Living for God’s glory – Part 1
Jesus Christ in His message on the Mount, reveals the Father and His grace to us. He sees us as part of His own people who are not in the kingdom by accident. Because “known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world ” (Acts 15:18), He knows the individual Christian and what He has called him to do. He has called us, Christians, to preach the gospel message to the whole world. Christ reveals that wherever we are today, we are there to fulfil His purpose of beaming the gospel light to the world in which we live.
We are favoured and privileged to receive manifold revelations from Christ. This is because He did not always open His mouth to speak when men desired Him to do so (Luke 23:8,9). The revelations and experiences we receive from Christ’s teachings (Matthew 5:1-15) bring on us a responsibility. And to every Christian, Christ says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “So” in this verse of Scripture denotes that we, Christians, must allow our light to shine to a very high degree, a great extent, an extra-ordinary level and with a higher quality of brightness.
Extra-ordinary quality of virtue or superlative emphasis on a thing is also expressed in other Scripture references (John 3:16; Matthew 6:30-32; 8:10; Acts 14:1;19:20; Philippians 4:1; Hebrews 1:4; 2:3). The floodlight of believers’ lives then must have a supernatural path and effect on the people. The light that shines from us must be with inexhaustible oil of grace, love and of the Holy Spirit. We must live for Christ before men and for God’s glory.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” As believers and light of the world, we must shine so that others can see our good works. But our purpose of heart is not to attract attention to ourselves. They are to see by our light that God has power; that if they come to Him, His transforming power can change them for His own glory. Some misapply Christ’s teaching on almsgiving to mean that they are expected to lead a secret Christian lifestyle. But true Christians do not lead secretive lives.
Jesus says believers should live a good, pure and influential life that impacts on people by way of good and sound behaviour. The Christian life must be lived before all men. “And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men…” (Acts 19:18,19). We must live out our conviction of non-conformity (to sin and the world) and honesty, lest we become hypocrites. We must let our light shine before men: they should know godly principles on which we stand. “Let your moderation be known unto all men” (Philippians 4:5). Then, they will commit their lives to the Lord. But we are not only expected to live for Christ, but to also labour for God’s glory.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 5:16; Romans 15:5,6; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Matthew 5:16; 6:1,2; 10:32,33; Acts 19:18,19; Romans 12:17-21; 16:19; Philippians 4:5-8; 1 Thessalonians 3:12,13; 5:14,15; Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2:19-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17; Titus 2:7,8; 3:8,14; Matthew 5:16; John 17:4; 15:8; 1 Peter 2:9,12; 4:11,14; Galatians 1:21-24; 1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 2 Thessalonians 1:11,12; Colossians 2:6,7; John 13:15-17.
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