“Let your light shine before others.” Matthew 5:16
The writing below is from an offender who was at Algoa Correctional Center, he read this to the congregation one Friday night at the end of one of our services last August. As I listened to him speak I was inspired to write “Shine”. I opened the word and searched for scriptures that talk about us shining for Jesus, that talk about Jesus being the light and being the light in us…there are a lot!
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6
“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1
“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
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:19-21
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46
“For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:47-48
“The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15
“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:5
So many powerful scriptures that point us to Jesus, His light, and the call to SHINE. Last October (2019) we took one of our beloved trips to Branson and while James fished I sat down and wrote this song. After we were home a couple of days I added ‘This Little Light of Mine’ which is so fun. Every time I introduce this song and get to ‘this little light of mine’ a smile lights up faces and they sing a little louder. When I lead this in prison the bridge becomes a battle cry, “Get on your feet, get in the fight. Go be the light and testify!”…they get it, it’s a beautiful thing.
Read this man’s words and heed God’s Word to shine the light of Jesus everyday, everywhere.
by Offender S.
As Christians are we walking the walk or only talking the talk? I’ve read somewhere that lighthouses blow no horns, they only shine. Are we shining? James 1:22 tells us to be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving ourselves. Also in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says “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.”
Our lights are to shine. We are to share our knowledge and wisdom with our fellow men and women… to share Jesus Christ with all. He commands us in Matthew 28:20 to teach everyone everywhere all things He has commanded us. He also assures us that we won’t be alone on this mission. We have one another and Jesus promises that He will be with us, even to the end of the world. He’s with us in the person of the Holy Spirit, (The Resident Truth Teacher), by whom we are sealed, anointed, and equipped for good works.
You know, I often pray for the salvation of those I love and care for… for everyone honestly. Then I sit back and wait for God to do all the work. Well, that wasn’t the deal… it wasn’t Jesus’ instructions. Church, I believe it’s a dangerous thing when our Christianity looks nothing like Jesus. He did more than just pray for people. He taught, He served, He loved, and ultimately, He sacrificed. I am convinced today that we have to be the answers to our own prayers for others. By serving, loving, sacrificing, etc. We have to share Jesus with others. We have to permit Him to shine in us and through us. We must sow seeds of hope. As children of God it’s our duty, and should be our heart’s desire to see all people experience salvation, redemption, and His forgiveness. FREEDOM! Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Are we willing to sow today what we want to see manifest tomorrow? I feel an urgency to share God’s love with everyone. The least we can do is share and teach what we’ve experienced, what we believe. I’ll not stay here dead… stagnant if you will, while He is risen! We must be obedient to our Lord, let our lights shine in this dark place, this dark world. Not just by ministering to others, but by our behavior, by our character, by our example of who we are in Jesus. There’s no substitute to abiding in Jesus. We must do what He did… be an extension of Him. Be His ambassadors. He is the star of this story and He deserves to have all our lights shine on Him, and so does all His lost sheep.
Guys, I feel like I’ve done way too much talking in my life and not enough walking… not enough shining. I’m convicted and ashamed by my failures. I’m not truly Jesus’ disciple if I only believe yet not share what I believe. Believing in Him has changed my life, but sharing my belief and my faith will change the world – one life at a time. So let’s Shine! Let’s let God stretch us until we are fit for His use. Our greatness isn’t in our comfort zone. If “it” doesn’t challenge us, “it” doesn’t change us. And we cannot lose sight of what’s eternal in our attempts to improve what’s temporary. Again, we aren’t His disciples until we are willing to shine, not just talk. God cannot bless who I pretend to be. There must also be some doing. My identity should be inseparable from my behavior. There cannot be 2 “Me”s. After all, I must be 100% in my service because it’s not about me, it’s about the God who saved me… who saved us all.
First Peter 2:12 says that “whereas we may be spoken evil of, that they may by our good works, which they shall behold, glorify God.” And also Hebrews 10:24 says for us to “consider one another to provoke one another unto love and to good works.” Finally, Jesus tells us in John 13:15 that “He has given us an example, and that we are to do as He has done.”
So please, let’s all take this journey together as a community, a family. To minister, to serve, to sacrifice, and most importantly, to love so greatly, so radically that our lights blind all the evil in this place and this world. Remember Matthew 5:14-16? What if that entire hill became one magnificent city of lights??? This journey is the destination. This process is the goal. I believe that our thoughts define our reality, and I think we can shine so brightly that Heaven can see us way down here. I love you guys!
God Bless You! – S.
Jesus, our light and salvation
Calls us to share with the nations
Who He is
His Spirit lights up the darkness
No shadow can overtake us
Be His Light
Shine, so others can see Him
Shine, so they may believe in
Shine, your life is a light
Shine, so others can know Him
Shine, so they may behold Him
Shine, your life can show them
This world is fading away fast
Blinded by things that just won’t last
Share His Light
Sometimes we do too much talking
Without enough of the walking
Be His Light
Arise, shine, for the light has come
God made a Way through His Only Son
So get on your feet, get in the fight
Go be the light and testify!
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
© 2019 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing
This Little Light of Mine
Harry Dixon Loes
© Words: Public Domain