The ultimate effect of shining our light is people glorifying God in heaven. “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” (Matt. 5:16). For so long I’ve memorized this verse. But I haven’t understood what it meant. Why would people glorify God in heaven for their good works? The answer is that Jesus is speaking to the Jews first. The Jews have long waited for God to visit them. God has long promised to visit His people. Now God has come in Christ. God has not only visited them. God came to dwell in the flesh with them, through Christ. Thus, Jesus said that they must let their light so shine before men; so that they may see their good works. They will glorify God in heaven for fulfilling His promise finally.
How did the disciples shine their light to a dark world? They followed Jesus; they cast out demons. They brought people to Jesus. After Jesus rose from the dead, they preached the Gospel on the day of Pentecost and baptized 3,000 that day! They sent out missionaries to other cities. They planted churches here and there. They suffered persecution. They let their light shine.
“Well, Pastor, I’m poor. I’m not a professional. I’m timid. I’m not well-educated. I’m not a good speaker. How can God use me?” Well, Peter was just a fisherman. Simon was a jobless ex-rebel. They were not rich. They were not educated. They were not trained in speaking. But they gave themselves to the Lord. They turned the world upside down!
When you go to work tomorrow, please do not put out your light. When you go to school, shine the light! When you talk to your friends, shine the light! Let your light shine with your lips. Let it shine with your hands. Let it shine in what you say. Let it shine in what you do. Then people will see your good works and glorify God in heaven.