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.

Matthew 5: 16

 

Jesus is talking about a couple of important things here. Firstly, He is discussing the fact that God’s people are the enlightened members of humanity. People who have come to Christ have, in fact, come to the Father. It is this light of heaven that God gives to each of His people that provides the love, wisdom, grace, mercy, and holiness that is the essence of God’s true enlightenment. This is the light that Christ pours out through His followers in order to bring the illumination of loving truth to a world that is shrouded and infused with the darkness of sin and its death.

 

Then Jesus proceeds to embellish upon what He has said just before the verse above. The enlightenment that comes from God through Christ is not something that we hold onto and use for our own sakes. God intends for His people to be active and engaged sources of illumination as we go through our days. We are to openly and continually love others and to love God’s creation in a manner that speaks truth, grace, mercy, and comfort to all that we can reach. God does not grant us vacations from this calling, and He continually reminds us that all that He has given to us is to be used for the sake of others.

 

So, the work that we do has absolutely nothing to do with our acceptance, status, or position in God’s eyes or in the world where we live. When we respond to Christ and accept His Lordship over our lives, each of us enters into God’s calling for our life. Within that calling is this mandate to be workers whose labor is directed, empowered, and enriched by Christ so that all that we do and every aspect of who we are shines the light of glory onto God, the Father. Nothing that we do or say is for our ourselves, everything that we are is to be for the sake of others in order that they would come to know Christ and enter into the eternal light of His salvation.

Have mercy on those who doubt.

Jude 22

 

Doubt is both normal and necessary. Experiencing moments of doubt can protect us from impulsive and damaging decisions or actions. This sort of momentary doubt can cause us to seek out God’s wisdom and counsel before we take action on our own. Seasons of doubt are also natural; yet, they are very different. Have you had your doubting times? These are days when very little of what was going on in your life made sense and when confusion, disappointment, and even a sense of deep spiritual aloneness ruled your heart. If this is a part of your personal history, then you are probably in the majority among people of faith, and you are also experiencing what a multitude of people who don’t know Christ on an intimate basis do experience regularly.

 

Doubt is a tool that Satan uses to cloud people’s minds and to conceal the truth of God’s love, grace, and mercy from us. It is also a part of the path that most of us need to take in order to get from that place of partial commitment to Christ which is the starting point of most faith journeys to the ever deepening and always growing relationship that His Spirit wants to take us to. For, as we explore and deal with issues of doubt, we open up some of the hidden corners of our hearts, and we are forced to face the issues and the fears that we are hiding there. Then, the light of God’s truth has an opportunity to cleanse us of these old-self elements that are causing us so much pain and discouragement.

 

It is completely normal for us to experience these times of doubting, and each of us will encounter others who are going through such a time as well. How we choose to respond to this challenge is what matters most. Christ wants to take the doubt that we are experiencing and show us the reality of His presence in our lives. He wants us to embrace the doubter with our own confident love so that others who are in need will see tangible proof of the Lord’s direct engagement in their lives. Everyone who knows Christ has seen God’s gracious mercy first-hand, now our Lord sends us out to show that same mercy to people who need Him.