From Matthew’s gospel we read,
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 – NASB)
In recent years the individual person has become the focus in many churches. Self and the satisfaction and the glorification of self have become the distorted goal of ministry in many a church establishment. A great deal of effort is put into bringing attention to the person, so that person can have a sense of value, a sense of worth. Robert Schuller did not create this distorted self thing but he, along with many others and a strong dose of New Age/eastern religion, has sure helped it along. And now, in so many different ways, it has become all too common for the church-going individual to say and to do what he or she says or does for their own edification. You might say they are “letting (their) light shine” for their glory.
All too often the mind-set is, “Oh I have such a sense of self-worth when I do good deeds. Oh my self-esteem is so energized when I ‘let (my) light shine before men.’ Oh I feel so personally fulfilled!” Even when a person fails it has become all too common for them to think they have failed themselves instead of failing God.
Talk about missing the point! Talk about having it all wrong! Self, brethren, is a dangerous thing when it infiltrates the body of Christ. The distortion it causes ends up corrupting the work of God that is to be to the glory of God.
There it is! That’s it! To the glory of God! Not to our glory but to Him and for Him we “let (our) light shine before men,” and we do so that “they may see (our) good works” and thus “glorify (our) Father who is in heaven.” Now that is hitting the point!
Brethren, look at this point re-emphasized by the apostle Paul,
“For not one of us lives for himself, and not one of us dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord . . .” (Romans 14:7-8 – NASB)
And then again,
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20 – NASB)
Talk about missing the point! When we seek to do what we do for our own recognition, for our own self gratification, for our own glory, we have it all wrong!
Jesus never told us to embrace self but called us to deny self, take up our cross and so die to self, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). He saved us to be “Lord” of our lives, to be “a temple of the Holy Spirit,” and such to “glorify God in (our) body.” We “let (our) light shine before men,” showing forth the works of a new life, a new walk, the desired result being that “they (men) may see (our) good works and glorify (our) Father who is in heaven.”
It is never about glorifying self . . . it is always about glorifying Him!
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk let that light of Christ and His Word shine out from you to a dark and dying world, and do it for the right reason: that God receives all the glory!
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