Ministry Matters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”                      - Luke 11:33-36

 

This is the Scripture upon which the song This Little Light of Mine is based. You can see how good    theology can be expressed in such a simple song; one that children learn in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and from parents and grandparents.

In the opening verses of John’s gospel we read that in Jesus “was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (vs 4-5)

Jesus is the light who comes into us as we place our faith in Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life; believing that Jesus died for us (you and me), was raised from the dead for us (you and me). We then believe that there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. It’s through Jesus only. That’s the healthy eye Luke speaks of.

When Jesus comes into our life, we see the light and our eye is healthy. Truth becomes clear. The light dispels the darkness we have grown to believe. Jesus’ warning tells us that when we turn away from Him our faith becomes darkness (unbelief). In Jesus’ day, people believed that light shone out from the body through the eye. So if your eyes are bright there is no pretense, no deception, no ill will. Otherwise your eyes are dark and deceptive – full of jealousy, hatred, evil and ill will.

I have met people whose eyes are dark. They have no regard or respect for others let alone themselves; they blame everyone else for their problems and full of themselves. They are manipulators and con artists – looking for another “mark.” Have you met people whose eyes are dark? You can sense they are lost and miserable.

What greater gift can we be to others than when our eyes are bright with Jesus’ light; giving support,  encouragement, wisdom, guidance and more? We become one who spreads God’s truth that He loves us unconditionally and cherishes us. He wants us to believe in and trust in His Son, Jesus, that our sins will be forgiven, and He will make us new.

A few days ago I spoke with a man who had become a Christian later in his late twenties. In his story he described how his life was dark and he was  unaware of it. He was a committed alcoholic and was constantly “running and gunning” with his drinking friends. He said it was all about me and having fun. He said he was a total screwup.

He got married but kept up his old habits and drinking – now with his wife. But then he met Jesus and a transformation took place. Now they had a child. “All of a sudden I saw where my life was going – totally in the wrong direction. I was a Christian, yes, but I figured I could keep my old lifestyle but I could be a better person.”

When he came to himself he knew he had to quit drinking and he knew that he was the only one responsible to do that. He lost friends and became alienated from some family members (his wife didn’t like him anymore), but he said it was worth it in the long run; he  removed himself from all temptations to go back to the old ways.

He also knew he couldn’t raise his child in that kind of atmosphere. Now, he says, how he conducts his life is for the sake of his child.

This man’s life (his eyes) changed from darkness to light. No longer did he live for himself; now he was doing what Jesus expected of him. His eyes are bright with the truth of Jesus and he has joy and purpose in his life.

When the light of Christ is in your eyes – your life – you have joy because you are honest, more kind, more forgiving, more loving.

If Jesus is in your life, others will know it through the way you think, speak and act. If your faith is not hidden “under a bushel,” others will see it and be influenced by it.

So, with whose light are your eyes shinning?

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 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.”                                Matthew 5:14-16

Pastor Fred Westerhold