Let Your Light so Shine (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

One of the very first places that we can inspire and bless people is in our homes, and to recognize the spiritual light that is in one other in our own families. As an example: In my house I am the dad, however my two children also know me as their brother, because God is our Father. This understanding alone has opened wonderful moments in our family’s relationship. Sometimes our conversation becomes so open and exciting that it causes me to be thrilled with complete thankfulness that we have allowed God into our lives.

My wife, my helper and companion is also my sister in God’s household, and this understanding has made it possible for us to become and stay the best of friends. Still, I would also like to point out that not every moment is like living in paradise, we are only human and we certainly have our share of ups and downs. We do not float around on clouds reading and thinking about the Scriptures at every moment because there is this thing that keeps popping up called life. Nevertheless, I still would not change anything, because overall we as a family have worked very hard to build our relationship with God and with each other.

One of the greatest gifts that God has ever given to men and women who believe is spiritual light. With this light, the eyes of our spiritual understanding begin opening to the life that Jesus called the more abundant life, for it is eternal life (I John 5:10-12). Jesus Christ made this life available to us by sacrificing his own life. As we personally come to know and experience Jesus Christ who dwells in our hearts (Colossians 1:27), and who resides within every fiber of our beings (Colossians 3:4), the greater the experience of “the more abundant life” becomes. John 10:10 says “I am come that they {believers} might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The word “might” in the Greek Text is the word for “may” and the meaning is that we have Jesus’ permission to enjoy the more abundant life. This is the very reason and purpose why Jesus Christ came in the first place, so that we may experience the abundant life, which is not just an abundant life, but – life – MORE ABUNDANTLY!

John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

“The light of life” is the necessary spiritual light needed to enjoy life more abundantly. How do we get the words of Jesus off the pages of the Bible, and begin applying them in practical living? In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are his {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The word “should” is an interesting word because God is not demanding that we practice works of any kind, rather this is a loving request from our heavenly Father. God designed the “good works” from the beginning. He, being the Creator of life, has given to us the blueprint for living life in the way He designed it, and the blueprint is His Word. His Word contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3-4). When and where we try to apply Scripture we will experience the true goodness that God placed in His healing Word. Following Jesus for instance is one of those good works; in fact, it is a wonderful work because in doing so we will recognize that we have access into “the light of life.” The guidance of Scripture is always requesting that we follow Jesus Christ, for he is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father (John 14:6, Hebrews 12:1-2).

Ephesians 5:14 – Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light (see, Isaiah 60:1).

When we became saved, we are spiritually awakened to a new life with Christ: this is the meaning of “arise from the dead.” In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Jesus did not say to pray for more light, or to struggle through life trying to keep it burning. Rather he said “let” and the reason for this is that we already have light and we are encouraged to allow this light to shine by enjoying the “good works” which shows us that we have the “light of life.” (The Amplified Bible translates “good works” to say: [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].)

Looking for God?

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I recall one night when I was laying down on a grassy meadow that behind me was a forest of trees swaying in a summer’s night breeze and in front of me was a lake. The stars above were twinkling, and other than the wind there was a peaceful silence as I was grasping for the meaning of life. I was thinking and wondering why was I here, why was I breathing air, what is really the meaning of life (especially mine); was there a purpose or reason that I was even able to think these thoughts?!

I had no idea nor did any divine inspiration come to mind, and truly I was discouraged; I remember having similar thoughts for years without ever grasping any real understanding.

This may seem like a silly story but it is what put me on a course that eventually led me to my Savior and my God. When I was originally introduced to God in my early twenties I was literally shocked to see that His Word was actually His Word!

When anyone finds Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, simultaneously they will find God as their heavenly Father rather than as simply “the (unknown) man upstairs.” The quest for God and spirituality is a large part of the human experience that most people come to at one time or another. Some will seek Him in nature, others will look in other places, yet He only becomes personally induced to the searching heart as one comes directly face to face with His Word and truly finds Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the lifeline to Him.

Acts 17:23 – {The Apostle Paul is addressing a crowd.} For as I passed by {on his way up to Mars Hill in Athens} and beheld your devotions {statues and other objects they worshiped}, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him {God} declare I unto you.

Then Paul begins to preach the Word of God to them. The reason that they had a statue addressed to the unknown God was just in case they accidentally missed one, because they tried to the best of their ability to worship everything under the sun. However, if they accidentally missed one, then they had an extra one to cover.

Today this may seem a little ridiculous, yet they were simply covering all the bases. Paul finding this one statue gave him an in to start helping them find the true God, it’s a great story to read sometime.

Let’s go to the conclusion of Paul’s teaching:

Acts 17:30-34a:
-30:  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
-31:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man {Jesus Christ} whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance {pistis} unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
-32:  And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
-33:  So Paul departed from among them.
-34a:  Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: . . .

The word “assurance” is the Greek word pistis and means the believing faith of Jesus Christ, for with his believing faith (Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, Hebrews 12:2), we are enabled to perceive the spiritual realities of God. Christ’s faith is given to every believer at the moment of salvation.

Ephesians 2:8 records, “For ye are saved through faith.” This is not our faith but the saving faith of our Savior Jesus Christ, and with his faith he literally becomes our spiritual eyes, helping us perceive God in the genuine light that His Word shines into our conscious lives. Rather than God being unknown to us, or just out of our grasp, or trying to find Him Who dwells in eternity, we can learn the true joys in obtaining the realities of Him through knowing Jesus Christ.