You are a light in this world. Jesus was talking to His followers in Matthew 5, verse 13. He said, “You are the light of the world. A city on the hill cannot be hidden, neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everybody in the house. In that same way, let your light shine before men so that they might see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
Jesus ministered to everybody. He was sent specifically to the Jews, to the lost sheep of Israel, but there were no segments of society that Jesus didn’t reach out to. If you were down and out, Jesus reached out to you, to let you know that your poverty and powerlessness wouldn’t hinder you from coming into the Kingdom of God.
If you were rich and powerful, Jesus reached out to you, to be sure you understood that your wealth and power weren’t going to get you anywhere with God. If you were deep in sin and guilt, Jesus wanted to let you know that your sins and shame could be forgiven and you could stand clean before God. If thought of yourself as an upright religious person, Jesus would let you know that your righteousness wouldn’t get into the Kingdom of God. You’d have to come to God humbly, seeking forgiveness and cleansing just like anybody else. No matter who you were, Jesus made it plain that he came for people like you. And, that you needed what only He could do for you.
In that same way, Jesus wants to shine His light through us, to every segment of our culture, to every group of people in the world. John 1:4 says that in Jesus was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. When the life of Jesus is in you, the light of Jesus will shine through you. I believe that we will be able to see God do something in our lifetimes that is unlike anything we have ever seen before.
I believe that is totally possible. Why? Because we are seeing confusion and chaos, hatred and division, uneasiness and fear on the earth like we’ve never seen before. The response from Heaven will have to be something like we’ve never experienced before.
I don't want to be in a position where I have been saying and doing a lot of things and arguing with people about things, but I've missed what God was doing in the situation and I’ve missed what He is wanting to do in me. That's a major danger in our culture, because first of all there’s so many voices calling out for your attention. Blogs, podcasts, TikTok, and whatever social media is out there, plus all your friends and co-workers with all their opinions that they want to argue about. And if you don’t agree, they either reject you or you just kind of shutdown, because it’s not worth losing a friendship or creating hostility over someone else’s opinion. You’ve probably been in that position before. I know I have.
That's why I love Matthew 5:13. Basically Jesus is bringing us to where we need to be in our walk in this world. We easily get preoccupied and let the darkness of this world cover our light. it doesn't extinguish our light, it just keeps it from being seen. It's there, but covered up by all the cares of this world, the confusion, the hurt, the anger and the pain.
Jesus says, LET your light shine in such a way that people can see the life you’re living and will glorify God for His goodness in the earth. Let the light of the Lord shine through you!
There’s a danger among Christians that we can learn all kinds of doctrines and spiritual secrets that we think everyone else has missed, that we can read all the books, go to the conferences, all that, but we actually miss what God is wanting to do through us, which is to shine the light of our God everywhere we go. I don't want to miss God’s desire for my life.
Who we are is not defined by what we have or don’t have, it’s defined who Jesus is to us. What we have, what we’ve done, who we know - that isn’t what defines us. What defines us is who we are in the Lord. Is Jesus your Lord and Jesus your Savior? You might not have your life all worked out yet, and you may still have some issues, but those are not what define you.
Your desire for the Lord Jesus, your yielding to the Spirit of God, those are the most important things. The rest will come to you in your life. The Holy Spirit knows how to grow us and bring us closer and closer to the Lord.
Luke chapter 19 tells the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus. Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man named of Zacchaeus was there. He was the chief tax collector. He was absolutely hated by everyone who knew him. He was wealthy because he would overcharge people for their taxes and then keep the extra money for himself. When he heard that Jesus was coming by, he wanted to see who Jesus. But he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and he climbed a sycamore fig tree so he could see Jesus as he passed by. When Jesus reached the tree where Zaccheus was, He stopped and looked up. He said, “Zacchaeus come down immediately, I must stay at your house today.”
Notice that Jesus didn’t wait for Zaccheus to invite Him. Jesus was basically knocking at Zaccheus door, wanting to come in. Jesus till does that. He still is knocking on the door of peoples’ hearts and asking to come into their hearts and lives. Like He says in Revelation 3 verse 20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to that person and fellowship with them.” That’s part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to knock on the door of your heart, wanting you to open the door and let Him in.
Zaccheus came down at once and welcomed Jesus gladly! But listen to this. There were people who didn’t think Zaccheus was good enough to have Jesus come to his house! They were thinking that Jesus should only go to the house of someone who is already clean, already living a pretty good life. Different ones started to complain and criticize Jesus, saying He was going to be the home of a sinner.
You might have been in that situation. Maybe you know someone in that situation. Living the kind of life where they can’t imagine you being welcome at the house of God, or that a church would accept you. When I first came to the Lord, I’m so thankful that the people didn’t openly complain about me! I looked a mess and acted a mess, but they at least were nice to me.
But there’s nobody that is too bad for Jesus to love and to save! When you meet Jesus, the Jesus of the BIBLE, changes begin to happen in your heart! When Zac heard the people complaining, he said, “Lord look, here and now I give half my possessions to the poor and if I've cheated anybody out of anything I will pay back four times the amount.
Salvation brings a changed life. When Jesus heard that, he said, “Today salvation has come to this home. Because this man is the son of Abraham. The Son of man came to seek and to save the Lost!” That’s who Jesus came for! Lost people! The people that a lot of church people reject and criticize and complain about!
It’s not about labels. It’s not about what the label the world wants you to have, it's about who God says you are. Here Zaccheus went from being a lost but curious guy up in a tree, and just a brief encounter with Jesus and his whole life and eternity are changed!
First, you might be thinking you’re a nobody, that God barely notices you, and who would ever listen to you. There are a lot of people feel like that. Insignificant and without a voice. That may have been true at some point in your life, maybe your whole life, but an encounter with Jesus can change all that!
Second, Zaccheus didn’t wait until he got all straightened out and took a few Bible classes before he started impacting peoples’ lives. That encounter with Jesus began to unlock some things that Zaccheus could do starting right now. You don’t have to wait to invite people, show the love of God to people, to make a difference for people. Jesus died for you and rose again. You don’t have to wait even one more day for your life to be effective.
You’ll find that the gospel isn’t about finding famous people, reaching superstars who have a massive following and hoping they will reach their followers. The ministry that Jesus raises up is about regular people, being faithful and doing what God's called them to do day in and day out.
God wants to use you. You come to the place where you truly don't care if people don't think you’re qualified. I’m here to tell you that God qualified you. It doesn’t matter how bad your past was, the Bible says that when you’re in Christ, the old things are gone the new things there. That’s in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17.
It’s not about can a person change, or can a person live their “best life.” It’s about what Jesus has already done. If you will open up your life to Him, and be available to speak what He would have you say, peoples’ lives will begin to change.
Jesus was on His way somewhere else, which is why He was walking through the town where Zaccheus was. He was headed somewhere else. But He was tuned in to what the Father would have Him do. His ears were open, His eyes were open. And when He passed that tree, He looked up and something significant happened, in the life of Zaccheus and in the life of his household and family!
Someone said, that God likes to use nobodies to tell the everybody’s and the anybody's around us about the Somebody who can change their life! If you’re a “nobody,” then God wants to use you!
Don’t miss what God wants to do in your life. A lot of people miss what God is wanting to do in their day-to-day ordinary lives, because they’re waiting for something spectacular and supernatural to happen. Because He moves in the Spirit realm, we miss many times that God is doing more than we're seeing, more than we’re aware of.
He’s blessing you in areas you might not even recognize. He’s working in ways you might not even be aware of. God wants to use you to shine the light of the gospel in the place where you live, in the place where you work, in the classroom where you go, at the stores where you shop. We want to be aware and listening for His promptings in all these places. Wherever He has us!
Who would Jesus reach in your world? I like to think about Jesus, what if he was hanging out with us in our day-to-day lives? Who would He help? Who would He talk to? Who would he care about, how would He approach them? That is what helps us to realize that we’re not just going to work, we’re not just going to class. We’re not just going to the store.
We’re going out, and being available to have God use you where you are right now. That means that you show up at work, or to class, or wherever, with a joy, with a happy attitude, and being a peace maker, an encourager, a person who is living out what it is to have Jesus in their life. I can tell you that God WILL use you. Just keep on being faithful.
You might’ve been serving God for years, and so far, it seems like He isn’t using you very much. I want to encourage you to be open to Him a just a little bit longer. Pray just a little bit longer. Spend time seeking Him, and drawing near just a little bit longer. Listen to the Spirit of God with just a little more sensitivity.
Back to Zaccheus. Jesus was headed somewhere else. Zaccheus didn’t have an appointment on the plan for that day. Zaccheus wasn’t on the calendar for that day, not in the natural. But in the Spirit, God had His own plan, His own calendar, His own appointments. And because of that, Jesus looked at Zacchaeus and said, “Come down out of that tree, Zaccheus! I'm coming to your house! We're having dinner at your place! Let’s go!”
Back to you. You might not feel like you’re a good enough Christian, or that nobody will listen to you. But there is such a lack of kindness, such a lack off gentleness, such a lack of caring, that if you are clear with your kindness and you’re clear with your gentle spirit. If you’re clear in your caring, you will stand out like a candle in the darkness.
If you’re approachable, and even a little bit kind, more polite, people will notice that you have something going on. Our world is so hard, so broken and so sick, that a caring and open person makes a strong impression wherever they go.
It’s not about being important, or anything like that. If you have committed your life to Jesus you are just as effective as anybody else! God can use your life! And He WILL use it!