Keys to the Kingdom – Carolyn Tucker
It’s kind of embarrassing to say that I have a knock-down-drag-out with the Saran Wrap every time I try to use it. No matter what I do, it sticks to itself instead of the baking dish. If I had four hands, I think I could do it right. When it just sticks to itself, it’s not doing the job it was designed to do. The last time I had one of these annoying episodes I think I said out loud, “It just sticks to itself and doesn’t do any good.”
Some Christians stick to themselves and don’t want to go out and be a light in the darkness. This is not the way God designed His children to live. Jesus said that believers are the light of the world. I distinctly remember watching President Ronald Reagan’s funeral service as it aired on June 11, 2004. I’ve never forgotten that the following scripture was read: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV).
In the book of John 8:12 NKJV, Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.“ Today, Jesus is not walking on planet earth in bodily form as He was when He spoke those words. However, He has transferred the light to His followers and tells us not to hide it. If Christians only cluster together once or twice a week, how is that helping those stumbling around in the darkness?
We’re to take the light of Jesus and love people with it. And it’s not always necessary to preach a sermon to them either. In fact, your life is a living message to everyone you’re around. My brother, a retired pastor, has worked for God and His Kingdom all of his adult life. He and his wife, both living, have the following quote inscribed on their headstone: “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words – St. Francis of Assisi.”
Country artist Donna Fargo released a great message song in 1974 entitled, “You Can’t Be a Beacon if Your Light Don’t Shine.” A beacon is a fire or light set up in a high position as a warning, signal, or celebration. “There’s a little light in all of us by God’s design” is a true lyrical phrase in the song. Let’s just say that when you’re born again you have the light of a candle. As you grow in Christ and become more and more like Him, your candle grows to a flashlight, then to a blazing torch, and finally a beacon.
It’s up to you how big and bright your light shines into the darkness. It’s up to you whether you’ll put your money where your mouth is. It’s one thing to talk about the love of God, but it’s another to show your love by doing good in the midst of evil. Jesus, our example, went about doing good (Acts 10:38). Christ-followers should have a light burning so hot within them that they can’t keep it to themselves. The world (those without Christ) is in deep darkness and they probably won’t be able to find their way to the church house.
The Key: If you’re hiding instead of shining, Jesus commissions you to get out from under the basket and shine your light on high beam.