Candle on a Candlestick
By Peter Amsterdam
Manifesting God’s love to those whom He places in our path each day is at the heart of Christian life. Writing about this, the apostle Paul went so far as to say, “the love of Christ compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14, emphasis added) to do so. In whatever specific ways God leads each of us to reach our part of the world with His love, He has called us to be “the light of the world” and to “let [our] light shine before people, so that they will see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16 ESV)
Throughout the centuries—in fact, since the earliest days of Christianity—Christians have often reached the world through becoming known as a “force for good” in their community. Even when others didn’t necessarily embrace the Christians’ faith or understand their religion, or when the Christians were persecuted and maligned, their kind deeds and good works shone brightly before all men, resulting in people wanting to know what made them so different from much of society. As the apostle Peter instructed, “Live such good lives among the [unbelievers] that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.” (1 Peter 2:12 NIV)
As we each strive to reach out and offer a helping hand in our local communities; as we provide assistance—spiritual or practical, or both—to those God puts in our path; as we do our part to bring His love to others and to better their lives in whatever ways we are able, our good example will grow and serve as a “candle on a candlestick.” (Matthew 5:15 KJV)
By reaching our neighbors, and translating our faith into tangible actions that express our love and concern, we can be living examples of God’s love. Even if you don’t have a lot of time and resources, you can still reach out to your community and take the initiative to fill a need, showing solidarity when possible, and an interest in the welfare and quality of life of others. In so doing, you’ll be putting God’s love into action.
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Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you. Not because they are nice, but because you are.
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931)
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