Let Your Light Shine
1.  "Ye Are The Light Of The World"

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  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.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  Matthew 5:14-16

When I had my problems with breathing last summer I found that it was easier to sleep almost sitting up in the recliner, than in bed.  So now, when my breathing is difficult at night, I take my little flash light that hangs on my bedpost, and I move to the living room for a little while.  Last night was such a night.  I put my little light on the table next to my chair and was almost asleep when the light came back on.  It is a cheap little light and sometimes it goes off when the connection is not tight, so I must not have had it all the way off.  I did not take too much time to think about the reason it came on, I just picked it up and moved back to my bedroom.  Then, today as I was praying about my next devotional study, it seemed as though the Lord was telling me, "Let your light shine!"  I thought about sitting in the dark room last night, and how different it was when the light came on suddenly.  We live in a dark world, but Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world."   We can help others see the Light, when we let our light shine.


2.  This Little Light Of Mine, I'm Gonna Let It Shine

Someone shared a video of a little girl talking while she sat in her car seat.  This is what she said, "Goliath doesn't have God on his side, and David does because God always helps little people do big things.  Just like, God always helps me to stop sucking my thumb, to say, "Please God, make me not suck my thumb like that."  It really can do it.  You really can.  It's easy to do."  It is so good to hear little children talk about the things of God.  When we were small we sang a little song that started like this... "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."   The next verse began, "Hide it under a bushel, No! I'm gonna let it shine."   We were very young, but we learned the meaning of Mathew 5:15 as we sang the song.  "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."  We must teach our children and grandchildren Bible truths, especially as the world fights to take away all references of God and His Word.  Just before Moses died he reminded the Children of Israel all that God had done for Him and warned them to serve God only and keep His law.  In Deuteronomy 31:19 God told Moses, "Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel."  He went on to say that when the Israelites went against God and served false gods, the song would be a witness against them because their children would not forget the song.  Spend all the time you can teaching your little children and grandchildren Bible stories.  Teach them songs about the Lord.  "Jesus Loves Me" is a great song to begin with, and a great Bible truth you want them to always remember.


Today I want to share a devotional I wrote several months ago about a great old song...
3.  "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning"

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;" Luke 12:35

I have always liked the song, "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning."  When I researched the story behind the song, my fondness of it grew.  Evangelist Dwight L. Moody was preaching in 1871 and he told about a ship trying to get into the Cleveland Harbor during a dark storm on Lake Erie.  He could see the light from the lighthouse, but the lower lights had gone out on the rocky shore.  Phillip Paul Bliss was so touched by the story he wrote this great old song.  Here is an excerpt from his book.

"On a dark, stormy, night, when the waves rolled like mountains, and not a star was to be seen, a boat, rocking and plunging, neared the Cleveland harbor. “Are you sure this is Cleveland?” asked the captain, seeing only one light from the lighthouse.
“Quite sure, sir,” replied the pilot.
“Where are the lower lights?”
“Gone out, sir.”
“Can you make the harbor?”
“We must, or perish, sir!”
And with a strong hand and a brave heart, the old pilot turned the wheel. But alas, in the darkness he missed the channel, and with a crash upon the rocks the boat was shivered, and many a life lost in a watery grave. Brethren, the Master will take care of the great lighthouse: let us keep the lower lights burning!"
D. L. Moody.

Philip P. Bliss, The Charm: A Collection of Sunday School Music (Chicago, Illinois: Root & Cady, 1871)

"Let The Lower Lights Be Burning"

Brightly beams our Father's mercy from His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

Dark the night of sin has settled, loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.


4.  A Light For The Gentiles

Long, long ago, when the world was still new, God spoke to a man named Abram, (whom He later named Abraham) and said, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."  (Genesis 12:1-3)  The children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were God's chosen people and the promises of the Old Testament were made to them.  God reminded the Children of Israel of His promises through Moses and the prophets, "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth."  (Deuteronomy 7:6)  In the New Testament we see the first coming of Christ, and Jesus also sent His disciples to the Israelites.  "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 10:5)  The Gentiles were lost, without hope.  But, John tells us that Jesus was rejected by His people.  "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not."  (John 1:9-11)  After being turned away by the Israelites, Jesus opened up the way to the Gentiles.  This was foretold by the prophet Isaiah.  "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."  (Isaiah 60:1-3)  Simeon also declared this to Mary and Joseph in Luke 2:32, "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."  After the death and resurrection, Jesus sent the gospel message to the Gentiles through His disciples.

"46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
47  For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
49  And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region."  (Acts 13:46-49)

I gave all these verses today to show my thanks to the Lord Jesus for giving Himself on the cross and opening up the way to salvation to the Gentiles.  I am not a Jew, and would have no hope, aside from God's glorious gift of salvation.  I opened this devotional showing that Abraham and his descendants were blessed.  Well, thanks to the Lord, I am also blessed! 


5.  Let Your Light Shine To Glorify God

When I was in school I hated the tests that asked, "Why did the author write this?"  I liked questions that were answered in black and white, and I didn't want to try to figure out what the author was saying between the lines.  Well, as we look at these words of Jesus in Matthew 5:16, we are told exactly why we are to let our light shine. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." It is not about us.  We are to let our light shine so others will see our good works, but the purpose is to glorify God, not glorify us.  I don't think there has ever been a time when people were so consumed with themselves.  Even my two and three year old grandchildren can turn the camera on and take "selfies" with an ipad.  From the very young, to the very old, we take these self photographs and posts them all over the internet for the world to see "us".  I am afraid that we are becoming so self consumed, that we are forgetting that we are to glorify God.  Everyday I am bombarded with ways I can improve myself: ways to lose weight, ways to get rid of wrinkles, what to wear, how to fix my hair, and on and on.  I am beginning to question some of the articles and news stories I read.  I have even wondered if our Christian oriented posts are to glorify God, or are they meant to bring attention to us.  Please don't misunderstand what I am trying to say.  I appreciate Christians who stand for right and are not afraid to speak out for the cause of Christ.  But, let's make sure we are speaking out for Christ, and not just to gain attention for ourselves.  I think Paul says it rather well, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  (I Corinthians 10:31)  We are living in dark days and we need to let our light shine.  Let's make sure we are reflecting God's Light through our lives, and not our own little "selfies".


6.  We Reflect The Light From Above

God gave us the sun, moon, and stars for light, but actually the moon does not have any light of itself.  The moon reflects the light of the sun.  That's the way we are meant to be.  We have no spark of light within ourselves, but we are to reflect the Light of the Son.  When we have sin in our lives it comes between us and the Lord and our light is hidden, just as dark clouds hide the light of the moon.  But, God is able to forgive us of our sin and take away the darkness caused by our sin so that we can walk in His Light and reflect His Light in our lives.  Let your light shine!

"5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  (I John 1:5-9)


7.  The Light Of Heaven

There has been a deluge of books and movies about people who say they have died and gone to heaven and come back.  I have seen a few of the stories, but I am not sure how much to believe about what they say.  Especially those who don't mention the Lord Jesus.  Heaven is more than just a bright light at the end of a tunnel.  Heaven is more than flying around over fields of flowers on the wings of a giant butterfly.  We read these stories because we want to know more about heaven. Well I can tell you someone that wrote about heaven and you can believe everything he says.  His name was John.  He knew that Jesus is the Light of the world and the only way to go to heaven. 

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men."  (John 1:4)
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  (John 8:12)
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

If you want to know about heaven, you can read what John saw in the book of Revelation.  And we know that the Word of God is true.

"10  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;...
18  And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19  And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20  The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."


8.  Some Rebel Against The Light

Yesterday was a day of remembrance.  It has been 14 years since the terrorists attacked the twin towers and so many lives were lost.  We can't bring those back who died on that dark day.  But we will do well to remember.  We will also do well to remember those in prayer who risk their lives each day to help secure the safety of our nation.  Policemen and women, firefighters, those serving our country in the military, and many others need to be lifted up in prayer.  Mankind has rebelled against God ever since Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit.  We see in Job 24:13, probably the oldest book in the Bible, that people did not follow the path of light even then.  "They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof."  Over time mankind has not risen above sin, but seems to be sinking farther and farther away from the light of the truth found in God's Word.  It is so important that we try even harder to let our light shine in these dark days.


9.  "Here Am I"

It is such a blessing to read the Bible when God opens my eyes to see great truths from His Word.  My focus in reading changes with each new devotional theme, so I often see familiar scriptures in a whole new light.  Think about "light" as you read these great old verses.

"1  And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
2  And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
3  And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
4  That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I."  (I Samuel 3:1-4)

Eli was the priest, but his two sons were very wicked.  Hannah had prayed for a son and promised to give him back to God, so she took little Samuel to the temple to serve the Lord.  To see the setting, we can look at the last verse in the book of Judges.  "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes."  (Judges 21:25)  The darkness of the days is shown further in our first verse, "...And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision."  The Children of Israel had turned away from God and were serving idols.  In their choice of darkness, God turned down the Light.  Next, in verse two, we see the old priest.  "... Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;"  Eli may have not seen the wickedness of his sons, but he heard of it.  " And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people."  (I Samuel 2:23)  And God held him accountable for them.  "Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, ... and honourest thy sons above me,...?"  (I Samuel 2:29)  Eli's sons were in line to be the priests, but he had closed his eyes to their sins and God told him that both of them would die on the same day.  Finally, just in time, we come to verse three, "And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD..."  The Children of Israel had been commanded to always keep the lamps burning.  "And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always."  (Exodus 27:20)  But, I want to look at the spiritual realm.  The old priest would soon pass on, and his sons were not serving the Lord, would the light go out in the temple of the Lord?  No.  God has a servant to carry on His work.  Look at verse four, "That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I."  Our world seems to be growing darker and darker, but God still has a remnant of people who are willing to say, "Here am I."  As the older generation of Christians pass on to heaven, we need to make sure we stand and take their place and let our light shine, and say like Samuel, "Here am I."


10.  "Send The Light"

Ever since I began writing on "Let Your Light Shine" I have been singing "Send The Light" over and over in my mind.  Today I want us to look at the first verse of this song written by Charles H. Gabriel in 1890.  The old hymns have a special place in my heart.  I learned this song as a child and have enjoyed singing it through the years.

"Send The Light"

There’s a call comes ringing over the restless wave,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
There are souls to rescue there are souls to save,
Send the light! Send the light!

Send the light, the blessèd Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, the blessèd Gospel light;
Let it shine forevermore!

When I think about the souls that need to be rescued I think of the little book of Jude, verses 22-23.  "And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."  Some seem to know the love of God, as they feel lonely and unloved on this earth.  While others need to hear of the judgment of God.  Whatever the method, we can be sure that God will use it for His saving grace when we "Send The Light."


11.  Send The Light Everywhere

Still looking at this great old song, "Send The Light", we are moving on to the second and third verses.

We have heard the Macedonian call today,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
And a golden offering at the cross we lay,
Send the light! Send the light!

Let us pray that grace may everywhere abound,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
And a Christlike spirit everywhere be found,
Send the light! Send the light!

Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine forevermore!

Paul heard the call and traveled to Macedonia in his missionary journeys.  "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.  And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them."  (Acts 16:9)  I admire preachers and missionaries who felt "called" to go to a certain place and they went to carry the gospel message.  A pastor from Brazil visited our church Sunday night and I think we have been supporting him for more than 35 years.  He has been faithful in God's work and it is an honor to pray for him and his people. 

As we look at the third verse of the song we see that the gospel of Christ is needed "everywhere".  Just before Jesus ascended up to heaven He told the disciples, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."  (Acts 1:8)  He said that they were to be witnesses for Him to the "uttermost part of the earth", but notice that they were to begin in Jerusalem.  Preacher Fox once said that he likes to change the words in the chorus to "Send the light, the blessed Gospel light; Let it shine from door to door."  As we support our missionaries in prayer and with finances, let's not neglect to send the light out in our own communities.


12.  Our Rewards

We are finishing the song, "Send The Light" with precious promises from God's Word.  Charles H. Gabriel must have known the scriptures when he wrote this final verse.

Let us not grow weary in the work of love,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
Let us gather jewels for a crown above,
Send the light! Send the light!

Our first promise encourages us to keep on, and not grow weary, and we will reap.  "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  (Galatians 6:9)  "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."  (Psalms 126:6)  Don't give up now.  Don't quit.  Keep on letting your light shine.  Be faithful and hear the words of our Lord in Luke 10:2.  "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."

Not only will others benefit from our light, but wouldn't it be great to have a crown to cast at the feet of our blessed Lord and Savior?

"And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible."  (I Corinthians 9:25)
"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."  (II Timothy 4:8)
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."  (James 1:12)
"And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."  (I Peter 5:4)
"Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Revelation 2:10)
"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."  (Revelation 3:11)


13.  Let Your Light Shine Today, For You Are Not Promised Tomorrow

I just learned that my neighbor died recently.  When I heard the news I was saddened, not only that he had died unexpectedly, but that I do not know if he knew the Lord as his Savior.  I had invited him to church and given him tracts on occasion, but nothing more.  I read his obituary and saw that he was a member of a church, so I hope that he was saved.  In the book of James we are reminded that our life is a vapor that soon vanishes away.  We need to let our light shine today, because we don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Death is not the only thing that can interrupt our plans.  I was sitting at a desk in an office four years ago and our department was let go.  I was thankful that I had tried to let my light shine, for there were so many people that I would not see again.  People come and go in our lives and we need to do all we can, while we can, to help light the way to Christ.  I pray that God will help me be a better witness and let my light shine brighter before it is too late.

"13  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."  (James 4:13-17)


14.  Our Lights Shine Brighter When We Shine Together

On the top shelf of my closet is a small basket of candles.  It is always in the same place, so I can find it in the dark if needed.  When the power goes off I pull out my basket and start lighting the candles.  After the first one is lit, there is a very small light in the room.  It is much brighter when I light several candles and place them in front of a mirror, so that the light is reflected across the room.  In Exodus 25:31, 32, and 37 we see that there were several candlesticks and lamps in the temple.  "And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.  And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:... And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it."  As we apply this to our lives we can see that our lights will shine brighter when we are with those who are also shining bright for the Lord.  Have you ever noticed that it is so easy to talk about the Lord when you are around God's faithful servants?  We can see this principle applied in Proverbs 13:20, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."  We can turn to the New Testament and see how we can be an encouragement to others when we are faithful in letting our light shine.  "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."  (Hebrews 10:23-25)


15.  "A Lamp Unto My Feet, And A Light Unto My Path"

We have come to the end of our thoughts on "Let Your Light Shine."  I hope that these simple reminders have been an encouragement to you to be a sunbeam to brighten someone's day, or perhaps a lighthouse to show them the way.  I began the devotional web site, "Lamp Unto My Feet" in September of 2003.  Two of my sons were away at college and I tried to send them an encouraging message each night before I went to bed.  I thought it would be difficult to find something to write about each day, but even after they graduated and got married, the Lord continued to send me verses and ideas to fill the pages.  The days quickly turned to weeks, which became months, that grew into years.  Now, twelve years later, the Lord is still leading me to write these simple thoughts to let my light shine across the internet.  Our verse today is found in Psalms 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  This was the verse I chose for the web site.  First of all, I see the Bible as "a lamp unto my feet."  God's Word goes with me day by day, step by step, leading and guiding me through gentle reminders in the scriptures.  Next, I find strength and hope for tomorrow in His "light unto my path."  These are the big decisions that set my course and direct my way.  I like to think of it as a walk in the dark with a flashlight.  I shine the light at my feet to see where I am walking, but from time to time I shine it out in front of me to see what lies on the path ahead.  I pray that these devotionals have been an encouragement to you to "Let Your Light Shine" and hope that you will continue with us as we look into the Lord's Word for our next journey.