Lesson 3 -- fourth quarter 2001
September 16, 2001
© Copyright 2001, Christian Light Publications
On what is your light shining?
In this lesson, Jesus identifies Himself as the light of the world. But now that He is no longer in the world as He was then, He wants to shine His light through us: "Ye are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14).
Now imagine yourself outside on a very dark night, looking for something you dropped on the ground earlier in the day. You and a friend are searching together, but you aren't the one carrying the only flashlight. Since it is so dark, you can only see whatever your friend chooses to illuminate with the flashlight. What if he uses the flashlight to first check the contents of his billfold, then the condition of his new shoes, then the status of the prize roses, then the identity of the unfamiliar sounds in the tree ahead? I can imagine myself eventually becoming disgusted with my friend. He cares about his interests, not my needs! He is being uncaring and self-absorbed. He definitely is not helping meet my needs nor fulfill my mission. Some friend! And why does he have that light, anyway?!
Remember what Jesus said? "Ye are the light of the world." On what is the light of your life shining? The lives of many Christians illuminate the wrong things. Their lights are distracting the unbelievers rather than helping them. They are using their lights to bring material and selfish interests into sight. No wonder many non-Christians have become disgusted with Christians!
I know that my analogy is quite flawed in that the light of Jesus in us really cannot be misused, else it ceases to be His light. However, I'm asking you to consider the light of your life, and ask yourself if it is the light of Jesus.
Which way are you jumping?
To one degree or another, we all jump to conclusions.
Do you naturally jump upwards or downwards?
The disciples of Jesus saw a blind man and in jumping to a conclusion, jumped downward. They assumed the blindness came as the result of someone's sin. While Jesus has no need to jump to conclusions, His response teaches me that there is another direction in which to jump: upward!
So when we see someone else experience misfortune, trial, or set-back, let's see if we can be charitable, considerate, compassionate, generous, and positive in any thoughts and questions and assumptions we might entertain.
Watching to accuse.
I can imagine that the enemies of the Master were almost beside themselves as they impatiently waited for Him to meet up with the cripple. Of course they weren't anxious to see another miraculous healing. Of course they weren't in great expectation of learning another valuable life lesson. Of course not!
They wanted to accuse Him. They wanted to find fault with Him. They didn't want to learn from Him; they wanted to best Him.
I know people who listen to preachers, teachers, and other public speakers in the same way. They want to find fault. They want to criticize. They want to belittle. They want to reject. They want to be offended. I know; I have heard and observed such people. I know; I have been such a person.
Therefore, my challenge is this: Learn to listen to learn. Learn to listen to pick up the hidden truth just like you learned to listen to find the faint fault.
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