesus points out to us one of the dilemmas of our individual light. He says, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house” (Matt. 5:15). Jesus knew the hearts of people all too well. There are those moments that we would rather hide our lights and quietly not be seen because there may be many people in the darkness who would confront or confound or confuse us. Maybe it’s better just to hide in our day when social media as well as the media at large can zero in on a person and try to make them look ignorant or radical or out of touch with society and hold them up to scrutiny and scorn. Many choose to be quiet and hidden.
It doesn’t matter where you fit into the strata of life there are people who will attack the light that may be shining in you. You could be a politician or a preacher, a football player or a character in a duck reality show. You can be a beauty queen or the owners of a chicken restaurant, and this world will get out the fire extinguishers and quench your light if you are not careful. For most of us who are not living in the media’s glare, the same thing happens in small little social gatherings or community events or school activities where some people do not believe that the Lord or the faith directives in our lives are supposed to have any kind of input whatsoever. So we tend to allow them to hide our light and quietly crawl into the corner and pull the bushel over us.
Franklin Graham was being interviewed about his position on traditional marriage. He said that marriage was a relationship between a man and a woman for a lifetime. As the interviewer quizzed him, they wanted to see if there was some time or place or way that he would be open to accepting a new view and change his old traditional view. Franklin Graham’s response was that in order for him to change, God would have to change. The view of marriage from a biblical standpoint is not his view, it is God’s view. For He is the one who made them male and female and it was God who brought that relationship to be. Graham was not being pompous, or religiously arrogant, but simply stating the case that life as God designed it at the outset was to bless a man and a woman and provide for offspring for the future of mankind. That remains true today and on that issue or any other that God has spoken to us about, we need not let our lights be extinguished.