My husband is frequently repeating unique, quaint sayings, he playfully adopts as his own through contacts with customers and friends. One such saying aptly describes his before daylight morning jog to the newspaper box. Initially, he would carry a small flashlight to guide his steps and help avoid potential hazards lying in the roadway. The small lamp gave about 10 feet of light, which is tiny on a long driveway. On one morning jog, he nearly ran smack dab over a skunk standing in the shadows along the path. Thus, the appropriateness of the saying, “It’s not the depth of the darkness, it’s how bright is your light?”
God’s Word is filled with references about light. The Old Testament mentions light 177 times, while the New Testament mentions it 95 times. In John 8:12 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
In the 1920’s, Harry Dixon Loes wrote a wonderful children’s song that most of us have sung called, “This little light of mine.” Regardless of religious beliefs or denominational differences, the lyrics and melody seem to soften the heart, brighten our countenance, and lift the spirit.
The chorus of the song;
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
The theme for this song was taken from Matthew 5:14-16,” You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
For my husband improved lighting was essential, and as simple as replacing old technology, and weak batteries, with improved technology and fresh stronger batteries. He never gave it a second thought, he immediately replaced the old with the new. He now clips a small headlamp to the bill of his cap which illuminates half the driveway and helps spot potential dangers lurking in the darkness.
Like my husband’s headlamp, lighthouses have stood as beacons of light, warning navigators of coastal dark dangers for a thousand years. Whether dangerous coastlines, reefs, rocks, or hazardous shoals, lighthouses saved many a sailor from a watery grave. It would seem rather silly for the lighthouses to still be lit by wooden fires with modern lamps powered by electricity available. People could be lost at sea or crash into the rocks needlessly.
Which brings us to the question, how bright is your light? Are you growing in your faith, or are you like the song, “This little light of mine?” Don’t misunderstand, it’s wonderful if you are shining your light, but are you taking it to the next verse? “Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine.” Are you taking your light everywhere you go or is it intermittent? Is your light growing with intensity or does it fade with circumstance?
God has entrusted us as Christians with a tremendous responsibility, to share the light of Jesus with the world. But with that said, we cannot do it on our own with weak or under developed batteries. In other words, we must be growing, maturing, and nourishing our spiritual batteries. This means if we are to be the light of the world, beacons in the darkness, we must grow spiritually through daily Bible reading, prayer, and building a foundation of fellowship with a loving church family. All are necessary to prepare for the battles which lie ahead in the darkness.
If you question the importance of maturing your faith, consider Jesus’ warning to his disciples in Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Jesus knew what challenges the disciples would encounter and was instructing them how to use wisdom and discernment in their ministry.
Facing these challenges unprepared would be like lighting your lighthouse with wood fires in a hurricane. Before sending the disciples out among the wolves he gave them a warning and the blessed assurance that God would help them during the difficulties they would face. “But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say, God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:17-20
Jesus went on to warn the disciples how they would be treated because they were Christ followers. But once again He gave them divine assurances that whatever happened they would be saved.
“A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.”
Jesus, our beacon, not only illuminates our path, he is the power source of brightness shining through our lives. With persecutions on the rise around the world, and souls in need of the light leading to the life of the Savior, the question persists, “How bright is your light?”