Let Your Light Shine
Let your own comfort be subservient to the idea of winning other people to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right today? Well, these are great days and I trust that God’s blessing will be upon you, that your heart they be filled with His peace and joy. God bless you dear friends.
I’m glad to be back with you to open the word of God, to the fourth chapter of Mark. We begin to verse 21, today Mark 4:21, he said, “Is a candle”, that’s our word lamp, is a lamp, “brought to be put under a bushel or under a bed, not to be set on a candlestick? There is nothing hid which shall not be manifested, neither is anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear, take heed what ye hear, with what measure ye meet, it shall be measured to you and unto you that here shall more given”, that means really hear, that means really hear and understand and do something about it. “Shall more be given for he that hath to came shall be given, he that hath not from him shall be taken even that which you have”. Strange sayings and yet not so strange when dig into them and see what our Savior had in mind. Now, first of all, he talks about the fact of the a lamp, and this of course, is that director parallel with the passage in Matthew 5, “Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, a lamp, and put it under a bushel, all but on a candlestick and it gives light unto all that are in the house”. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven. You’re the light of the world, let your light shine and the shining is good works. That’s what Matthew says in Matthew 5. So, with that as a background, we read Mark 4:21, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a bushel”? Now, a bushel basket is something that is used in work and in business, and then, “or under a bed”, you know a bed is something to sleep on. Now here, you have the two things that may hinder the shining of God’s light through your life. Very simple, very direct. The Savior puts it right out there before us. He said, “You’re the light of the world”, and your shining is in essence the works that you do, obeying God called good works. Ephesians 2:10 says, “Ye are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus, unto good works which God hath before ordained, that we should live every day in them”. The word “walk” means live every day. Good works which God hath before ordained, that ye should walk in them. So this idea of doing God’s will, which adds up to what the world around us calls good works, is part of the shining that the Lord Jesus talks about. Now what may hinder the shining of Christ through you? The Holy Spirit of God creates the shine actually, it’s a spiritual matter, not the good works themselves, but the person shining through you that produces the good works. I think we have to say is what really does it. I’m looking at the second Corinthians where he said, “The Lord is that spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, and we with open face beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord”. See, so the Holy Spirit of God, dwelling within the believer, is the one who shines. “The God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness”, this is 2 Corinthians 4:6, “hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ”, so the Holy Spirit of God is the one who does the shining, and we as we look to Jesus, are transformed from glory to glory, and that in turn then results in what is called good works. You understand that? Well, now he says, all of this shining business, he said, you got a lamp, you’re the lamp, you’re the light of the world, but he says, is that lamp supposed to be put under a bushel. A bushel basket speaks of business and work. What can hinder the shining of God’s light through your life? Very frankly, you can become so engrossed in the duties of everyday life and in making money in your business, that you hide the glory of God under that bushel basket. Now, I understand that every business man I’ve ever talked to says somewhat defensively, “Well, Cook, you can’t go around singing hymns all of time, you’ve got to work, you know, business is business and pleasure is pleasure, and you’ve got a work, and I have to make some money. You preachers can sit there and tell us what to do, but we have to work for a living”. Oh, how often I’ve heard that. I work I’ll tell you that. Listen my brother my sister, the drive for success, very frequently, overshadows the humility, and waiting before God, which is necessary if your light is going to shine, and this happens in religious life, it happens in business life. The drive for success, money, and the things it can buy, some kind of visibility in terms of popularity and fame, not to say notoriety, these are the things that constitute the bushel basket, and you put your lamp under the covering of the drive for success and for money and for comfort and luxury or fame or popularity, or all of the above, and you’re going to find that your Christian testimony, is just dimmed somehow or another. You want to think about that today? How brightly is your light shining, vis-à-vis this matter of business, and the duties of everyday life? Now it is possible, my dear friend, to be a good businessperson, businessman or businesswoman, it is possible to be a successful business person and at the same time, have a clear Christian testimony. That’s what you want; you and I want to strive for. I’m not after making people who are poor business heads and sloppy people in business, “Seeist thou man, diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings”, said the wise man. God is in favor of diligence and thrift and the profit motive. and hard work. and so on. The Puritans did not originate the idea of working, God did. “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us and establish thou the work of our hands”, prayed Moses. God ordained work, and in Christ, work can be glorious, “Whereunto I also labor mightily according to His working which worketh in me, mightily”, says Paul. “Labors and labors often”, said Paul. So work is not just the Puritan ethic, it’s something that God has established as the way He wants things to go in our redeemed lives. Yes you can be successful in your field, professional, teacher, medical person, lawyer, engineer, physician, you know all of these different works, or businessperson, manufacturer, salesman, or you’re in the production line or you’re in cost control, you’re an accountant, or you’re a nurse, or your homemaker, or you’re a student, whatever maybe, and I’ve left out some people, don’t be mad at me, I just couldn’t think of the list fast enough. We’re all under the same, under the same, let us say, umbrella of truth here. Work can, if it becomes an end in itself, can hide the light of the Lord Jesus.
I remember talking to an attorney years ago and say, “What you do?” I didn’t know what his daily work was. And he looked at me and smiled, he says, “Do you mean what do I do to put bread on the table or what do I really do?” Well, I said “Maybe you should tell me both”, he smiled at me and said, “I’m an attorney. I handle all cases to put some food on the table, but he said my real work is to lead men and women to Jesus Christ”, and his face lit up in a big, big smile. Oh, that’s where it has to be for us, don’t you think so? My real work, we ought to be to say, is to lead people to Jesus Christ. Oh, let your light shine. Don’t let money and duties and the drive for success, dim it. Now, the other word that Jesus used, “Is a lamp brought to be put under or on a bed, under a bushel basket or under a bed”, and a bed talks about rest and relaxation and luxury and ease. The parting greeting that millions of people use is take it easy, take it easy, or be good yourself, or watch out for yourself. Now, all of these things are good in themselves; take it easy, rather than being tense all the time is pretty good idea. Watch out for yourself, rather than being careless is a good idea, but if you’re dominating thought in life is to be at ease and to have comfort and luxury, and have things your own way, and be secure, and so on, then that dims the shining of the light of the gospel through your life. I ought to be willing to lose a little sleep, I ought to be willing to lose a little sleep for the Lord Jesus Christ, and for souls for whom He died. I ought to be willing to be put, let us say, out of my way, and my schedule interrupted or my convenience sacrificed ,if is going to bring somebody to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your schedule and let your comfort and let your good night’s sleep, be subservient to the idea of bringing somebody else to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Telephone call came in two or three years ago whenever it was, concerning someone who’s sister had run away from home, and who was supposedly at the Port Authority bus Station in New York City, and so my daughter, Lois, and my son-in-law, Mike, got in their car drove down there to look for this gal. They never did find her, developed that she had gone home with someone else, but I felt so, well, I said this humbly, you know what I mean, proud of them, in that they were willing, in the middle of the night, to get on out there and go look for somebody who was in need, and disoriented, and needed somebody to look for. Let your own comfort be subservient to the idea of winning other people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the light shine, “Ye are the light of the world”. Don’t let business or comfort stand between you and the shining of the light. Amen?
Dear Father today, I pray that there may be nothing which will hinder the shining of Thy love through our lives. Keep the way clear, please. In His name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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