Here we are living in what the Bible clearly indicates is the last of the last days, yet many in the Church are slumbering. And while we are dealing with various life and death issues, there are still so many who are spiritually groggy, and who can’t decide if they want to get up or go back to sleep. But I assure you, now is the time to rise and shine.
“1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. 3 Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3 NASU
Obviously, God’s people were not “up” and had to be admonished to arise. This is because we are the light of Jesus to the world, and the means that the Lord has chosen to shine the Word of Life to them. So, if we are still spiritually asleep, the world has no hope.
If we allow our light to be extinguished, then total and complete darkness will settle on the people of the earth. Yet this passage above reveals to us that God’s people were not up and moving, and they were not shinning, and they had to be encouraged to get up and do so. Perhaps this is because Christians don’t realize the impact they make on a lost and dying world when they are spiritually asleep, and when they have allowed their light to grow dim, and the utter hopelessness the lost are then imprisoned by.
Your light matters! In fact, it is critical. Because those who are without God are attracted by your bright light. Therefore, it is imperative that we let our light shine to the world.
“15 So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” Philippians 2:15-16 NASU
The phrase “holding fast” or “holding forth,” as it appears in other translations, literally means to hold out the light. And putting God’s Word first in your own life is what keeps your light bright. So then, as you are living out the Bible in the day to day issues of life, you are shining a light for those dying in a dark and empty world to see. This is a method that God has chosen to attract the world to the Kingdom of God. Because even a bug has enough sense to move towards the light.
Paul is saying to us by the Holy Spirit in these verses in Philippians, that when we hold forth the light to help people, we will be able to look back at the end of our life and discover that we did not run or labor in vain. It was all worth it, because it was about reaching people, people who were desperate and sinking lower and lower into the darkness of the world. But because we were willing to get up and shine the light of Jesus, they were able to escape their miseries by turning to the Lord, Who we unashamedly represented.
To be clear, the world is bent and twisted. This is the true description of the world. But in the midst of it, we are to walk as shining lights, holding forth the Word of life. However, when we hide our light, the world has no access to the exit from a life of sin, misery, hopelessness and hell.
“For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [lead the lives of those native-born to the Light].” Ephesians 5:8 AMP
“Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them.” Ephesians 5:11 AMP
The more you and I walk in the light, the more it exposes the works of darkness for what they really are, and how damaging they can be to the lives of those individuals who are participating in them.
Jesus instructs us to let our lights shine before men (Matthew 5:15-16). Being an under-cover Christian who hides his light under a bushel does more than just compromise your own walk with the Lord, it leaves the world without any hope at all.
“14 Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. 15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), 16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:14-16 AMP
If you and I do not rise and shine, then most of our friends and family and neighbors will only sink further into darkness, until eventually, they find themselves in outer darkness.