Like Neon Signs
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your. father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
When we drive down a city street at night, we see hundreds of lit-up signs advertising company produces and services. Some are incredibly bright and some barely flicker. Some are big and bold, and some are more subdued. Every one of them, though, advertises something.
In the same way, every person is like a neon sign shining in the darkness, and every one of us communicates a message to anyone who notices. Jesus tells us that we have the opportunity to design our life’s sign and determine how it shines for people to see. And in fact, our choices about the design make a tremendous difference for today and for all eternity because He has chosen us to “advertise” the grace, mercy, kindness, and purposes of our Heavenly Father!
All of us made choices long ago that have shaped our lives and the signs were designed, but God gives us the opportunity to make a new design if we need to. By His grace, we can trust Him to transform our hearts so that far more of His love shines through. Some of us need to do some major design work; some need to screw in a fresh bulb or two. All of us need to take a few minutes to reflect on what we’ve been advertising and what we want on our signs.
“Every sin is the distortion of an energy breathed into us-an energy which if not thus distorted would have blossomed into one of those holy acts whereof “God did it” and “I did it” are both true descriptions.
“Man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.” Zig Ziglar
We sang as children a little song that said, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” And in the darkness of this present world, how we need the light of Christ to shine through us. We don’t need great amounts of light to make an impression. Just one little light shining in the darkness. Now imagine what brightness if 100 or 1000 lights were shining together. What a piercing of the darkness that would be!
How do we shine our lights you may ask? We shine them by choosing the Christ life, by living our our faith openly, and by responding to situations as the Bible teaches us using Christ as our model. I’m not suggesting that we march or demonstrate or protest. Those things may grab media attention but usually produce little change. Our light shining comes naturally from being with God.
In Exodus we read of Moses who spent 40 days on the mountain in the presence of God and when he came to the people his face shine with such light that they had to place a veil on him. I don’t know if we could ever come so close to the presence of God in that level but I do know that we can experience God’s presence in such a way that those around will notice there’s something different about us.
In Acts, Peter and John are brought before the Sanhedrin for questioning about their preaching and the healing of the lame man. I love the fact that the Sanhedrin concluded that “they had been with Jesus.”
Our goal is to reflect the light of Christ in this dark world. If we wish people to hear our words, they first have to see our walk. There is no greater testimony than that of a changed life. Sometimes we are afraid to tell our friends and family that we are Christians but if Christ has truly transformed our lives, they know something is different. I hope that difference will open up a conversation with them about Christ.
Sometimes we gather as the people of God and bemoan the encroaching darkness and stay safely in our buildings and with those of like faith. We would hope that there is light in the church shining through the believers, but what about the light in the community? How dark is our neighborhood? Hasn’t Christ called us to shine our lights so that those who sit in darkness may see their way home?
I think it’s time for the people of God to become creative in light shining. We can shine through random acts of kindness as long as we reveal the source of true light. Kindness connected with gospel is a powerful witness. Sometimes we try to operate either one or the other but not both together. But if we could connect them what a light would be shown. We can shine our lights through service but what if we shared the gospel in conjunction with the acts of service.
When we study the ministry of Christ whose mission was was to reveal the Father, we discover that He connected service with gospel. Remember when He fed the 5,000? He did so after feeding their souls for about 3 days. Remember how when he healed the sick or cast out demons, He also gave the message of the gospel? This ought to also be our model. After all who could question His success?
So let us take our little lights out from the bush that we have been hiding them under and let them shine! If for some reason the devil has successfully blown your little light out, let flame of Christ reignite it again. Go ahead let it shine upon somebody today! It’ll make their day and yours too.
Dr. John Thompson