Good Works The Light Of The World
“Ye are the light of the world. …Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14, 16).
A light is always meant for the use of those who are in darkness, that by it they may see. The sun lights up the darkness of this world. A lamp is hung in a room to give it light. The church of Christ is the light of men. The god of this world hath blinded their eyes, Christ’s disciples are to shine into their darkness and give them light. As the rays of light stream forth from the sun and scatter that light all about, so the good works of believers are the light that streams out from them to conquer the surrounding darkness, with its ignorance of God and estrangement from Him.
What a high and holy place is thus given to our good works. What power is attributed to them. How much depends upon them. They are not only the light and health and joy of our own life, but in every deed the means of bringing lost souls out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. They are even more. They not only bless men, but they glorify God, in leading men to know Him as the Author of the grace seen in His children.
The Aim of Good Works
The aim of good works is that God may be glorified. You remember how our Lord said to the Father: “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4). We read more than once of His miracles, that the people glorified God. It was because what He had wrought was manifestly by a divine power. It is when our good works thus too are something more than the ordinary virtues of refined men, and bear the impress of God upon them, that men will glorify God. They must be the good works of which the Sermon on the Mount is the embodiment – a life of God’s children, doing more than others, seeking to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect. This glorifying of God by men may not mean conversion, but it is a preparation for it when an impression favorable to God has been made. The works prepare the way for the words, and are an evidence to the reality of the divine truth that is taught.
The whole world was made for the glory of God. Christ came to redeem us from sin and bring us back to serve and glorify Him. Believers are placed in the world with this one object, that they may let their light shine in good works, so as to win men to God. Good works bear the mark of something heavenly and divine, and having a power to compel the admission that God is in them.
The Power of Good Works
Of Christ, it is written: “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). The divine life gave out a divine light. Of His disciples, Christ said: “…He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Christ is our life and light. When it is said to us, “Let your light shine,” the deepest meaning is, let Christ, who dwells in you, shine. As in the power of His life you do your good works, your light shines out to all who see you. And because Christ in you is your light, your works, however humble and feeble they be, can carry with them a power of divine conviction. The measure of the divine power which works them in you will be the measure of the power working in those who see them. Give way, O child of God, to the Life and Light of Christ dwelling in you, and men will see in your good works that for which they will glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The Urgent Need of Good Works
As needful as that the sun shines every day, yea, more so, is it that every believer lets his light shine before men. For this we have been created anew in Christ, to hold forth the Word of Life, as lights in the world. Christ needs you urgently, my brother, to let His light shine through you. Perishing men around you need your light, if they are to find their way to God. God needs you, to let His glory be seen through you. As wholly as a lamp is given up to lighting a room, every believer ought to give himself up to be the light of a dark world.
Go Work in His Vineyard
When Christ made His disciples partakers of salvation, and the unspeakable joy it brings, it was with the express understanding that they should make it known to others, and so be the lights of the world. He spoke of all who through them should believe, having the same calling. He left the world with the distinct instruction to carry the Gospel to every creature, and teach all nations to observe all that He had commanded. He at the same time gave the definite assurance that all power for this work was in Him, that He would always be with His people, and that by the power of His Holy Spirit they would be able to witness to Him to the ends of the earth.
Until it is understood that each child of God is to give His whole heart to his Father’s interest and work, until it is understood that every child of God is to be a worker for God, the evangelization of the world cannot be accomplished. Let every reader listen and the Father will say to him personally: “Son, go work today in My vineyard” (Matt. 21:28).
Every one cannot go abroad, or give his whole time to direct work, but everyone, whatever his calling or circumstances, can give his whole heart to live for souls and the spread of the kingdom.
– Adapted from Working For God! by Andrew Murray.