The Lights You Leave


“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”   — Matthew 5:14-16



Several years ago, I read about an experience that John Ruskin, a famous British author, had while taking a late-evening stroll. On this particular night, he stopped to watch a lamplighter go about his responsibilities.  With torch in hand, the lamplighter plodded along the streets lighting the lamps on a distant hill.



The man himself could not be seen, but the lights would gleam as each one was lighted.  In response to this sight, Ruskin said to a friend, “That is what I mean by a real Christian.  You can trace his course by the lights he leaves burning.”



What lights are we leaving along the way? People are the only thing we touch along our lives that are eternal.  Every thing else we encounter is only temporary and will one day exist no more.



How can we leave lights burning in the lives of those we encounter along the way?  Genuine love – God’s love through us will light a fire in others.  Godly lips – words of encouragement and truth will kindle a flame in those who are hurting and need direction.  Giving lives – lives of compassion and service will stir the embers of life in those we touch and will cause them to look up to Him. 



In this world of darkness, we face the challenge of carrying the torch and remaining undetectable so that the reality of God’s light might be unavoidable!


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