Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lesson 4: Shining Light

Brief 4-to-5 Minute Teaching Lesson

Why? and What is the Purpose? in My Life SERIES

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Lesson 4 of the Discipleship Making process.

I left you last time with the question, “Being the light of the world, do Christians hide their light and if so, why?”

The disciples are listening intently as Jesus continues with the Sermon on the Mount. He looks directly at them and declares that they are the light of the world.

It is in Matthew 5:13-16, that we find Jesus’ next command, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

As the disciples listen to Jesus speak these words about light, questions begin to form in their minds. Why is Jesus calling them the light of the world? What light do they have?

When Jesus issued this command to His disciples He referred to “your light”. The disciples discovered that the only light they had was Jesus, Himself. In fact, the Apostle John recorded a statement from Jesus, in John 8:12, which reads, “‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’”

Jesus continues by telling His disciples that they should let their light shine in such a way that people could see their good works. These good works would in turn then cause people to praise God. To understand what good works are requires insight, because if men do their own good works, they are praised for them not God.

The first clue to understanding what good works are, is found in Matthew 19:16-17: “One came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Jesus equates goodness with God alone! Therefore, good works are those performed by God not men.

Men are doing well when they are declaring God’s works. That is righteousness! Psalms 73:28 make this point abundantly clear: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Thy works.”

The final clue is found in John 6:28-29, where the multitudes asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Scriptures show that good works consists of believing in Jesus Christ and declaring what God has done.

Now back to the question, “Do Christians hide their light and if so, why?” The answer is found in Jesus’ continued discourse to the disciples where He holds out the possibility that light can be hidden, in John 3:19-20, which reads, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”

The point of the lesson is to let your light shine when you bring the testimony of Jesus to others.

With that, allow me to leave you with these two questions to consider, along with a little homework assignment until my next posting:

“Who makes the laws?” . . . . and . . . . “Why do you think we have laws?”

. . . and the homework assignment . . .

Be light. Either initiate a testimony that Jesus Christ is Lord or help someone to understand that they are in darkness.

. . . in addition . . .

Read: 2 Corinthians 4:4-6

Until next time . . . Godspeed!

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