It is very impressive how 18 year old Bethany Dillon expresses Biblical truth beyond her years in her songwriting and "Let Your Light Shine" from Waking Up
really reflects that inspiration and wisdom received from the words of Jesus in Matthew, Chapter 5 verses 15 and 16
Take some time to reflect on these great reminders from Jesus about our calling as Christians:
Matthew 5:15-16 (New International Version)
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)
Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—-shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
I think we forget those words quite often as followers of Jesus by keeping Him to ourselves. That is probably due to our shame over our own sinful natures and concern that others will consider our actions hypocrisy if they really know us. The Good News of the Gospel is that we don't have to pretend we've got it all together.
That is certainly an area of sin in my life. I find myself wondering how I can "do" more to earn love from God and people. Only in the Name of Jesus and putting our faith in His sacrifice on our behalf can we be free from sin, shame and hypocrisy. Bethany Dillon captures this perfectly in her song.
Bethany acknowledges: "My highest hope for these songs is just that people who listen are somehow overwhelmed by the reality of Jesus. I'm still struggling with what an appropriate response is. I know it's going to be a process for me, for a middle class white kid who grew up in the country. It'll take some time to realize what it really looks like for me to reflect Jesus."
Excerpt from "Let Your Light Shine
" by Bethany Dillon
Oh Jesus, You became what was my deepest shame
That at Your very name
My calloused heart would change
How could You, oh perfect One
Love me, when I have done nothing that's worthy of
My freedom You have won
Oh wonderful love, You died for me
The power of Your life is in me
Father, let Your light shine down on me
This is a great message and song for us to celebrate our freedom from sin based on our faith in Christ Jesus. Also, it is commanded by Jesus in verse 16 to "let your light shine" so that others may praise God based on seeing the power of His life in us. Sometimes we forget to give Jesus credit for our freedom and accomplishments. We need to celebrate that freedom with our hands reaching out to others in Christ and show His light in us and let Him shine in us.
Some other songs that reflect that sentiment are "Shine" by Newsboys, "Shine On Us" by Phillips, Craig & Dean and "Shine On" by NEEDTOBREATHE.
In closing, be encouraged by the light of Jesus shining in all of us based on our faith in Him and personally I am very moved knowing that Jesus is shining in me for all to see and believe. Perhaps in the next couple of weeks we can all practice "letting our light shine so that others may praise our Father in Heaven."