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Letting Your Light Shine

by Wayne Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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Letting Your Light Shine

by Wayne Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

II Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Mockers and scoffers have been mocking and scoffing over the generations, but God says He is not slack concerning His promise. It is not the will of God that all those people out there are hell-bent because they're not wanting to listen or pay mind to Him. He is not willing that they should perish. His long-suffering is for an eternal purpose — that men would see His mercies and give their lives to Him.

Many, though, are yet in darkness. They are passing this way one time but missing the real issue. The decision is theirs; they've got to make up their own minds. It's up to them whether they choose eternal life . . . or eternal death.

Shine and Be Salty

One thing God would want us to know is that we need to let our light shine out in the blackness of darkness. The only thing that can help folks under this judgment cloud is seeing light, and the only light they are going to see is the light that comes from your life and mine.

Do we want this light to shine out from us? What are we doing as the only true source of light?

Matthew 5:13
Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden under foot of men.

If the salt loses it's taste — it's flavor — there is nothing we can do to restore it. It's good for nothing but to be thrown out. It's salt with no salty taste to it.

Note that God said we are the salt of the earth. We should, thus, be a salty savor to others. People in the world, being around us, should desire what we have.

Not only are we spoken of as having this life, but we must also live this life with a salty testimony, with our light brightly shining forth.

Here's the contrast: These dark, dark clouds hanging over the world mean the judgments of God are waiting. His long-suffering is holding back His judgments, but He is not letting them fall — not yet.

Our Purpose

Now, what about us who love and serve the Lord?

He said we are the light of the world. If we are the light of the world, then we'd best do something to make sure our light is shining, because the object of having a light is to be able to see in the darkness.

Now, we're here in this world because we're the light of the world. We are what God has placed in the world for sinners to see.

This light — the only light sinners know — is the light that shines from Christians who found the way and are walking in it.

Matthew 5:14
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Men are going to see something coming from us: the light of the world. This is the only thing that will direct them to life. While Jesus was on the earth, He was the light of the world; but now that He has departed, He has left us to stand as the light of the world.

Are you as a city hid — a city without light — or is light shining forth from your life? Are sinners, who are under God's cloud of judgment, seeing light in you?

Come Out from Under the Bushel

Matthew 5:15
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

I perceive that many of God's people are putting their candle under a bushel. Did you ever see a bushel basket of apples or potatoes? That's no place to put a candle!

You're a light, yet you pull this bushel over yourself, and now you've hid yourself in there: Nobody sees you! Nobody hears from you! Nobody knows you're saved because you're hiding your light. It's not reaching out. You're like a candle somebody lit and put a bushel over. The candle burns unto itself, but nobody can see its light.

Sinners surely need to see the light. And we're the light they need to see. Yet here we are putting ourselves under a bushel!

You don't put a candle under a bushel but on a candlestick so it can give light to all that are in the house.

To a lot of folks this is their soul-winning program: putting their candle under a bushel and not letting it shine. They're like a city having a blackout, and nobody knows the city is there — it's too dark to see it.

We want to be as a city set on a hill: shining brightly!

Sometimes at night as you drive along the highway, you can see a bright spot out there in the distance. You don't see the city yet, but it's lit up so brightly that it reflects high into the night sky, and you can see the light long before you get to it.

I want you to think about yourself. God wants your light to shine into the darkness.

Surely, the judgments loom and one day they are going to come; one day they are going to fall. But God, not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance, gives the sinner a chance. God wants them to see the light. You're that light, and you need to be letting your light shine brightly.

John the Baptist's Testimony

John 5:35
He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

Yes, John the Baptist was a burning and a shining light. Just look at his light; look at his vision; look at what he did.

Look at his obedience to God, at his turning the hearts of many to the Lord, preparing the way of the Lord. His testimony radiated as a bright and shining light out to the multitudes.

Many saw that light shining out from the ministry of John the Baptist. Many got down in the water and repented and were baptized at his baptism, turning their hearts back to God. They saw that light and got right with God!

This is an example of what God is saying: There has to be a light and it must shine. It should be our light — my light and your light — and it should be shining brightly!

What Do Sinners See?

What are sinners going to see? It is up to you and me what they see. Are we determining their destiny when we pull a bushel over our heads, not letting our light shine? I mean, here we are claiming the victory, claiming salvation, claiming the blessing of God . . . and we have a bushel over our head? We're not minded at all to let the rest of the world know that Jesus came and died, that He is willing to save them!

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Let's let the church be as a city set on a hill: where the lost cannot ignore that it's there, knowing there is a light and that it shines, and that it shines brightly for all to see. If it shines out into the darkness of this world, how bright that light would seem to be against the dense darkness.

When it's dark and we turn on a bright light, how bright that light seems to be, because it's shining out of darkness.

Surely, we should see in our own lives, God wants a vessel the light can shine through.

Shining Brightly

Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Here is what a true saint does: Their light shines brightly before men. Wherever they are, whatever they are doing, their light is shining out.

God didn't build us as a light with a switch. The Christian's light should never be turned off. It should always be on, by day and by night. It should always be on . . . never off!

Our light — the light of God, the light of Christ — shining from us.

Don't put the light out. Don't put a bushel over it. Don't hide it. Let your light shine!

Shine where? Before men. Let men see what you are, what you live. Let men see that you're a child of God. You don't have to be a horn blower: "Look at me!" People should know you're a Christian by the way you live and by the way you talk:

II Corinthians 3:2
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men

We just can't allow ourselves to be hidden. God is there holding back His pending judgments so that we can let our light shine.

Be a Soul-Winner

Daniel 12:3
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Want to see a wise man? Find a soul-winner; find a man who loves the Lord and is letting his light shine out to the lost.

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works — and then what will happen? They will glorify your Father in heaven.

God looks down and sees there is someone who cares; someone whom He can work with; someone willing to work, willing to open up their life and let their light shine. He is looking toward His church that we let our light shine in the midst of this great terrible darkness.

We're like a bright light shining into the awful darkness here in this world. It's a dark place we're living in — but we have light. Let's not hide it.

God wants this light to shine out of you and me. Our lives, then, become important in the hands of God. We've got a light and our light should be shining.

This light of life, this light of Jesus in us, can shine so brightly . . . if we don't pull a bushel over it; if we don't have an "I don't care" attitude, thinking the other guy should do it all.

The blackness of the darkness of this world! The only light this world has is us, the people of God. That's the only light there is! Where else is the world going to get light?

Do you want your light to be a real bright light today? There are souls among those sinners that will turn to God when they see the light in you. The only light they're going to see will be in folks just like you and me who want the light to shine.

What other light is there to see? They're not going to see light by what the world is doing, because the world is in gross darkness.

You found the light, now let it shine. Let it really radiate. God is wanting that light to shine out of you into that awful darkness. Take the basket away. Don't put your light under the bed; don't try to hide your candle.

There are multitudes of people who, if they don't see the light shining out of Christians, won't see any light. We are the light of the world! Take us away and what is left? What would be in the world if God suddenly took the church out?

Think of what it will be like one day when all the saints have gone to heaven and the world is left filled with unsaved sinners!

You've got to get your light shining! Take the bushel away! Get up on the hill!

Let every window in your soul be without curtains. Don't pull down the shades but let your soul be lit, with every window radiating light to the world.

The windows of your soul should be shining out for God: wanting to reach out and let the light of the gospel be seen by the lost who are perishing, by the multitudes who are in gross darkness.

It will make a difference if you let your light shine. It's not how bright your light is; it's that you have one and that it is shining. Even a little match shines brightly in the dark!

God sees the multitude of sheep — sheep scattered abroad having no shepherd: no man caring for their soul, no one feeding their soul, no one taking care of them.

God Wants You On Fire

How pleased God is when our hearts are on fire and that first love for God is just burning in our souls.

We need to recognize that it pleases God to see Christians on fire, excited about Him, wanting to tell others about Jesus. Yes, it is pleasing to the Lord when there is an excitement of the soul, when the love is genuine and real, when the heart is moved of God! This is so pleasing to God.

On the other hand, what must it look like to God when the church gets complacent and falls asleep, isn't working, isn't laboring — just doesn't care!

God is looking for serious soul-winners — on-fire believers whose lights shine everywhere they go.

Remember God's Judgment

The next time you're speaking to sinners, dealing with sinners, remember there's a big old black cloud up there! The judgments of God loom over that place.

I think this should stir our hearts: the looming judgments of God. We're close to the end of the age, church. Recognize that we're close to the time of the end. We may be much farther down that road than we think. How many months do we have? How many years do we have?

God will never tell us, but He will surely tell us this: We are at the end of the age.

Other things are too important to us.

Americans are all taken up with everything under the sun. Christians are all taken up with everything under the sun . . . everything, that is, except what is eternally important.

We need to get all taken up with Jesus, all taken up with being a witness for God, all taken up with shining as a bright light for Jesus in the midst of the darkness of this world.

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