Sunday, 22 October 2023 04:47

Shinning as a burning light in this dark world - Taiwo Akinola

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Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid ….. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 5:14-16.

Introduction

Truly, gross darkness is fast enveloping the world, and many people everywhere are groping in darkness. Quite unfortunately, some of those who are expected to bring solutions and peace to it are rather roving and racing thoughtlessly, and are fast becoming a part of the problem.

However, I am firmly convinced that any genuine believer today can make a difference by choosing to become a burning and shining lamp, showing men walking in darkness the way unto Eternal Light, Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:16).

Now, the glory of a thing cannot be separated from the purpose for it. Purpose is a key element in fulfilling destiny! Purposeful living is any man’s cheapest access to becoming the best of what he can be under God in this dark and dangerous world.

Purpose is the original intention for the existence of a thing, and it is what confers relevance and significance to it. Fulfilling purpose defines a fulfilled destiny. Thus, the greatest tragedy in life is not death, but to live without fulfilling purpose.

As believers, we’re strictly admonished to shine as light in our world. However, Jesus added a most incredible dimension to this charge when He proclaimed that we are, indeed, “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).

Succinctly, we’re not only required to shine, but we are indeed “the light” to illuminate the world. Of a truth, the Light-Source of the universe dwells in us! This is a glorious position of honour, unique privilege and greatest responsibility. It also constitutes a major purpose for any genuine Christian!

The path of the wicked may be gloomy, dark and dangerous. But, that of “the just” is open, luminous, and ever bright, effusing the beauty of a cloudless sunshine glowing on, and shining as it grows, to the full and perfect day (Proverbs 4:18).

Meanwhile, “the just" man referred to here is one that’s made righteous through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. He is recreated in Christ, and lives under the influence of divine grace. It is only through such a man that the ever luminous light of God shines forth, gloriously.

As saints of God, we should showcase the glory of Christ, and shine brighter and brighter in our world (1Peter 2:9). This is what God has purposed, and which we all should relentlessly pursue and attain unto by means of the ministry of His Word.

In Isaiah 60:1-22, Prophet Isaiah spoke glowingly in this regard, and he equally gave us some key assurances in which we must acquaint ourselves very honorably as God’s children.

First, we’re assured that this supernatural light is certainly here with us, not just in the future. It is an intense light, kindled by the glory of God, and it generates distinction for the believers.

Again, this glorious light comes with a charisma that supernaturally attracts global attention. It also typically provokes super-abundance of riches as well as enlargement of heart both to conceive and perceive the marvelous works of God.

Moreover, everyone who carries this light is simultaneously fitted with the supernatural capability to live as an irresistible high-flier, an eternal excellency and a joy to many generations, whose sun shall never go down. What an assurance!

A Burning and A Shinning Light

In John 5:31-35, Jesus Christ gave a typical example of a man who lived here on earth as a fine shining light: John the Baptist. Jesus aptly described him as “a burning and a shining light” in his generation (v35).

Yes, the birth of John the Baptist was certainly miraculous. But, I am quite sure that he didn’t become the “shining” lamp to his generation simply because of his miraculous birth, family background, or socio-religious status.

All these may have contributed, one way or the other, towards his destiny fulfilment, but undoubtedly his burning godly lifestyle, his consuming zeal and passion for God, his righteousness stance, consecration, devotion and his uncompromisingly blunt preaching of repentance significantly played out in making him a shining lamp in his generation.

John the Baptist was a typical out-of-this-world kind of a man. His clothing, feeding and general lifestyle set him apart from the world (Matthew 3:4). And, we can safely infer that this lifestyle was an outer coat of his inner strength.

No doubt, John had a working knowledge of the fact that nothing can shine without burning to start with, and he readily paid that initial price to live like a glowing light in his generation. Hence, his messages brought conviction to the hearts of all those who heard him, leading them to repentance (Matthew 3:1-6).

He was also a man with an unalloyed and an indomitable force of faith (Matthew 11:12). He lived with the awareness that life doesn’t always give you what you deserve, but only what you take over by the fierce force of faith.

Again, John served God, duly recognizing the peculiar days in which he lived. The law and the prophets were until John, but afterwards only men of faith's violence do enjoy faith's victory. He was a dispensational preacher who had the unique assignment of preparing the way of the Lord (Matthew 3:1).

John the Baptist, clearly and publicly made Jesus Christ known to his generation. He charged all men, whether poor or rich, educated or uneducated, to repent and bear fruits worthy of repentance. He bluntly confronted sin, and clearly declared to sinners the eternal woes, pains, torments and regrets that awaited them in hell if they failed to repent.

John’s greatest purpose and pursuit was to reveal, declare and make Jesus Christ known to his generation as the Son of God and the Saviour of the world. What a challenge for us today as believers who are called to be “the light of the world”!

Our generation desperately needs such fiery, forthright and bold preachers and teachers of the Word, who won’t regard men’s status or faces, but will consistently and persuasively call all men to repentance and holiness.

Beloved, what are you today to your family, your community, your Church and the world at large? By your lifestyle and general conduct, are you a shining lamp and a gospel light-bearer, manifesting the love of God and demonstrating His character to all men? Or, you’re a mere idle talebearer?

John served God and dazed the world in his generation, to the extent some people even mistook him for Jesus Christ (Matthew 14:2; 16:4). Notwithstanding, Jesus made a very staggering conclusion on this subject when He said the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11).

Undoubtedly, that’s very tall talk for those who are used to living on their seats of comfort and convenience. Prophet Isaiah specified that all those who would shine as glorious lights in this world must learn to arise from their stupor, to begin with.

Friends, to shine we must arise! We must determine to live no longer under the bushel, or any such cover of irrelevance. Let’s arise at once, and live as shining lamps in this dark world.

Many lost souls are counting on us to find their way back to God their Maker. May we all receive grace today to purposefully serve God in our generation to the very best of our potentials. You won’t miss it, in Jesus Name. Amen. Happy Sunday!

____________________

Bishop Taiwo Akinola,

Rhema Christian Church,

Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Connect with Bishop Akinola via these channels:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bishopakinola

SMS/WhatsApp: +234 802 318 4987

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