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How "Bright" Are You?

How “Bright” Are You?

     Upon being presented with the question that heads this week’s article, you might ask some questions yourself.   You might even ask: In what context this question is being asked?   This is because “being bright” can mean several things. 1) giving out or reflecting a lot of light; shining: 2) (of a person, idea, or remark) intelligent and quick-witted: 3) giving an appearance of cheerful liveliness:  4) (of sound) clear, vibrant, and typically high-pitched:

       As an individual, one might desire to be known as: smart, intuitive, brilliant, or perceptive.   They also might desire to be acknowledged as: cheerful, glad, exuberant, or even “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed”, or any other number of the synonyms that are affiliated with being bright.   This is because those who are described in such ways are those considered by others to be “fulfilled” in life, as compared to those described as “dull”.   Those that are “bright” will truly “see and reflect the light” that comes from the Lord.    

     When the Lord began His ministry, John had been imprisoned. Christ left Nazareth and came to Capernaum and preached in fulfilment of prophecy. In Matthew 4:16 we are told that God’s people Israel were provided the means to see the truth which Christ proclaimed. The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.   Of course, this is speaking of the Salvation Christ would make available by His Sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, if people would simply be obedient to His Word.  

       When the Lord preached the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:14, He spoke of His followers of being “lights”. He said: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.   The “light” which was to emanate from the disciple of the Lord, was the reflection of the “truth” of which we read in John 8:32. Again, this was said to those disciples that believed on Him. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

     In fact, in the words of Simeon as provided by the Spirit and recorded by the physician Luke, we see “shining” this light of Salvation for all who would obey Him was the purpose for which He came to live on earth. Luke 2:29-32 - Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. This was God’s plan for man from before the foundations of the world. 1Peter 1:18-20 provides the same information for us in the New Testament. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

       However, just because Jesus came to earth, and just because He died on the cross, was buried, arose, and ascended back to the Father did not save a single soul. Sadly, many will enter eternity unprepared because they were taught all they had to do was believe in Jesus.     As was stated above, Jesus said it was the “truth” which would make one free.   The Spirit gave the psalmist Words to identify what truth is. In Psalm 119:151 we read: Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.   This is reinforced by Jesus in His prayer to the Father in John 17:17. He said: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  

       This is where “faithful Christians” come in. We are to “reflect” the “light” that Christ brought to the world.   But how are we to do this?   Christ told His apostles how this was to be accomplished. This could only be done after He had paid the price for redemption with His blood. In Matthew 28:18-20, after He arose, we see what He told them. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Therefore, to “reflect the light” of Christ is to tell folks of His great love, and His plan for Salvation.   The formula is: 1) Go and teach the true gospel of Christ. 2) Baptize them (into Christ) in the name of (by the authority of) Christ. And, 3) Continue to teach the things of God’s Word.  

       The Spirit had Paul write his “son in the faith” in 2Timothy 2:2 so that he would be instructed, and it was recorded so we could know the perpetuity of this Commandment from God first spoken by the Lord Himself. He was speaking of spreading the gospel. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. That is “light shining” in its brightest form.  

         We pointed out earlier that another definition of being bright is: “giving an appearance of cheerful liveliness”. In John 13:17, after washing the feet of His disciples, Jesus spoke of this way of being bright. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.   How Bright Are You?   Do you “know” His Word?   Are you spreading it?   Are you happy by doing it? Or does your “bulb” lack the luster a true Christian should possess?   Think about it!

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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