Bible Society of South Africa

The importance of being positive – 24 January 2020

Neville Turley

Bible text(s)

46I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.

John 12:46GNBOpen in Bible reader

14“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead he puts it on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. 16In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus the Light of the World

12Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. “I am the light of the world,” he said. “Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.”

16I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you for ever. 17He is the Spirit who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you.

John 14:16-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

‘I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness’ John 12:46 (NIV)

In the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Jesus taught his followers: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

The message is clear. Jesus, the light of the world is instructing his followers to become light-bearers to the world. We are to reflect the light of Christ both in ourselves and in our daily activities.

It is a sad reality that many Christians are often more negative than positive in their outlook and reticent in their Christian witness. They often feel aggrieved about the circumstances in which they find themselves and don’t hold out much hope that matters will improve in the future. Unfortunately their attitude reflects their despondency.

Such pessimism is a common human failing. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) was an American author and clergyman. His best-selling book “The Power of Positive Thinking” uplifted and motivated countless people through his concept of positive thinking. In his book, he affirms his total commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘I place this day, my life, my loved ones, my work in the Lord’s hands, There is no harm in the Lord’s hands only good. Whatever happens, whatever results, if I am in the Lord’s hands, it is the Lord’s will and it is good.’

It is not easy to be positive when you feel the odds are stacked against you. When instead of briskly facing life in confident expectation, you find yourself despondently stumbling in your struggle to cope with the challenges facing you. That is when the testimony of Jesus becomes very relevant for you. ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12)

Our Lord has given us the promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life (John 14:16-17). He will guide us each step of the way in our quest to be a shining light to the glory of our Sovereign God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that we may walk in the light of your Son, who is alive and reigns with you in unity with the Holy Spirit, One God, now and for ever. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.10
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