Bible Study, Spiritual Formation

You are the Light of the World

I’ve just started at least a ten-part series on the Sermon on the Mount (for the audio click here).  An incredibly rich and challenging message from Jesus.

The beatitudes are promises/statements not commands, but the thrust of promises should motivate us to desire transformation so we too may be the blessed.

The Characteristics of the Righteous: The Beatitudes

The poor in spirit are those who understand their own lack of righteousness (bankruptcy) and need apart from God–they trust Him alone and His will–they experience the current reality of the kingdom
Because of their own lack of righteousness they mourn–but will be comforted with eternal riches
The clear understanding of who they are and sorrow causes them to be meek, not seeking their own–but shall inherit it all
Because they are meek they are then able to take their eyes off themselves and hunger and thirst for righteousness–they will be satisfied with perfect righteousness in the kingdom
Those who desire to be righteous will develop mercy toward others, because they see their own need for mercy
This lack of a judgmental spirit leads to being pure in heart–they shall see their heart’s desire, God Himself
They then are peacemakers because they are not seeking their own benefit but that of others–God takes notice
Which will cause others to be convicted and persecute them–the ultimate judge will reward them in the eternal kingdom with everlasting comfort

The Influence of the Righteous

As our character develops, the purpose is not just for us.  Our character enables us to be an influence in the world.  God is not satisfied with us being who we should be, He wants us to leverage who we are becoming so that others can see our visible acts of righteousness and see Him.  Our “good deeds” should be so counter-cultural, that no one would give us credit, but would glorify God.

We are to be the salt of the earth, we are to be the light of the world.  How do we hide it?

We may try to hide it by seeking anonymity–”If they don’t know I’m a Christian then they will leave me alone, won’t challenge my beliefs, won’t be offended by my actions…”

We may try to hide it by seeking isolation–seeking to be only around others like us but not allowing the light to shine in the dark places

We may hide it by indifference–living for ourselves, living with a limited perspective, living like the world

We may hide it by distortion– rules and regulations (religiosity),  rather than relationship and reality, hide the real light or at least distort it

We may hide it by dilution–watering down the reality

We may hide it by division–not standing together in unity and love

Let your light shine! Let your God be praised!


Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

2 Comments on “You are the Light of the World

  1. Hey Steve,

    I’ve read the Beatitudes a 1000 times and I have never seen that progression… Amazing how scripture will blow your mind every time.

  2. How true.
    We have to constantly question and seek to better understand the pre-understanding, presuppositions we carry with us when we read the biblical text.
    We’ve heard so many sermons and lessons that use the text to communicate what an individual wanted, not what the Text actually says.

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