Time Alone with God daily devotionals

Time Alone with God daily devotionals

Written by Pastor Phil Stout, of JAXNAZ church

Friday, October 7

Read: Matthew 5:14-16

Matthew 5:14-16
New International Version (NIV)

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Consider: “Let your light shine…” (5:16). The church—the city on a hill—is called to be light to the world.

It’s interesting to me that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus instructed us to “let your light shine before others,” but also warned us to “be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others…” (5:16 & 6:1). He is making an important distinction—one that liberates us and the people around us.

We are encouraged to let our lights shine—to freely allow the Spirit of Christ to flow through us—so “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (5:16). We are warned against engaging in practices “in front of others to be seen by them” (6:1). Motivation is everything.

The anonymous acts of compassion we do are seen in such a way that God is glorified and we don’t get the credit. That’s good stuff!

Of course, we can’t always do God’s work in anonymity. But we can always ask God to help us be so transparent that others see him in us and through us.

This is true of individuals and of the church. My wish for the church is that we never use our acts of compassion as marketing tools—we never say, “Look at what we’re doing!” Rather, we want light to emanate from our hearts, our actions—our love—in such a manner that people see Jesus and understand his love for them in ways they could never have comprehended without being loved by his body.

Pray: “Lord, make us that beautiful city on a hill. Help each one of us to love with abandon—with no thought of how we are perceived. Help us to glorify you by being your hands and feet—your body.”

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