“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. Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
When the railroads were first introduced to the U.S., some folks feared that they'd be the downfall of the nation! Here's an excerpt from a letter to then-President Jackson dated January 31, 1829:
As you may know, Mr. President, 'railroad' carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by 'engines' which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed. Martin Van Buren Governor of New York
We are God’s masterpieces created to transform the world into God’s Kingdom. That is, indeed, our primary purpose on earth. This transforming work requires Holy Ghost power, a life of prayer, and devotion to the word of God. However, we can only transform the world when we ourselves have been transformed by an encounter with Jesus Christ. That transformation should prompt us to live a gospel-saturated life through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Despite the darkness in the world, God has a plan to transform it into His kingdom. After all, God created the world, and everything in it belongs to Him. God has not and will never give up on the world. Thus, He appointed believers to be the light of the world so darkness would be no more. Every act of kindness, expression of love, prayer for others, and action that promotes unity and harmony in the world transform the world into the kingdom of God.
During the sermon on the mount, Jesus told an attentive audience “They are the light of the world.” He exhorts them to let their light shine in the world through good works for the glory of God. Jesus knew the powers of darkness were determined to keep the world in sinful disobedience to God so it would not be transformed into the kingdom of God. Thus, He commissioned believers to become transforming agents.
Transforming agents are focused on Spirit-led changes in the world. Because time is filled with swift transitions and nothing stays the same, believers must embrace changes. Martin Van Buren did not embrace the construction of the railroad because he feared it would be the downfall of the nation. Since then, railroads have played a vital role in the socio-economic life of this nation. When John Stevens demonstrated the feasibility of steam locomotion on a circular experimental track in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1826, he did not know he was changing the world.
We may not realize the impact we have on our community or country. But our very existence has already unalterably changed the course of world history. The world stands on the precipice of spiritual transformation because you live in it. As long as we are intentional about letting our light shine through good works to the glory of God, we are transforming the world. So, don’t stop loving others even when that love is not reciprocated. Continue to pray and share the gospel of Jesus Christ even when others don’t want to hear it. Let your light shine in your family, your community, your place of employment, in your business transactions, in your relationships, and in your church to the glory of God.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How are you transforming the world for Christ?
What does it mean to you to be the light of the world?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help me to always let my light shine everywhere. Please grant me the spiritual discipline to honor you in all that I do so the darkness of the world will not eclipse my light. May the works that I’ve done bring glory to your name!