Devotional: ‘This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine’

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This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

When I was a child there was something fascinating about holding up one little finger and singing that song. I’m not sure which was the most fun – singing the song or holding up my finger and pretending that it was a light.

This Little Light of Mine was written in response to something Jesus once said to His disciples.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)

There is no other light for this dark world than Jesus Christ. Politics will never be the light nor will education or any form of social reform. I remember one of our presidents once saying that America was that shining city set upon a hill and another president encouraging us to be a kinder, gentler nation; yet neither happened or was true. This world is lost in the darkness of sin and there is no man or movement that can give us light and lead us out. Only Jesus Christ. Jesus said this of Himself – “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (Jn 8:12 NLT) On another occasion He said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” (Jn 12:47 NLT)

Jesus is the light of the world. Why then did He say to us – “You are the light of the world”? There are several reasons. First of all, Jesus was here on earth for only a short period of time. He Himself was able to give light only for three and one half years and then He returned back to His Father. How then will the world receive light today? They can do so only as Jesus is able to shine through the lives of His followers. When someone accepts Christ as their Savior, they receive His light that gives them life, and the light they receive then becomes a light for others.

It is because of this that Jesus spoke these words – “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” How terrible it would be if Jesus had never come to this earth to give us light. How terrible it is when we have that His light, but fail to share it with others. According to Christ, the gospel should have such a dramatic affect upon our lives that others will look at our good deeds and glorify our Father which is in heaven. Unfortunately, the world sometimes never sees the light. Not because there is no light, but because Christ’s light is hidden. Instead of lighting a lamp and setting it high upon a hill, we let the devil talk us into hiding it under a basket. There is another verse of that little song that says-

“Don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine. Don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine. Don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.”

I’m not for sure that it’s theologically correct to say that Satan can extinguish our candle, but we know that he can cause it to become ineffective. Satan can tell us that our light will offend others, therefore we should never put it on display. He can also tell us that our light will cause others to laugh, therefore we should always keep it hidden. Yet even children know that we can’t put it under or a basket or let Satan blow it out. This little light of mine, I have to let it shine.

Let it shine til Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine til Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine til Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

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