The Bible - the word of God

Bible Study – September 2020

Let Your Light Shine

Read Matthew 5:14-16.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray that you would enlighten our hearts and minds today. Amen.

This is the greatest compliment from Jesus, who commands us to be what he is: his light into this dark world. Never before do we need his light, in our world, as we do now. The abundance of the many self-help books is not what people really need.

Furthermore, Jesus’ light is FREE. (GRACE ALONE). Our lives will never have the light, beauty, grace, power and impact until we are “lit up” by Jesus’ light within us.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27b (RSV)

We don’t light our own lamp; the radiance that comes from a Christian, comes from Christ Jesus shining through us. Do you enjoy seeing the light of Jesus in your fellow Christians’ faces? This is a lovely thing to observe.

By its nature, light has to shine. Our Christ-light has to be seen in an obvious way, like a big city built on a hill. Our lighted lives are to be a guide, a clear example, a warning, or to make a moral stand to others when they are weak. As the seniors amongst us, whose lives have you been able to “light up for Jesus”?

We are also to be the confident light that God has made us to be, and not to copy others. What a tragic waste when some people hide their light under something. What do people hide under, and why? How can we help them?

First, we are to shine for Jesus in our own families and homes. For you grand-parents, you have the privilege and necessity of sharing your Jesus life with your children and grand-children. With the wisdom, experience, maturity, and gentleness of your years, you have a lovely God-given way of doing this. For all of us, our words and life are to give God all the glory. As the saying goes: “No finger-marks on God’s glory”.

Reflecting on another very serious time in our lives, as in WWII, how did your Christian life help you through this time?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (RSV)

Again, something very small can make a big difference. This time it is a preposition. St Paul uses “in” and not “for”. We are to thank God in this COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 time, and not for it. What are the benefits that God has taught us in these times? How can we help those struggling, and unemployed, in a winsome way? This is where our “good works” can shine for God’s glory.

Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. Isaiah 2:5b (RSV)

This is for our whole life, which is a continual learning curve upwards (no flattening of the curve here!).

Read Philippians 3:13,14.

(FAITH ALONE)

Quote some Scripture texts that help us grow in Christ, e.g. Vine and branches; I can do all things …

And those who are wise – the people of God – shall shine as brightly as the sun’s brilliance, and those who turn many to righteousness will glitter like stars forever. Daniel 12:3 (TLB)

Those who are wise, and especially our senior people, who give thoughtful attention to the Word of God, witness to our fellow humans, by word and good deeds, pointing them to the righteousness of God. This is our church, being “church”, in our communities.

With this COVID-19 time, have you made creative opportunities to connect with people, whom you have always wanted to, but were too busy to do so?

Would you like to share any of these “good works” of word and deed with these people?

In reaching out to people, it is important to be friendly, smile at them, and be available to listen to their needs and concerns. “Follow through” is needed, and then discerning when the Holy Spirit is giving us the opportunity to share our faith. Remember: “getting older, getting bolder”. This challenge of new priorities, and amazing opportunities, will drive us closer to God, again and again, for his light upon new issues and situations.

Read Hebrews 10:24,25.

Why is it so urgent that we encourage each other with our good works?

What are your giftings from God to help in this manner?

Read Isaiah 58:1-12

Why didn’t their fasting produce results? vv 3–5

The fasting that God was looking for was the genuine type, matched with a genuine lifestyle.

What did the people need to do? vv 6,7,9b

Then, and then again, a wonderful thing would happen.

What was it? vv 8,9

Name the other benefits? vv 11,12

God uses this sort of life so that we brightly shine through to others, with his powerful love and light.

Prayer: Dear God, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly, all our lives. Amen.

This hymn endeared itself to us when we were young, and is still as relevant to us now:

Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle burning in the night;
In this world of darkness, we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.
Susan Bogert Warner (1819-1885) 


About the Author
Val Petering

Val Petering

Val is an active member of St Petri Lutheran Church in Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley, SA. Until recently, she led the visiting of the elderly people, was the area Leader for Samaritan’s Purse, and served the Bible Society on a state and local level. She enjoys Bible Studies and prayer groups. Val loves her family and friends, and enjoys gardening, reading, music and craft.

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