Friday, April 27, 2012

Commentary: A Light That Shines

A Light That Shines


There was man that lived in the mountains that would look every late afternoon across the valley unto the mountain on the other side.  Why?  He would look, because there was what seemed to be gold shining off the sunlight.  He found it beautiful.  He dreamed of one day going to this other mountain to take a closer look to what he thought was shining gold. 


The day came when his dream came true.  He prepared provisions for the journey, since it could be a more than a day trail.  Going down his mountain was quite easy; walking across the valley not so much.   There was very little shade and the sun felt like fire on his back.  But, the thought and hope of seeing this shining gold kept him going.  When He reached the mountain it was dark, so he decided to rest until the morning.  Besides, he had no energy to climb up the mountain.  Early the next morning he continued his trek, full of energy and joy.  A few hours later, still morning, he reached a village, where he thought the shining gold should be.  Not knowing where to find it, he asked a villager where he could find the shining gold.  The villager looked puzzled, and replied, "There is no shining gold in this village."  The man told the villager, "But I see it from my house on the mountain across the valley."  The villager replied, "Well, Sir there is no shining gold here, but if it's true that you came from that mountain then you must know of the shining gold in your mountain.  You see the splendor every morning around this time."  The man looked back toward his mountain, and sure enough, there where his village should be was a beautiful splendor as if "shining gold." 


The original moral to the story is that looks can be deceiving.  It is kind of a "the grass seems greener on the other side" moral.  He leaves where he lives to find something he had were he lived.  Of course, he lacked the perspective to see it.  In the end, there was no gold in the surface on the either mountains.  But, there was something in these villages that when the sunlight hit it, it reflected the light in a splendorous manner.  So, there is another moral we can learn from this.  It was the light that created the shining reflection.  When the sun was in the opposite direction the sun rays were stronger, thus intensifying the shining effect. 


There is a spiritual lesson in this.  The only way we can reflect God's glory – which is His character (Exodus 33 and 34) - is for His light to shine on us, and we reflect it.  Put differently, our life should be a direct reflection of the Light, which is Jesus (John 8:2).  Jesus adds that "he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  So much will they have this light that they will be Lights themselves, put up high for everyone to see (Matthew 5:14).  They will be as cities set on a hill.  Now, in the Greek rendering of Matthew 5:14 the pronoun you is plural, but the noun Light is singular.  It is clear that all believers share the one Light.  So, what others will see in us, if we are believers is Christ in us.  According to Paul, this is the mystery hidden through the ages and now revealed; it is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:26 – 27).  In Galatians 2:20 Paul rewords this precious truth referring to Himself,


Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


This is very simple: what people read about Christ in the Bible they will see in you.  They will say about you what the Jews said about the disciples, that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).  Jesus advised His listeners, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). The Works are the products or fruit of abiding in the Light and the Light in you (John 15: 1 – 5).  The works are the fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance" (Matthew 5: 22 – 23).  These traits are what glorify the Father.  These traits' when seen in the believer will convince others that God is worth following.  Ellen White says,


Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence.  By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can co-operate with Him. And the wider the sphere of our influence, the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ's example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world. {COL 340.2}


Is it not about time that we let Christ shine through us?

Raul Diaz