Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Fireflies…commonly known as lightning bugs, are in the family of winged beetles and are known for their use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey.
I remember as a young boy going to visit my grandma. One of the highlights was the lights flying around in her yard. We would spend many evenings running through the yard scooping up these tiny creatures. We then placed them in our ready-made mason jars, complete with a few holes in the lid and grass inside. We would bring them inside as an inexpensive nightlight. But if not released shortly, they and their light would die.
"You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden… let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father" (Matthew 5: 14, 16 NLT).
Any type of light has a purpose: fireplaces provided light, heat, and a place for cooking, oil lamps illuminated dark rooms for reading, street lights gave light for travelers, and electricity made it possible for light to appear with the flip of a switch. Fireflies have a purpose for lighting up, and according to Jesus so do his followers…lighting up the Heavenly Father.
While hypocrisy (pretending to be something I'm not), legalism (paying more attention to the letter of the law than the spirit), and inconsistent behavior will cover my light, loving everyone unconditionally, accepting others regardless of their life station, and being hospitable will let it radiate brightly. When it does, others will be attracted to the Christ I serve.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be drawn to our lights even when we let them shine effectively. Some will poke fun…and others will question the validity of our beliefs, but we're not responsible for their response…just our light. Let God fuel your light so it shines vibrantly.
Dear Lord, just as You have shone brightly for us on the cross, may our lights for You show so others will be drawn to Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.