What it means to be the light of the world

From Matthew: A 28-Day Devotional


Matthew 5

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus compares his followers to light, saying we "are the light of the world," unable to be hidden. No one puts a lamp under a bowl because a lamp is designed to help people see in dark places. Christ's words and actions showed the true nature of the world around Him. Christ-followers give light to those around them by doing and saying what Jesus did. By growing in relationship with Jesus every day, following Him step by step, we partner with Him in spreading the truth.

Another of Jesus's disciples, John, said it this way: "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:5-7).

Light cannot be anything other than what it is. It's bright; it dispels darkness; it enables people to see what they are doing. God is light, and since He sent His Holy Spirit to live inside believers, so are we. As his ambassadors on earth, we shine even when we don't know it.

Jesus told His followers to "let your light shine before others," calling them to live an active faith, not a passive one. Put your light on its stand. Your circumstances are an opportunity to shine brightly for the Lord and to share God's overcoming truth with those around you. Your family and community can tell what you believe by how you live.


  • What situation are you in right now in which you have to exercise faith in God?
  • How can you share your faith with others in the midst of your circumstances?

February 26, 2015

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

Three steps to overcoming temptation

We’ve all been tempted. Sometimes it’s something small, like a delicious dessert when trying to lose weight. Other times it’s something b...

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Session 2

What it means to be the light of the world

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus compares his followers to light, saying we "are the light of the world," unable to be hidden. No one puts a lam...

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Session 3

How to get rid of worry

Worrying can be an everyday occurrence for some people. Sometimes it becomes such a normal part of life that it’s not even noticed. It be...

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Session 4

How to know you know the real Jesus

When we hear the name of Jesus, it should not make us feel condemned or ashamed. We should feel hope and forgiveness. Unfortunately, some...

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Session 5

Are you living in faith or fear?

We place our faith in countless people and things. We believe our legs will support us, so we get out of bed. We believe our brakes will ...

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Session 6

Being right with God is not the same as being perfect

There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But Jesus taught, “If it ain’t broke, it can’t be fixed!” He said, “...It is no...

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Session 7

Three instructions we can all benefit from following

Jesus knows our hearts better than we do. When He sends out His disciples in Matthew 10, Jesus gives specific commands, not to limit the ...

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Session 8

Are you carrying too much?

Do you unload all the groceries in one trip? Loading way more than you should on each arm, you awkwardly and barely close the trunk. Bag ...

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Session 9

If you’re feeling disliked, you’re in good company

Have you ever felt disliked? Maybe even hated? Most of us have at some point in our lives. Jesus did, too. The Pharisees, the Jewish re...

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Session 10

Don’t let obstacles get in your way

Gesù è il Signore. Those are powerful words, but unless you speak Italian, they mean nothing. "Gesù è il Signore" means “Jesus is Lord” ...

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Session 11

Are you in need of a little R&R?

We all have situations, issues, problems, and discomforts that push us and pull us this way and that, leaving us overwhelmed and emotiona...

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Session 12

You don’t have to follow rules to follow Jesus

Rules. Most people don’t like them.  A lot of people don’t agree with them. Sometimes we have trouble following them but decide to do so ...

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Session 13

Who are you putting first in your life?

It might sound silly, but this children’s poem describes the mind of most humans. I had a little tea party,     One afternoon at three;...

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Session 14

Your faith makes a difference

Have you ever stood at the bedside of a loved one and watched them suffer in despair and pain? Have you ever been drawn to make a differe...

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Session 15

Experience is a teacher, but not always the best teacher

As children, we all had to learn what hurts so we can keep ourselves safe. Sometimes, we listened to mom’s warnings to stay away from the...

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Session 16

Do you know who you’re talking to?

Have you ever noticed how easily we assign different values to words based on who’s speaking?  Suppose your broke uncle called and said ...

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Session 17

You don’t have to earn God’s love

Past sins and mistakes can weigh us down and make us think we are not worthy of God’s love or we must earn His love. In Matthew 20, Jesus...

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Session 18

How to be righteous

“Hed up yonder a ways til ya reach the old Miller place. Turn right then go a fur piece then left after ole Clyde Thompson’s farm. That’l...

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Session 19

What if we all discovered a new four-letter word?

A forceful, off-target blow from a hammer. A screech of tires caused by slamming on the brakes. A phone call delivering unexpected news. ...

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Session 20

Does what you say match what you do?

It’s a rule: No phones allowed at dinner. Then, while waiting for the food, you hear that familiar "ding." So you check that text messag...

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Session 21

The best place to find the truth

As networks compete to cover breaking news, the desire to be first can cause mistakes. Experts are sought out to provide deeper insight, ...

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Session 22

Are you playing it safe?

No matter how much you love your computer, give it time and inevitably, something will go wrong and you’ll discover the magic of Ctrl+Alt...

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Session 23

How to be on the upside of every exchange

When you take a trip to another county, you can’t buy anything without the correct currency. To get the right money, you visit an exchang...

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Session 24

Why the crucifixion?

Every other Friday, people everywhere rejoice. Why? Because it’s payday! We get a little slip of paper that represents exactly what we’ve...

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Session 25

Go ahead and tell everybody

We’ve all been asked at some point: “How’d you hear about us?” Maybe it was the new patient paperwork at the doctor’s office, a survey af...

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Session 26

How to boost your reputation

The first time Matthew heard the story of Joseph, the "father" of Jesus, he could probably relate. Matthew was rich, had lots of friends,...

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Session 27

Can you hear God’s voice?

We live in a world of relentless voices telling us what we should own, where we should go, how we should live and especially what we shou...

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Session 28

Why baptism is our first next step

Imagine what it must have been like for John the Baptist to see Jesus walking toward him asking to be baptized. John knew who Jesus was —...

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