Journal Entry // March 22, 2023
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)Matthew 5:16
Jesus has now reached the conclusion of his salt and light analogy and brings us to the point and purpose of living life in God’s design. We are to live life in such a way that we are active and engaging the people in the community around us. Shining our light by living a life of humble dependence upon Jesus. This humble dependent life will then be the display upon which people see the good works of God being demonstrated and performed. This in turn will stir their hearts to bring glory to the Father in heaven. I am to be like a rock of Ebenezer (1 Samuel 7:12). A memorial stone set up to remind the people of all the good and loving ways the Lord has provided for us. I am to be a stone pointing people back to the High King of Heaven. I demonstrate God’s love and mercy and goodness every day through my humble obedience and believing faith. Making much of Jesus and giving glory to my Father.
It is easy to forgo and forget this purpose in the daily living of life. Life is filled with trials and struggles, pain and sorrow, hurts and disappointments. This sojourning is filled with difficulties and challenges. It is quite easy to lose focus and begin to put my light under a bowl. I want to numb myself to the trouble and conflict that arises in my daily walk. I want to repress it and distract myself from thinking about it and when I do these things, I stop living outward as light should and I begin to live an inward selfish life.
My call is to be a lamp set on the table so that the light may be shared and enjoyed by everyone around me. This calling is to live a life of repentance and faith in obedience and humility. Not perfectly of course. What makes my light attractive is that I am not perfect, but I am humble. As I strive to live a life of love for Jesus through obedience, people will see my good works. There is an expectation that I will be doing good works all the time. Not that I will have moments of good works, but that my actions will be filled with good works reflecting the love and kindness of Jesus. The light that is shining will illuminate my works for all to see. My soul needs to be so saturated with love for Jesus that my character being displayed is simply an outworking of Godly actions.
If this is happening in my life, people will give glory to the Father. If my obedience is done in humility and love, then others will easily see the hand of God working through me and will give glory to the One who is working. There will be times when I am displaying these good works of God, but others are giving glory to me rather than God. I must recognize these and redirect their praise to the Father above. It is a kindness to be given honor and applause for good work, but it must not be accepted in a way that brings glory to myself. My devious heart will at times hear and receive this praise intended for the Father and will capture and store it internally for myself. Instead of storing up treasures in heaven, I simply store them up in myself. This is the danger. The danger of desiring the praise and glory of man for myself.
Jesus was clear that I am to be a conduit of praise and glory to the Father. As I myself am giving praise and glory to the Father through my good works, others will naturally be compelled to join in this praise and glory alongside me. As I am giving glory to God by enjoying him, others will see this joyful obedience and join me in the life hymn of praise and worship. This is no magic formula that Jesus is calling me to follow in this passage. This is not a mask I can put on and deceive people into giving glory to the Father. No, this is just a call to live a consistent and intentional life of glorifying God by enjoying him. As others see me doing this, they will join me in praising the Father. The community of people in my area of influence will see my good works and give glory to the Father in heaven!