Your Life is a Light
The Bible teaches us that sin, error, and ignorance about God are like darkness. Everyone without Christ gropes along in this darkness—lost, deceived by Satan, and unable to find the way to heaven.
But God loves those in darkness! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the light of the world. Now that you have received Jesus, your life is full of light. His presence in you is like the flame of a candle or the power that makes a lamp shine. Because He is in you, you are God’s candle, God’s lamp. God wants the goodness and truth of Jesus to shine brightly through your life.
Many are watching you to see if what you say about the power of God is true. Your life shows them how the gospel can change people. What you do, even more than what you say, is a testimony for Jesus.
In this lesson, we will look at some of the rays of light that shine from your life because Jesus lives in you. These rays help convince others that the gospel is true.
In this lesson you will study . . .
- Your Life as a Light
- Eight Ways to Shine
This lesson will help you to . . .
- Discover eight ways in which your life can be a light to those around you.
- Do things that bring good results in your life.
Avoid serious problems that are caused by bad actions.
YOUR LIFE AS A LIGHT
Objective 1. Choose to let the life of Jesus shine through you.
You have learned that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the Light of the world. He did this because He loves every man and woman. He does not want anyone to be confused and fearful. This is what Jesus said:
John 8:12. “I am the light of the world. . . . Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.”
Now that you are a Christian, the presence of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, is in you. If it seems that you live in a dark place, do not be discouraged. God has placed you where you are as a lamp. Your life can show those around you the way to the Savior and heaven.
Matthew 5:14, 16. “You are like light for the whole world. . . . Your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”
People need to hear preaching about Jesus. But they also need to see Christians in action. Your life can be a powerful, living sermon that convinces others of the truth of the gospel. Let us study eight rays of light that can shine from you each day.
EIGHT WAYS TO SHINE
Objective 2. Identify practical ways of letting your life be a light to others.
Paying your bills promptly is a good testimony. Christians should be fair and honest in all their business dealings. They should pay back promptly or return in good condition whatever they borrow. They should not take on financial obligations they won’t be able to meet. They should keep their promises.
Romans 12:17. If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good.
Romans 13:7-8. Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honor for them all.
Talk Like a Child of God
What would people think of God’s power to save if you cursed and swore or told dirty stories? Would your light shine for God if you quarreled, gossiped, criticized others, bragged on yourself, told lies, and used harsh, coarse language?
On the other hand, many people have been convinced of the power of the gospel by the changed talk of those who become Christians.
One of the hardest things for anybody to do is to control his or her tongue. Not only what you say but your very tone of voice can either help draw people to Christ or turn them against Christianity.
James 1:26. Does anyone think he is religious? If he does not control his tongue, his religion is worthless and he deceives himself.
Psalm 19:14. May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you, O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer!
If we really “love our neighbors as ourselves,” we will show it in a practical way by helping in any way we can those who need our help. Ask God to show you how you can be a real friend to those who have problems and troubles.
James 1:27. What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:22. Avoid every kind of evil.
Foolish actions can ruin a person’s influence for God. For example, showing love to our Christian brothers and sisters is a wonderful thing. But we shouldn’t act in ways that give the wrong impression. How do other people interpret what you do? Act wisely. Be a good example in all you do, and your light will shine brightly for God.
Romans 14:16. Do not let what you regard as good get a bad name.
1 Timothy 4:12. Be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity.
A Christian should try to observe the rules of hygiene, setting an example of cleanliness in his or her home, clothing, and person. But cleanliness goes further than that. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; therefore, you ought to keep it clean inside and outside. Your body should not be soiled, weakened, or made sick by any vice or immoral act. Keep your body strong and healthy so that you can work for the Lord.
It is a well-known fact that smoking cigarettes is one of the principal causes of lung cancer and causes many deaths. Also, alcoholism and the use of drugs kills thousands every year. We must not commit suicide, either instantly or gradually, because this would be “destroying God’s temple.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you! So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are His temple.
The Bible prohibits drunkenness. Notice what it commands:
Ephesians 5:18. Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit.
You can show your reverence for God by treating the body He has given you with respect. Practice habits that lead to good health, and avoid those that bring harm. You will be rewarded in two ways. You will have the physical well-being that comes from treating your body right and the spiritual joy that comes from obeying God.
We should be modest in our speech, actions, and appearance. Modesty is the opposite of pride and vanity. If we act like we are better than others and look down on people who do things that we wouldn’t do, we will drive them away from Christianity instead of winning them for the Lord.
We must realize that we have absolutely no right to be proud about who we are, what we do, or what we have. We don’t deserve a thing that God has done for us or given us. Remember that if it weren’t for His mercy and His work in our lives, we might be the most wretched, horrible sinners that the world has ever known.
Vain, proud people want everyone to notice them. They may call attention to themselves through fashion fads, expensive clothing and jewelry, or by showing off their superior knowledge and abilities. They may try to make people notice them by going against approved customs of dress and conduct. A proud person may even boast of his or her spiritual experience and consecration to the Lord. Modest people are not like that. They don’t try to call attention to themselves. A modest Christian avoids styles that are extreme, indecent, or in bad taste for the children of the Lord.
Several passages in the Bible urge modesty and warn against vanity. All of us have a desire to look nice, and we can be tempted to pay more attention to how we look. Of course, God isn’t against beauty. But He wants our beauty to come from the inside—from a beautiful character that shines through in a pleasant, joyful face.
1 Peter 3:4. Your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
We have to earn our living by honest work and not let the love of money take us into such things as gambling, lottery, betting, or any game of chance. And of course we don’t want to produce or sell things that harm others.
Timothy 6:10. For the love of money is a source of all kinds of Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.
God wants us to be good workers, not lazy people. Honest work brings many benefits. Those who accept responsibility for themselves and their families gain self-respect. They also gain the respect of their employers. Christians who have done their work well without complaining have convinced more than one manager that the gospel is real.
When the church first began, Christians often ate together. However, some came to eat who didn’t want to work. The leaders had this rule:
Thessalonians 3:10. Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to Honest work is an effective way to let your light shine.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before. In this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers, and you will not have to depend on anyone for what you need.
If you cannot find a job, tell your pastor and your Christian brothers and sisters. Ask for prayer and be willing to do any kind of honest work. God knows your needs, and He will help you.