Our job is simply to live each day encouraging other believers in their faith and preaching the gospel to everyone around us.
This Advent season at Christ’s Church we had the opportunity to focus on the Light that Jesus brings to our world. John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” As my wife and I read through the Advent readings each night I found that my prayers ended up sounding very similar each night. In some form or fashion, I would pray that the light of Christ would be so evident in our lives that others couldn’t help but notice. This brings to mind what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, 16, “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I recently heard an analogy by a man named Sean Whalen in which he talks about lighthouses vs tugboats. He talks about how the lighthouse can save many more sailors than a tugboat, even though a lighthouse never moves. By simply shining its light and letting sailors know where the danger is, a lighthouse can help countless sailors avoid dangerous areas. Whereas a tugboat can only pull one boat from danger at a time.
I love this analogy for a couple reasons. The first being that a lighthouse does its best work when it is absolutely darkest and most dangerous. In the darkest, stormiest, worst moments of life, a lighthouse will stand strong and shine the light, encouraging (Romans 1:12) and warning others of the danger that is ahead (Romans 1:15).
The other part that I love is that in the end, the result doesn’t depend on us. Romans 1:16 states, “…it is the power of God that brings salvation…” We cannot force people to avoid danger, only the sailor can decide whether or not to heed the warning of the lighthouse. We have not been called to “save” people, our job is simply to live each day encouraging other believers in their faith and preaching the gospel to everyone around us. Because the outcome doesn’t depend on us we have no reason not to shine. Don’t be ashamed of the light that God has given you! (Romans 6:16)
Go be a lighthouse today.