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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#993. Let others see your light (19/2/24)

This week, in our devotionals in Luke, we are using this parable of the lamp to inspire us. Today let’s consider what it means to let our light shine. 

‘“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.”’ (Luke 8:16)

Lesson: Jesus changes our lives so that others can see His light through Our example, our words and our loving service. 


To listen to this devotional, go to:



This theme of letting your light shine is used in so many ways in our culture. It has come to be seen as doing good or showing ‘the best version of yourself’ to those around you - not being ashamed of who you are. You’ve probably heard the story that’s told in so many ways about the struggling person who is hiding their talent - their light - but who comes to reveal their talent - their light - to the astonished applause of many. What does Jesus mean by letting your light shine? 


What is the lamp or light?

The lamp or light , as with The Parable of the Soils, is Jesus’ Word. It’s the gospel and Biblical teaching. It’s not about showing people who we are but it’s about showiing who Jesus is. 


How do we put it on a stand?

Jesus tells us not to put our lamp under anything so that it’s hidden, but to do all that we can to show our light; here are three ways that we could do this:


i. Example. 

To put the lamp - Jesus Word - on a stand is, firstly, about setting an example by living a righteous and loving life that’s in keeping with Jesus’ Word. Paul writes about how the quality of our lives reveals the light of God:


‘For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord.’ (Ephesians 5:8-10)

As we rid our lives of ‘darkness’ and live lives of ‘goodness, righteousness and truth’, we please the Lord but also show His light to those around us. 


ii. Words.

Secondly, it’s about using words as we share the gospel and Jesus’ teaching in wise ways. This is a very challenging teaching that is so at odds with how many Christians have come to understand what it means to be light. As light exposes and expels darkness so Christians, in loving wisdom, are to show how people’s lives are in rebellion to God. We are to confront sin as Jesus did and offer the solution in the gospel! This will often not be popular and that is why we are so tempted to hide our light! As our reading in Ephesians 5 continues, this theme of light bringing exposure is taught:


‘…Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.’ (Ephesians 5:8-13) 

I hope we can see that people will only come to Christ is they see their need for Him and God wants to use us to expose people’s need and the solution in the gospel. 


iii. Loving service

Thirdly, it’s about good works that reveal the love of God. This is, probably, the most popular and least challenging way that Christians reveal their light. However, due to distraction, business and selfishness, we can hide the light of selfless service. We read about this important aspect:

‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ (Matthew 5:16) 

Response

Jesus changes our lives so that others can see His light through our example, our words and our service. Which aspect of being a light are you most tempted to hide? Are you a good example, does your lifestyle accord with God’s Word? Do you use your words to lovingly challenge sin in others and seek to lead them to the cross? Do you serve people so as to reveal God’s grace? How do you need to let your light shine?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals which is accessed in Church News or the 'Teaching' button on the website. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? (Again, as with last week, this parable of the lamp on a stand, that we are looking at today, is very much linked with knowing and doing God’s Word).


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

This week, in our devotionals in Luke, we are using this parable of the lamp (Luke 18:16-18) to inspire us. 

In our days of electric lights, the need to tend a lamp has gone. Most of us find it hard enough to change a lightbulb let alone to tend a lamp that’s fuelled by oil! Jesus tells this parable as a compliment and reiteration of what He said previously in The Parable of the Soils. Both parables are about how we ‘hear’ God’s word, put it into practice and share it with others. 


Please read Luke :8:16-18

  1. What were you particularly struck by in Sunday’s message from Luke 8:16-18? 

  2. What would you say is the central teaching of this parable on putting the lamp on a stand? 

  3. What does it mean to hide our light and put our lamp on a stand?

  4. How can we seek to put our light on a stand?

  5. In verse 16, we read, ‘For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.’ How is this reference to final judgement to affect how we live? 

  6. SIV - How, specifically, are we to let our light shine on our community that’s outside of faith? 

  7. SIV - Why might we be tempted to hide our light from our non-believing friends, family and colleagues? 

  8. SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  9. Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that’s come out of our time in God’s Word.

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