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Shining the Light of Christ
Matthew 5:16

Be a Lighthouse for Jesus

By Dr. David Gallamore
Pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church, Easley, South Carolina

      Matthew 5:13-16: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

      You and I, who have been saved, born again, washed in the blood of the Lamb, have a responsibility to this world to show an example of the Lord Jesus. Paul said, in the book of Romans: "I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians." Paul said, "I have been saved by grace. I am in debt to the Lord, and I am in debt to the world to tell about God’s marvelous grace.
      You and I don’t live in isolation. We live in the world and have a relationship to that world. Our responsibility to the world is to show them Christ. The Bible says that we are in the world but not of the world. There ought to be a quality about your life and my life that reveals something different about us. There ought to be something about us that reveals God’s grace in our lives. People who know you ought to know that there has been a change in your life. If people who knew you years back and know you today don’t see a difference in your life, then something is drastically wrong with your walk with the Lord. 
      The Description – Christ said that the Christian is salt and light. 
      Salt preserves, and the Bible says that you and I who are saved, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, ought to have a preserving factor about us. We live in a wicked world that lies in darkness and in sin. This world needs the preserving power and influence of the church and of the Christian. 
      Salt is to permeate whatever it touches. You and I who are saved ought to permeate the world. Do you remember the song - Hide it under a bushel? No, I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? No, I’m gonna let it shine. We are to permeate in every aspect of life. God didn’t call everybody to be Pastors, but God called everybody to be preachers, and you ought to be permeating your particular area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
      Salt is pleasing, and a Christian and a church right with God will be pleasing. It is a marvelous thing to be a child of the King and to be saved. We ought to thank God that He loved us enough to give us the opportunity to be saved. 
      The importance of the light — He said, "You are the light of the world." Christians are the only ones who can be that light, because the world lies in darkness. 
      There is a cry from heaven. All of those saints in heaven are crying out, "Send the light, take the light, be the light." They are saying to the church, "Don’t just come and soak it up, but go out there and squeeze it out. Let the world see Jesus in you." 
      There is a cry from hell. That man in Luke 16 said, "Send somebody to my five brothers and tell them not to come to this awful place called hell." There is a cry from hell. Don’t get the idea that everybody who is in hell is partying and celebrating. They’re in pain, but they’re not in any kind of pain like they’re going to be in, because hell is going to get worse. It’s bad now, but it’s going to get worse. In hell, they’re crying, "Somebody, tell my brother. Somebody, tell my sister. Somebody, tell my loved ones before it’s too late." 

      There is a cry from the world that says, "Send the light." 
      The intensity of the light — Let it shine. The lost need to see it. They need to see the light of your life and of the church and find their way to Jesus before it’s too late. Light shines, light shares, and light sacrifices. A light that is going to be the right kind of light has to give of itself. A candle that becomes a light eventually burns itself out. It will cost us something to be a light for the Lord Jesus. It costs something to do the work of God, but if one person gets saved, it’s worth every penny. 
      The light burns in order to shine. There are some things that will hinder your light from shining. If a church is not careful, and if Christians are not careful, they’ll get interested in other things except letting their light shine, and the light gets a little dull. Have you ever known a Christian who had a bright shining light but now it’s not burning too brightly? Something has hindered that light. There are some things that will help that light shine — be humble, be honest, and be holy. 
      The Danger - He said that salt can lose its savor. That doesn’t mean you can lose your salvation. Once you get saved, God puts you in His hand, and nobody can pluck you out of the Father’s hand. But you can lose your effectiveness. You can lose your influence. You can lose your testimony. There are churches closing their doors. Hundreds and thousands, every year in America, lock the doors, turn the lights off, and, where once the Gospel was proclaimed, no more is it proclaimed. The salt has lost its savor. The salt in Palestine, south of the Dead Sea, can lose its saltiness and become insipid. You can’t taste the salt anymore; it’s no good. A Christian can get to the point where their influence, their testimony, has lost its zip, for the light having been hid. Do you remember that story in II Kings 6 with the floating ax head? A man was cutting down trees, and the ax head fell off, and the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" He told him where it fell, and he said, "Go back there and get it." And the iron was swimming. If you have lost your effectiveness, if you have lost your influence, go back where you left it. God said that you can pick it back up right where you left it. 
      And then there’s the light. In the days of Jesus, cities were set on hills. Because of being on a hill, the light was able to shine, and could be seen from a far distance. Plus, the hill offered protection to that city. We are not to conceal our light. Don’t put it under a bushel basket. Remove the basket, and let it shine. Don’t try to hide your light, but let your light shine. Do you remember that song, This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. In order for that light to shine, with that lantern, you’ve got oil and a wick. The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and the child of God can’t shine without the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. And that wick has to be trimmed in order for the light to shine effectively. Maybe, you need a little trimming, and God needs to get that wick where it can shine and where it can give light to all of those around you. There is the danger of the salt losing its saltiness. There is the danger of the light being put under a bushel where nobody can see it. 
      The Determined Purpose for the Salt and Light - The salt is to have that powerful, preserving, permeating effect on this world.
      The world is looking for a church that is real. The church is not the building. The church is the people. You’re the church. When you go out in the community, people look at you and see the church. That’s why our light ought to shine. That’s why the salt ought to have a permeating effect and a powerful effect, because somebody is watching you. 
      Light attracts attention and cannot be ignored. We are to be reflectors. I’m not the light. John the Baptist said, "I’m not the light. I’m coming to bear witness of that light. He that is coming after me is preferred before me." John didn’t say, "I’m the one." John said, "Jesus is the one." And when you and I are right with God, we point people to the Lamb of God. It’s not you. It’s not us. It’s Him. 
      Do you remember that song, Let the lower lights be burning? Some may be like lights giving out a lot of light, but some may be lower lights. There are people out there who only see the lower lights, but they do need to see the light. If they don’t see the lower lights burning, they may miss heaven.
Brightly beams our Father’s mercy, from his lighthouse ever more, but to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore. Dark the night of sin has settled, loud the angry billows roar, eager eyes are watching, longing for the lights along the shore. Trim your feeble lamps, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed, trying now to make the harbor in the darkness may be lost. Let the lower lights be burning, send a gleam across the way. Some poor fainting, struggling seamen, you may rescue, you may save. 
      The lower lights need to be burning. You might say your light doesn’t amount to much, but just a little bit of light is a bright light in a world of darkness. It takes only a little bit of light to shine in a dark place to make a difference. 
      Church, we have to make up our mind. God’s blessing in the past is no assurance of His blessing in the future. We have to trim our wicks and make sure there is oil in our lamps. We can’t be like those five foolish virgins in Matthew 25 who had no oil when the bridegroom came and tried to buy from those five wise virgins who did have oil. The Bible says that, while the five foolish virgins went out looking for oil, the bridegroom came, and the five wise virgins went with him and the five foolish were left behind. Jesus is coming again, and you can’t get somebody else’s oil. You’ve got to get your own oil, and it comes only by the way of the cross. 
      A lot of people are looking for a light somewhere. They’re looking for somebody who has something in their life that makes them want to be different. And that difference is not you. That difference is Jesus. If the church doesn’t let its light shine, then we’ve become like salt that is insipid, tasteless, with no power, or a light that once was but now the bushel basket is over the top of it, and there is no more light. 
      The Bible says that the world was lying in darkness, and there was no light at all. Then, one day Jesus came. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." Jesus began his ministry as a young man and began sharing that ministry with others. After we receive the light, after Jesus has come into our heart, God has called us to share that light with the world that lies in darkness. We want to let our light shine. We want to shine and burn for the Lord Jesus so this community and this world can see Christ in us. Jesus wants us to let our light shine before men so that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven. I’m praying that we’ll let our lights shine and that this world will see Jesus in us.