Let Your Light Shine click here for audio
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Notice the phrase in our text “you shine as lights in the world”. This is what we are to be every day on this earth. Lights in a dark world. From our childhood we’ve been taught that this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. From the moment you have experienced the life-transforming light of the gospel, the life of Christ, you are called to be a light for Christ.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
John the Baptist bore witness to the light. Likewise the followers of Christ are called to bear witness to the Light who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul says, we “shine as lights in the world”. Our subject this morning is simply this, “Let Your Light Shine”. It flows from the previous verses we’ve studied about “work out your own salvation”. Letting Your Light Shine is an act of obedience.
Look again at v.12 “therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
WE work out our salvation – by being obedient – by letting our light shine — AND WE ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS…. GOD is at WORK in us — He is the Light working in us-
First step in “letting your light shine”
- Be submissive to God. v. 14
Grumbling or disputing; murmuring and arguing
This is indication that our attitude is NOT right.
The opposite of being submissive is to be rebellious. — REBELS are constantly belly aching, whining, always complaining.
Dwight Pentecost defines “murmuring” as an outward expression of an inner lawlessness and rebellion that shakes the fist in the face of God and repudiates His right to rule, that questions His love and His wisdom.”
Two words – grumbling (murmuring) and disputing (arguing, debating)
Murmuring – grumbling…. On the inside…. Brewing……all stirred up on the inside…
Disputing / arguing / debating…..On the outside…. Involve others in your complaint…
We might look like we are obedient to the Lord; submissive to the Lord ON THE OUTSIDE, but the Lord sees our heart; our attitude…
A little boy got himself in trouble with Mom as little boys often do and he was firmly told to sit down and be quiet. The little fellow had a stubborn streak and flatly refused. Mother became even more firm and told him to sit down before he got into more trouble than he was already in. Reluctantly, he plopped down in the chair and declared, “Ok, on the outside I’m sitting down, but in the inside I’m still standing up!” 
It’s impossible to read of Israel in the Old Testament and not miss how often they were guilty of complaining. They were delivered out of Egypt; but it seemed forever to get Egypt out of them.
They complained at the Red Sea. Pharaoh’s army was pursuing them.
11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
- Bitter waters at Marah Exodus 15:24
- No food in the wilderness Exodus 16:3
- No water at Rephidim Exodus 17:3
- Kadesh-Barneas – presence of giants Numbers 14:2
Exodus 16:8 Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
We live in a very discontented world: anything happens today…. Someone in the streets – Protesting…. Nothing suits people…. They are mad at the world… I heard of a driver…shot…
As the People of God…. we must not be swept up in the “complaining spirit”
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Be Blameless children of God v.15 one reason – “world’s watching”
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Being a complainer….a constant whining…. Resembles the way of this crooked and twisted world.
If we are to LET OUR LIGHT SHINE – we must walk a different walk; such that others cannot pin BLAME ON US; will will be innocent, or pure…. People of integrity. This does not mean we are SINLESS;
The world does NOT expect Christians to be PERFECT…. To be perfect means you are not human…your God…. But the world does expect Christians to be different…. To be Christ like…
To shine as lights in the world – we must be distinctive, stand out, sharp contrast from that which resembles the world.
- Without blame — don’t let the unbelieving world pin this blame on you as a whiner…
- Innocent, pure—- word to describe… metals …gold / copper have no impurities… We must be above reproach in our dealings with others…. People of integrity….
- Without blemish—- without fault…. When we are at fault…make it right….
Our walk with Christ must be genuine.
Jesus said in John 8:12
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Being submissive to Christ we will not walk in darkness, WE will have the LIGHT OF LIFE..
- TURN UP THE LIGHT v.15 “don’t get use to the dark”
Must be distinctively Christian… sharp contrast from the world…. WE are IN the World; but not OF the world..
We live in a crooked (perverted) twisted world…. We are not to BLEND IN…. camouflage
NOT like Peter…stood at the campfire…tried to blend in…. as a results he DENIED THE LORD
Your SPEECH gives you away…. I don’t know the man…. Like the Irishman…came to the South and thought it was funny the way people talk….his relatives came 2 years later from Ireland and they said… You still think these people in the South talk funny …. I use to…not anymore…he had gotten use to it…
WE must not GET USE to the Ways of the World…
We must not GET USE to the perverted ways of the world….
The church is in danger….and I believe in many ways…. We’ve gotten USE to the DARK..
Vance Havner – I heard preach in Law’burg a few times…one of his famous sermons “Getting Use to the Dark”. ( He began his sermon by telling about a time he went to eat with a friend in a dimly lit restaurant.)
I stumbled into the dimly lit dungeon, fell over a chair and mumbled that I needed a flashlight to read the menu. When the food came I ate it by faith and not by sight. Gradually, however, I began to make out objects a little more distinctly. You know how it is if you sit a while in a dark room. And my friend remarked, “Funny, isn’t it, how you get used to the dark.”
And I said, “You have given me a new sermon subject, getting used to the dark
For one thing, we are living in the dark. We are living in the closing chapter of an age dominated by the prince and powers of darkness. And men do love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. The night is far spent and the blackness is more extensive and more intensive and more excessive as it deepens just before the dawn.
In the second place, not only do we live in the dark, but we get used to it. Christians get used to it. I want to warn you tonight the best way I know how of a slow and subtle and sinister brainwashing process that is gradually desensitizing all of us to evil.
You are not aware of it. That is the trouble. Little by little sin is made to appear less sinful until the light within us becomes darkness and how great is that darkness. Our magazines are loaded with sordid crimes, the newsstands with corruption and we are engulfed in a tidal wave of pornographic filth. Television has put us in the dark more ways that one with Sodom and Gomorrha in the living room. We get used to it. We get acclimated to it. We accept it as a matter of course, its language and its art and its literature and its music. We learn to live in it without an inner protest anymore. We don’t hate evil. We don’t abhor that which is evil. We don’t abstain from the very appearance of evil. We get used to the dark.
- Hold Fast to the Word of Life vv.16-18
16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
v.16 hold fast to the word of life — The Bible, God’s Word- only hope for a crooked and twisted generation….
- Till Jesus comes – “so that in the day of Christ I may be proud…..”
Paul says…. Make me proud…that I did not RUN in vain; LABOR in vain…. Don’t let it all be for nothing…. The Lord is coming soon. Stay at it. hold fast to God’s Word… Keep on teaching it. be a proclaimer; not a complainer…
- Regardless how bad it gets – v.17 even if I am to be poured out….. image is that of an offering on a pagan altar…. Paul is saying… your faith is the sacrificial offering… I’m just that cup of wine they pour on the altar when it’s red hot… I go up just like steam… This speaks of Paul’s pending execution……
regardless how bad it gets… even my death… it’s nothing…. What’s important…is YOUR FAITH…the sacrificial offering of your faith…
Here’s my position on the subject: I am glad and rejoice with you all
- Rejoice together v.18
I am glad and rejoice with you all……likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me..
In Matthew 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 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.
There’s great rejoicing when OTHERS SEE JESUS in US; they come to the Light; they are tired of their sins; tired of living in the darkness; they don’t want to be children of the night; but children of the day….. WHEN THEY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS…..they see the LIGHT…come to Christ..they are saved…. They are no longer whiners; but worshippers…they give glory to the Father in heaven.
When we fail to LET OUR LIGHT SHINE… the gospel is veiled…. Like the shades on the window is drawn….light can’t get through…. The Lord can’t use a dirty vessel… a disobedient vessel…
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.