Monday, January 11, 2016

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 11: Shine Your Flashlight

Key Verse

"Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house." Matthew 5:15 (WEB)


We don’t use candles much anymore today. When traveling outdoors they are not very useful. Instead, we use battery-powered lights such as flashlights and headlamps. Headlamps are very useful tools. They leave the hands free to complete tasks while still providing light exactly where it is needed.

In Matthew 5 we find the familiar Beatitudes Jesus preached during the Sermon on the Mount. In verse 15 Jesus is discussing the Light of the World. Jesus says that we are the light of the world in the previous verse. In His sermon, he makes a very valid point, when you turn a light on, you don’t cover it up. The same would go for a headlamp. You don’t turn it on and then stuff it back in your backpack; that would not do you any good. You could have left it at home and saved weight.

In this example the physical light represents the spiritual light of truth we as Christians have. The spiritual light is exactly what Jesus mentions earlier in this chapter in the Beatitudes—humility, kindness, mercy, peace making. What is funny, is that often, as Christians, we keep the light to ourselves. We read our bibles and go to church, but we keep what we learn to ourselves. We don’t display the light of truth at school or work through our actions. Sometimes our desire to fit in overcomes our desire to share the light we have received.

Its like we have a really nice, expensive headlamp, but instead of bringing it out at night to use around camp, we take it out under cover of our sleeping bags and just stare into it. That’s pretty stupid! We need to use our light and share the light with others.

Of course it is easy to know when you are using your headlamp, you can see the light. But sometimes it is hard to know if we are using our spiritual light. I mean we know when we are living a “good” life because we are not doing anything wrong. But how can we tell if we are sharing our light with other people? How do you know when you have been using your headlamp or flashlight? Of course, the battery starts to run low. You know you have been using it a lot when its time to recharge or change the batteries.

It is the same in our spiritual life. We can know if we have really been sharing our spiritual light when we feel the need to be close to God, to recharge. Jesus spent a lot of time alone in prayer to his Heavenly Father. Why was this? Because he spent a lot of time sharing light through his actions. When we openly practice humility, show kindness to the person others make fun of, have mercy on those who hurt us, and make peace with others, it will cause us to desire more time with God and in his Word.


What are some other ways to share the spiritual light we have?

Is it wrong to keep the light of truth we have to ourselves?

What are good ways to recharge our spiritual batteries?

Written by David F. Garner
Photo credit: David F. Garner