A puzzle confronts the readers of the New Testament who discover that Jesus
said to His disciples in Matthew 5:14, You are the light of the world. Yet in
John 8:12, Jesus said, I am the light of the world. To further complicate the
matter John says, God is light (1 John 1:5). What appears to be a riddle is not
one at all. The moon provides light for the earth just as the sun does. Yet,
the source of light for both the sun and the moon is the sun. The moon reflects
the light of the sun. By the same token, Jesus, the God-man, is the source of
all light. We should shine the redeeming light of Christ in this darkened
Jesus said, You are the light of the world. You are it--the light.
Therefore, our light is to be placed where its influence can best be used
and felt. The light of believers should light every home and hamlet, city,
state and nation--the whole world.
What a gigantic tribute! God is light; Christ is light; the believer is the
light of the world. We are what God and Christ are--light. No greater
compliment could be paid to us. Paul exhorts us to be blameless and innocent,
children of God, above reproach, in the midst of a crooked and perverse
generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15,
For many at her office, Kathleen DeSoto's brightness is the catalyst for
people's faith encounters. DeSoto, an actuary and manager for an investment
firm, leads a Bible study on her lunch hour and listens attentively to
co-workers as she tells them about Christ.
"My office is my mission field," she says. "Non-Christians want to become
Christians if our lives are joyful.
I try to portray the joy of Christ in my life. Sometimes carrying my Bible
to work opens conversations. And I invite new staff members to church.
It's encouraging to see people become involved and begin to stand for
It's hard to miss the light when a business is named The Master's Touch. For
automotive body repairman Frank Smith, decorating his shop and office with
evangelistic posters is a natural.
"Everything in here is used to glorify God. Customers definitely know what
I'm about," Smith says. Shoptalk often turns to God talk when customers ask Who
is the Master. Smith is quick to tell them that his skill for repairing damaged
vehicles is nothing compared to Christ's ability to mend broken lives.
Howard Hendricks, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, says the
greatest witness for Jesus Christ in Dallas that he ever met was not a
preacher, but an ophthalmologist. But he hadn't always been so effective. He
was active in an evangelical church for 12 years and had never led anyone to
Christ. One day a group of college kids challenged him: "Hey, Doc, are you
sharing your faith?"
"No, I'm not," he said. "I don't even know how."
They continued: "We've got a little training program. How about getting
involved in it?"
"Count me in!" he answered.
They taught him how to share his faith. He became a committed witness and
led people to Christ.
Later, when Hendricks was in a remote section of India, he told a group
about this doctor but didn't use his name. When he had finished, an Indian
doctor said: "You were talking about …" and called the doctor's name.
"How did you know?"
"I went to medical school in Dallas," the Indian doctor told him. "I went to
see him about my eyes. He led me to Christ and discipled me."
Today that Christian is the only licensed neurosurgeon in his part of India.
He has tremendous impact for Christ.
Unfortunately, many believers are "rabbit-hole" Christians. They pop out of
their safe Christian houses, hold their breath at work, scurry home and then
off to their Bible studies, ending the day praying for unbelievers they safely
Some believers are reluctant to witness because they do not feel their faith
is adequate, or they fear they will not be able to answer difficult theological
questions if asked. We are judged not by the degree of our light but by our
faithfulness in shining the light.
Bob Reccord is president and CEO, North American Mission Board,
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC