How can you reflect the light of Christ?
Ready or not, here comes a brand new year! The past couple of years have brought their share of challenges, but a new year always brings a chance for a fresh start, a new beginning, a reset! So what are you looking to do in 2022? Let me give you a goal to strongly consider… Reflect the Light of Christ in the new year!
With Christmas, we celebrated the arrival of the Light of the World, Jesus Christ; but He calls us to be the light too! 14 “You are the light of the world… 16 …let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16).
So how can you and I reflect Christ’s light with good deeds done for God’s glory? How can we reflect the LIGHT?
L- LOVE God and others! (Matthew 22:37-40)
What would it look like to love God with all your heart, soul and mind? Here are 3 ways:
To love God is to know God. How can I know God? Get to know Jesus! (John 1:18). The people we tend to love most in our lives are the people we know best. What if you committed to get to know Him much better in 2022. What would that look like in your life? Knowing Him involves worshipping Him, spending time with Him, talking with Him, listening to Him as He speaks through His Word, circumstances and fellow believers! The picture I see in my mind is Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus hanging on every word as He taught (Luke 10:39). To love Him is to know Him and to know Him is to love Him.
To love God, is to put Him first in my life. The first commandment is: 7 “You shall
have no other gods before me. Deuteronomy 5:7. The next three commandments tell us to have no idols, to not misuse God’s name and to honor the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Keeping those commands require that we love God so much that nothing comes before Him in our lives. Is God first in your life?
To love God is to obey Him. 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my
teaching. John 14:23. This is more than just following God’s rules; this is about loving God so deeply that we naturally want to please Him. Our love for Him should drive our obedience. We don’t obey Him so that He will love us; we obey Him because we love Him and want to honor Him. Will you commit to fully obey Him in the year ahead?
What about loving others or loving our neighbor as ourselves? What does that mean? Have you ever heard of the Golden Rule? (Matthew 7:12). That is what Jesus is getting at here. What would our world look like if we lived by the Golden Rule? What would your life look like? Do you think you would show more compassion, less judgment? Do you think you would engage in far less gossip and slander; hold far fewer grudges, end any malice and hate you might have toward others? That is a lot of what Jesus had in mind when He commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Will you commit to love other this way in the new year ahead?
I - INVEST in being discipled and in discipling others! (Matthew 28:18-20)
With The Great Commission, Jesus makes clear what we are to do as His followers… make disciples! We are in the disciple-making business and Jesus gives us our 3-Step business plan to follow:
Go. There is some intentionality about making disciples. Jesus didn’t say, “Sit and
make disciples”; He said “go”. That involves making an effort. We might think of “going” as taking a mission trip oversees, and it can be; but most disciple-making happens in your personal sphere of influence, with the people you are with on a daily basis, your friends, your family, your classmates, teammates and co-workers. Disciple-making happens “as you are going” through your day. The key is to be in the mindset of making disciples all the time… that is our business!
Baptize. Baptizing is leading a person to decide to follow Jesus. Baptism is a symbol of faith in Christ and that someone is a part of God’s family. As Believers, we can all play a role in leading someone to this life-changing decision!
Teach. Teaching is making yourself available to be used by God in helping transform
Believers into fully devoted followers of Jesus. Paul talks about this in Romans 12:1-12. It is this life-long, transformational process that we all enter into when we choose to follow Jesus. All Believers play a role in helping move people beyond being convinced about Jesus to being committed to Him in every way!
If you want to reflect the light of Christ in 2022, then commit to discipling others and being discipled! Join a life group. Invite a fellow Believer to grow with you one on one. If you are a parent, think about how you can disciple your children in 2022 and beyond. It is never too early or too late to start!
To learn much more, including the other three “good deeds” that reflect the LIGHT of Christ, click here to listen to: How to Reflect the LIGHT!