Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine among men that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
While He walked on this earth, Jesus was focused on His vision: building His church not only upon truth but one built outward, like a bridge to the community (not inward, like an island). John 17:23 tells why this was so important to Him: "…that the world may know that You have sent Me."
He explained His vision in the Sermon on the Mount, in our featured verse from Matthew, where Jesus said Christians must influence the world by allowing Him to shine through them.
It’s interesting that in John 8:12, Jesus said He is the Light. But here in Matthew 5:16, He says those who follow Him are the light. He is giving us His vision. After His resurrection and ascension, we are the light because, as Colossians 1:27 explains, He lives in us: "To them God willed to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
My hope is that I can be transformed by Him, as He conforms me to be more and more like Him. That means I live out what I believe. Then, He and His Father are glorified through me to an unbelieving world.
I actually fulfill Acts 4:13, as I become living proof to an unsaved world that Jesus Christ in me is real: "…when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled and they realized that THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS."
I can bridge the void between the church and the world around me. 1Corinthians 1:26-29 says that only when I humble myself before Him can He use me to draw others to Him. This is God’s will for my life.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called "Faith: Substance and Evidence." He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.