๐Ÿ‘‘ A Holding Pattern That Casts the Lord in a Good Light

Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul gave some advice to a young man named Titus that all Christians would do well to take to heart:

โ€œIn all things shewing thyself a pattern of good worksโ€ฆโ€ (Titus 2:7).

If youโ€™re not sure what a โ€œpatternโ€ is, do you remember reading about the โ€œseven lampsโ€ that made up โ€œthe candlestickโ€ in the tabernacle (Num. 8:1-4)? If so, you may remember that this candlestick was carefully made โ€œaccording to the patternย which the Lord had showed Mosesโ€ (Num. 8:1-4). It was a pattern that typified the Lord Jesus Christ, who later declared,

โ€œI am the light of the world:ย he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness,ย but shall have the light of lifeโ€ (John 8:12).

When the Lord walked among men, He was the light of the world becauseโ€“like the candlestick that typified Himโ€“He was โ€œmade under the lawโ€ (Gal. 4:5), and He walked โ€œaccording to the pattern which the Lord had showed Mosesโ€ in the Law, as He offered the light of eternal life to men. But later He added,

โ€œAs long as I am in the world,ย I am the light of the worldโ€ (John 9:5).

Now that the Lord is gone, the world has aย differentย source of spiritual light, one that Paul described in Philippians 2:15,16. Speaking to members of the Body of Christ, he wrote,

โ€œโ€ฆYE shine as lights in the world;ย holding forth the word of life.โ€

Now that the Lord is no longer here on earth,ย itโ€™sย our turnย to be the light of the world, as we offer the light of eternal life to the lost!

But we donโ€™t shine as lights in the world as our Lord did, by walking according to the pattern of the law. โ€œWe are not under the law, but under graceโ€ (Rom. 6:15), so we shine the light ofย graceย by walking according to the pattern of good works we find in the epistles of Paul, the apostle of grace. If you are still observing Israelโ€™s sabbath, or adhering to the restricted diet of Leviticus 11, etc., you are telling people weโ€™re under the Law! And thatโ€™s not shining the right light of life to lost sinners. Itโ€™s hard to get saved by grace if you think weโ€™re under the Law!

We know that walking in good works is an important part of shining as lights in the world, for in telling the Philippians they were the light of the world, Paul prefaced his words by saying,

โ€œDo all things without murmurings and disputings:ย That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,ย in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,ย among whom ye shine as lights in the worldโ€ (Philippians 2:14,15).

Thatโ€™s Paulโ€™s way of saying that you shouldnโ€™t be trying to shine the light of life to men if you yourself are walking in darkness!

But as you shine the light of grace, adorned by the testimony of your pattern of good works, it is important to let people know that youโ€™re not walking in good works because youโ€™re a good person. You need to let them know that youโ€™re doing it because youโ€™re a child of God! Thatโ€™s what the Lord had in mind when He said,

โ€œLet your light so shine before men,ย that they may see your good works,ย and glorify your Father which is in heavenโ€ (Matthew 5:16).

Now, you know why He had to say that. When men see you do good works, they tend to glorifyย youย instead of God, saying things like, โ€œIsnโ€™t he a good man for doing something like that!โ€ The Lord said not to let them think that way, to let your light shine in such a way that they will glorifyย Godย instead. How do we do that? Thereโ€™s only one way to do it, and thatโ€™s to let people know that you belong to the Lord! That way God gets the glory when men see your good works, and not you. Itโ€™s the only way to cast the Lord in a good light, so tell someoneย today! source

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Bible Verse for 12/8/22

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. โ€” John 14:6

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