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
Scripture reading: 1 Peter 2:1-12
In the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5, Jesus said that we are the light of the world. While the preaching of the word has a central place in the life and mission of the church, what Jesus meant is that in all of our living, we are to be different and distinct in such a way as to be witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In that passage, the teaching of Jesus was that such a witness would be fruitful for the good of others, expecting that they would “give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” In the same way, Peter calls us to be different from the world:
“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pe 2:12).
This doesn’t just mean being different from the world. It means being different in a way that is visible: not in a hidden huddle, but in real engaged life in real cities and communities. And it means being different in a way that is appealing. If we truly love the world as God does (John 3:16), then we must make it clear that the way of life God calls us to is good and that it is for the good of the nations. That is, our heart motive must be that of being a blessing to those around us.
Suggestions for prayer
That God would make us different from the world, that He would make our way of life visibly appealing, and that He would make that witness fruitful for our mission.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.