Shine on; Shine on

This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short excerpt from the life of Lung Singh (from Laos. It was rumored that Singh was killed by his brother because of his faith in Jesus Christ. Jan Pit edited Lung Singh’s experiences and remarks), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:

I am the light of the world. (John 8:12)

You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)

Every Sunday afternoon was set aside for evangelism. The whole congregation was encouraged to take part. In the morning we would have our Sunday worship meeting, in the afternoon the Sunday service meeting: evangelism in unreached villages of Laos. Some villages were free--others were controlled by the Communist soldiers in the area.

When we entered a village where the Gospel had never been preached before, some people recognized Lung Singh. 'Is that not the man who was more addicted to opium than anybody else?' they would ask. I called Lung Singh and asked him to speak to the crowd. By now the whole village had gathered around us. Lung Singh was not a great speaker--but he was a great example! He stood up and simply said this: 'Look at me. Look at me. Don't I look great?' I felt uneasy about his remarks. I almost told him to change his testimony: 'Don't say "look at me", you should say: "Look at Jesus".' Before I could say anything, Singh had already sat down...and the crowd was astonished, they wanted to know what had happened to Singh. Many hours later we left...leaving a new group of Christians behind. They had seen the power of God. 'You are the light of the world.' They saw that light--and gave glory to the heavenly Father.

Does the world see the change of conversion in us? 'Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.'

A moment of introspection: It is of interest that the Apostle John and the Apostle Matthew should come out with different statements--at once averring that Jesus Christ is the light of the world and that we, His followers, share that distinctive title. Perhaps, though, in making this observation, one might miss the point. Let us consider what it might mean, to be a light in our world. Paul, in his second message to the church at Corinth, outlines the significance of life in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) In Christ, we are new reconciled creations--with a ministry of reconciliation set before us. Further, Paul asserts that we are ambassadors for Christ; as Jesus revealed God's own righteousness to a sinful world, we too are to show forth Christ's righteousness to those we meet. We are to show forth the light of Christ in a darkened world. So, in this we are the light of the world. Just as Christ did not hide His ministry from public and private eyes while on this orb, we are not to secrete our light (Christ's light) from those who need its illumination. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Do we behold the light of Christ in our own lives, guiding the path ahead? Spend time each day in the Word, absorbing Christ's light shown in and through the pages of the Holy Bible. The hymn, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" urges us to

                              Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

                              Look full in His wonderful face,

                              And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

                              In the light of His glory and grace.

Indeed, "the eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23) Luke continues this thought in Luke 11:36 "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." We see the light of Christ, and must make sure it is His genuine light that illuminates our hearts. If we are filled with a false light, then our light will not show Christ to the world. And isn't our role to show forth His light? For the holy One has come "to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:79) The time grows short, before our Lord returns to claim His Church. Let us be about our Father's business in the time we have left.

Jan Pit shared with us the story of an unlikely Christian witness. Lung's testimony was borne out of a changed life; he wanted to show Christ's love for others through Christ's love shown to himself. This briefly confounded those who asked Mr. Singh to speak. Yet Christ used the testimony to bring many to Himself. Christ's light shone brightly in the conspicuous change that He had wrought in the life of Lung. Upon his conversion, Lung was indeed a new creation--an obvious and strong reminder of Christ's love, to all who knew Lung Singh or had heard of him. That afternoon, when the hushed crowd saw this redeemed soul, they responded to Christ's call on their own lives--"leaving a new group of Christians behind. They had seen the power of God."

We are Christ's ambassadors and so we shine with Christ's light; we have seen His wonderful face with healthy eyes and rest assured of the true Light pouring out from us. Ours is a ministry of reconciliation--reconciling a sinful world to a merciful Savior. We show forth Christ's righteousness, and His glory and His grace, to all we meet. So, shine on; shine on--that the world might see the true light, and give glory to the heavenly Father.

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