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Matthew 5:16


, 284f

In great distress I awoke. I went to sleep again, and I seemed to be in a large gathering. One of authority was addressing the company, before whom was spread out a map of the world. He said that the map pictured God's vineyard, which must be cultivated. As light from heaven shone upon anyone, that one was to reflect the light to others. Lights were to be kindled in many places, and from these lights still other lights were to be kindled.... PM 284.1

I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God's word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world. PM 284.2

Then this map was removed and another put in its place. On it light was shining from a few places only. The rest of the world was in darkness, with only a glimmer of light here and there. Our Instructor said: “This darkness is the result of men's following their own course. They have cherished hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. They have made questioning and faultfinding and accusing the chief business of their lives. Their hearts are not right with God. They have hidden their light under a bushel.” PM 284.3

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Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Let your light so shine - Or more literally, Thus let your light shine, Ουτω λαμψατω το φως . As the sun is lighted up in the firmament of heaven to diffuse its light and heat freely to every inhabitant of the earth; and as the lamp is not set under the bushel, but placed upon the lamp-stand that it may give light to all in the house; Thus let every follower of Christ, and especially every preacher of the Gospel, diffuse the light of heavenly knowledge, and the warmth of Divine love through the whole circle of their acquaintance.

That they may see your good works - It is not sufficient to have light - we must walk in the light, and by the light. Our whole conduct should be a perpetual comment on the doctrine we have received, and a constant exemplification of its power and truth.

And glorify your Father - The following curious saying is found in Bammidbar Rabba, s. 15. "The Israelites said to the holy blessed God, Thou commandest us to light lamps to thee; and yet thou art the, Light of the world, and with thee the light dwelleth. The holy blessed God answered, I do not command this because I need light; but that you may reflect light upon me, as I have illuminated you: - that the people may say, Behold, how the Israelites illustrate him, who illuminates them in the sight of the whole earth." See more in Schoettgen. Real Christians are the children of God - they are partakers of his holy and happy nature: they should ever be concerned for their Father's honor, and endeavor so to recommend him, and his salvation, that others may be prevailed on to come to the light, and walk in it. Then God is said to be glorified, when the glorious power of his grace is manifested in the salvation of men.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Let your light so shine … - Let your holy life, your pure conversation, and your faithful instructions, be everywhere seen and known. Always, in all societies, in all business, at home and abroad, in prosperity and adversity, let it be seen that you are real Christians.

That they may see your good works - The proper motive to influence us is not simply that we may be seen (compare Matthew 6:1), but it should be that our heavenly Father may be glorified. The Pharisees acted to be seen of men, true Christians act to glorify God, and care little what people may think of them, except as by their conduct others may he brought to honor God, yet they should so live that people may see from their conduct what is the proper nature of their religion.

Glorify your Father - Praise, or honor God, or be led to worship him. Seeing in your lives the excellency of religion, and the power and purity of the gospel, they may be won to be Christians also, and give praise and glory to God for his mercy to a lost world.

We learn here:

1.that religion, if it exists, cannot be concealed.

2.that where it is not manifest in the life, it does not exist.

3.that “professors” of religion, who live like other people, give evidence that they have never been truly converted.

4.that to attempt to conceal or hide our Christian knowledge or experience is to betray our trust, injure the cause of piety, and to render our lives useless. And,

5.that good actions will be seen, and will lead people to honor God. If we have no other way of doing good - if we are poor, and unlearned, and unknown yet we may do good by our lives. No sincere and humble Christian lives in vain. The feeblest light at midnight is of use.

“How far the little candle throws his beams!

So shines a good deed in a naughty world!”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Ye are the salt of the earth. Mankind, lying in ignorance and wickedness, were as a vast heap, ready to putrify; but Christ sent forth his disciples, by their lives and doctrines to season it with knowledge and grace. If they are not such as they should be, they are as salt that has lost its savour. If a man can take up the profession of Christ, and yet remain graceless, no other doctrine, no other means, can make him profitable. Our light must shine, by doing such good works as men may see. What is between God and our souls, must be kept to ourselves; but that which is of itself open to the sight of men, we must study to make suitable to our profession, and praiseworthy. We must aim at the glory of God.
Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 420

Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord's glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence. COL 420.1

The revelation of His own glory in the form of humanity will bring heaven so near to men that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells. Men will be captivated by the glory of an abiding Christ. And in currents of praise and thanksgiving from the many souls thus won to God, glory will flow back to the great Giver. COL 420.2

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1. To those who go out to meet the Bridegroom is this message given. Christ is coming with power and great glory. He is coming with His own glory and with the glory of the Father. He is coming with all the holy angels with Him. While all the world is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of His second appearing. The unsullied light will shine from His splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who have served Him. While the wicked flee from His presence, Christ's followers will rejoice. The patriarch Job, looking down to the time of Christ's second advent, said, “Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger.” Job 19:27, margin. To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts. COL 420.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 35

But there must be no duplicity, no crookedness, in the life of the worker. While error, even when held in sincerity, is dangerous to anyone, insincerity in the truth is fatal. CH 35.1

We are not to be idle spectators in the stirring scenes that will prepare the way of the Lord's second appearing. We must catch the enthusiasm and ardor of the Christian soldier. Everyone who is not for Christ is against Him. “He that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. Inactivity is registered in the books of heaven as opposition to Christ's work, because it produces the same kind of fruit as positive hostility. God calls for active workers. CH 35.2

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 531

In the work of soul saving, the Lord calls together laborers who have different plans and ideas and various methods of labor. But with this diversity of minds there is to be revealed a unity of purpose. Oftentimes in the past the work which the Lord designed should prosper has been hindered because men have tried to place a yoke upon their fellow workers who did not follow the methods which they supposed to be the best. CT 531.1

No exact pattern can be given for the establishment of schools in new fields. The climate, the surroundings, the condition of the country, and the means at hand with which to work must all bear a part in shaping the work. The blessings of an all-round education will bring success in Christian missionary work. Through its means souls will be converted to the truth. CT 531.2

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 718

“Behold,” says the Scripture, “the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Verse 2. Christ, the outshining of the Father's glory, came to the world as its light. He came to represent God to men, and of Him it is written that He was anointed “with the Holy Ghost and with power,” and “went about doing good.” Acts 10:38. In the synagogue at Nazareth He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19. This was the work He commissioned His disciples to do. “Ye are the light of the world,” He said. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14, 16. PK 718.1

This is the work which the prophet Isaiah describes when he says: “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.” Isaiah 58:7, 8. PK 718.2

Thus in the night of spiritual darkness God's glory is to shine forth through His church in lifting up the bowed down and comforting those that mourn. PK 718.3

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