Shining a Light for God's Glory (Matthew 5:16) - Radical

Shining a Light for God’s Glory (Matthew 5:16)

“In the same way let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:16

What a wonderful exaltation to lead, guide, direct your life, your approach to today. To live in a way that the light of Christ in you shines before others. That people may see your life and give glory to God. This sounds wonderful and in a sense sounds simple, but this goes against the grain of the way we are wired to think. In this sense we are wired to live so that people think good of us, well of us, so the people have positive impression of us. Like so much of our thinking of our mindset is built around this just subtly, almost unconsciously.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I’ll just confess in my own life, like I constantly wondered, how did I come across this person or that person? Or I wonder what this person or these people think about me. I preach a sermon and be like, wonder what they thought about it. I’ll have an interaction with somebody and if I don’t feel like they had a positive perception of me, that’ll concern me or I’ll think, “Oh, I need to go back and change that.” Like we are always thinking about what others think of us. Even if we say, “I don’t care what others think about us.” We still wonder what they think about us. It’s just one picture of the pride in us that focuses on ourselves. And there’s many different dimensions to pride. And some people may say, “I don’t care what anybody thinks about me.” But pride just plays out in other ways along those lines.

Matthew 5:16 Asks Us To Live So Others See God In Our Lives

So here in Matthew 5:16 Jesus is telling us to live consumed by what others think about, not you but about God. Live so that others think well of God. Live so that others give glory to God. And live so that others see your life, hear your word, observe your works, and they don’t say anything about you. They give glory to God. That is a radically different way to live. It’s a revolutionary way to live. It’s the exact opposite of pride. This is humility. To live in such a way that your light shines before others. They see the way you live and they don’t think about you. They give glory to your father who is in heaven. You live for that, it’ll change the way you talk. It’ll change the way you work, it’ll change your motive and your relationships at home and your neighborhood at your workplace in the world.

This Verse Praises Jesus For His Spirit Within Us

Oh, God. This is so different from the way we are wired to think and our sinful hearts and we need new wiring. We praise you for your spirit in us, Jesus, for your presence in us. So help us. Help us to live with this renewed wiring, with longing, with zeal, with passion, with thoughts and desires consumed with what others think about you that we might live for your glory, live to show, reflect your goodness in our character, your grace in our character, your patience, your love in our character. May it be evident in such a way that people don’t even see us. They see you. They want to give glory to you. And they don’t want to say good things about us. They want to give glory to your name. Oh, God please help us to live for this. We pray for the crucifixion of our pride.

Matthew 5:16 Asks God To Remove Pride From Us

God please remove pride from me. Please remove pride from me. Please help me to be consumed by what others think about you. Not even to think about myself. God please, and I pray this for me. I pray this for others and I pray that the fruit of lives that long for your glory in others’ minds would yield exactly that. God, please, please cause your light, the light of Jesus to shine in and through us so that people see our lives, see my life. See the life of every single person who’s listening to this right now and give you glory in heaven. God, we pray for this kind of radically God centered approach to life in relationships with others in the world around us today. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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