Matthew 5:16 is one of those verses that really helps us understand how we get to live each day. Let’s have a look. Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” So there’s beautiful three steps that we get to unpack from this.
The context of this verse is that Jesus is saying to us, “Hey, be the light. Don’t put your light under a barrel, go on top of a hill and shine your light to everyone,” because this is the way God’s created us to be. So that first little piece of the verse “Let your light shine,” and the real key word there is “let.” “Let” says that we have the choice whether to let our light shine or not. We can hide it under a bushel, but Jesus Himself is saying to you, “Hey, don’t be that way. I want the world to see how I created you. Will you let me shine through you?”
That’s the first key. The beauty is that as we let that happen, if we let our light shine, it says, “then men will see your good works,” and you go, “Wait, we’re not supposed to do works.” Well, in this case, the beautiful thing is that it’s not works for approval from God. It’s the natural result of letting your light shine, will mean that you become excellent in your work. It will mean that your relationships look great, it will mean that every expression of what you do and live life will look good to those around you so much so that they’ll go, “Wow. How did you do that? How did you remain so calm when all of that stuff was happening at work and the rest of us were panicking? How is it that your marriage is so good, where I don’t even want to go home to my husband?” It shows, because people are watching our lives. And so as we let our light shine, people will see our good works, and then guess what happens? As a natural result, God is glorified. So we’re walking around going, “God, how can I show the world who you are today? God, how can I glorify you today? Lord, how can I let the people around me know that there’s a better way, because there’s God?”
Well, you know what? You just get to follow the three steps in Matthew 5:16. As you are naturally who you are and you let your light shine, people will see what your life looks like, and they’ll go, “How did you do that?” And you get to go, “You know what? It’s God. He helps me to love people, even when they don’t deserve love, because you know what? He loves me that way.” Or you get to say, “I didn’t understand this, but God showed it to me. And now I get to walk in peace in these circumstances, isn’t that the coolest way to live life?”
So I encourage you to let your light shine, let all the world see what that looks like for you. And the natural result is that without even trying, God is going to be glorified in your life. So Lord, thank you so much. I speak to the light in every person watching and I say, “Shine! Undo yourself, show yourself to the world, go on top of a hill and show the world what it looks like to be you.” And God, as that happens, every single person around us will see who you are and fall in love with you just like we did. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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