CrossReads Weekly Devotional: How to Let Your Light Shine 8/1/2022

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Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. 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.” 

These are some of the most famous words of Jesus. But what does it mean to let our light shine?

We let our light shine in relationship with one another.

The blessings Jesus pronounced, before He gave this admonition to let our light shine, give us an indication of how to let our light shine. Let’s look at just one of these to start out with. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit…

Poverty, whether in the natural or in the spiritual, affects our relationships with others. In Matthew, Jesus talks about the blessings of the poor in spirit. In Luke, in Jesus’ teaching about this, He simply says, “Blessed are the poor…”

I don’t know if you’ve been digging-through-the-dumpster-for-dinner kind of poor, but it definitely affects your relationships with others when you live in this constant state of need. It’s frightening. And what’s often frightening about it is how people relate to you. Are you coming to me because you want something from me? Or do you really want a friend? Most people who are the poorest of the poor are treated as if the former is their motive. 

I don’t know if you have ever been rich, and I mean shopping-without-a-budget kind of rich, where you can walk into a high-end car dealership and customize the exact vehicle you want to drive away with, but it changes how you relate to others. People who have this much affluence often wonder if people approach them as friends because they want money or gifts from them or because they genuinely want to be friends. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever been spiritually poor, where you constantly feel depleted and the bootstraps you used to pull yourself up are so frayed and broken that any time there is a call for prayer you can hardly wait for the preacher to stop explaining the call before you are running to the head of the line, but it can feel awful at times. Always in need. Wanting to give, yet all the wells have run dry. When people approach, will they offer friendship? Or will they see the gaping need and run away?

I don’t know if you’ve ever had the overflow of the Holy Spirit cascade through you where you minister to numerous people and they are blessed, but it is a beautiful place to be. Yet at the same time, when people approach, are they offering genuine friendships, or do they just want another spiritual experience at your expense?

Did you notice similarities in the questioning of motives?

Can their ever be true reconciliation between classes, both spiritual and natural, need and overflow? 

The whole gospel is about reconciliation. Our light shines brightest during reconciliation. It’s the healing of relationships, genuine love for one another in the places where we in the natural would guard and protect, lick wounds and savor bitterness: this is how the light of the gospel shines. 

This is what James was talking about in James 2:1-8. The Kingdom of God levels the playing field for all of us in terms of spiritual riches and poverty. In the same way, the Kingdom of God levels the playing field for those who are rich and poor in the natural because we are all one in Christ. We are all sisters and brothers in Him. We can approach genuine friendships and real relationships from this holy ground. In this way, we shine our light before people everywhere just as a byproduct of our love for one another. 

If you go through the beatitudes one by one, you’ll see that there is so much more about reconciliation. I will share more next month. Between now and then, may God’s blessings flow to you and through you!

~ Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

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