Shine: The Power of Radiant Evangelism

6 Feb, 2024

Shine: The Power of Radiant Evangelism

This week’s blog is from CityLight Pastor James Chavez.

Illuminating the World: The Artistic and Spiritual Power of Light

The concept of painters as masters of light offers a profound analogy for our role as witnesses for Christ. Just as French impressionists of the 19th century meticulously captured the essence of light on canvas, we are called to reflect Christ’s light in our lives.

Symbolism of Light: Cutting Through Darkness

Throughout art history, light often symbolizes truth, cutting through the darkness of ignorance. This imagery is powerfully reflected in our spiritual journey. When light pierces through darkness in paintings, it’s reminiscent of how we, as followers of Christ, are called to shine His light in the world’s dark places. Stained glass windows in a church, changing hues with the time of day, serve as a beautiful metaphor for how we can reflect Jesus’ light in different situations and seasons of life.

Being the Light: Following Jesus, The Light of the World

In John 8:12, Jesus proclaims Himself as the light of the world. This statement encourages us to leave behind the past and enter a future illuminated by Jesus’ truth and life. As His followers, we’re not just walking in His light; we’re called to be beacons of this light, guiding others out of darkness and into the hope and life found in Christ.

Embracing the Mission of Discipleship in a Modern World

We must commit to creating fully devoted followers of Christ. This isn’t just about attending church; it’s about transforming within, where God’s Word and Spirit live through us. But what does it truly mean to be a disciple? It’s not just a follower of a philosophy or a teacher but a personal follower of Jesus, learning and living His teachings. This understanding reshapes our approach to discipleship, making it a deeply personal and transformative journey.

Jesus’ Great Commission: Our Blueprint for Discipleship

Jesus’ final command, as recorded in Matthew 28, is clear and compelling: Go and make disciples. This instruction forms the backbone of our mission, but interestingly, Jesus didn’t specify a ‘how.’ This omission is insightful – it suggests that our discipleship methods should evolve with communication and cultural changes. Just as Jesus communicated in ways relevant to His time, we, too, are called to find contemporary, engaging methods to share His message.

Adapting Discipleship to Contemporary Culture

Understanding that no single approach holds all the answers to discipleship, we embrace the challenge to innovate and adapt. In a world where communication styles and cultural landscapes constantly evolve, we must find relevant and relatable ways to connect with and disciple others. Just as we choose translations of the Bible that resonate with today’s audience, our methods of teaching and sharing the Gospel should also be current and accessible. Together, we work towards finding effective ways to fulfill the Great Commission in our modern context.

Collaborating to Complete the Puzzle of Discipleship

The journey of discipleship is akin to assembling a puzzle – each of us holds a unique piece, contributing to the complete picture of God’s kingdom. As we come together at City Light, our diverse experiences and insights intertwine, bringing clarity and cohesion to our collective mission. Like the frustrating yet fulfilling puzzle assembly process, our unified discipleship efforts sharpen our focus and understanding. Embracing our joint mission, we work together to unravel the ‘how’ of making disciples, ensuring our actions align with the evolving nature of communication and culture.

The Power of Togetherness: Doing Life with God

At the heart of our disciple-making mission is the principle of doing life together with God. It’s not about relying on our strength but leaning on His. Through Christ, we can love, show patience, and extend grace to those around us, even the ‘extra grace required’ individuals in our lives. By immersing ourselves in God’s Word and constant prayer, we develop the fruits of the Spirit, making us effective and compassionate disciples.

Living as Modern-Day Fireflies for Christ

Just as fireflies illuminate the night with efficiency and brilliance, we are called to be beacons of light in the world for Christ. Our lives should radiate His love and truth with the same efficiency and purity as these remarkable creatures. In a world filled with incandescent distractions where much energy is lost, we are to shine unreservedly, guiding others to Jesus through our actions and words. Our role is to light up the spiritual skies, attracting others to the source of our light – Jesus Himself.

Embracing Our Role as Illuminators of Hope

As followers of Christ, we are called to be the human equivalent of fireflies, bringing light into the world’s darkness. Ephesians 5:8 reminds us that though we once dwelled in darkness, we now possess the light of the Lord. From its beginning to our eternal promotion, our entire Christian journey is about shining this light everywhere we go. We are tasked with illuminating the world for Christ, showing His goodness and love through our actions and words. Just as a firefly lights up at every stage of its life, we, too, should radiate Christ’s light in every phase of our spiritual journey.

Finding Purpose in Illuminating for Christ

In moments of doubt or mundane routines, like scrolling through social media, it’s essential to remember our purpose. We are here to be fireflies for Jesus, to light up the world with His love and grace. This simple yet profound realization can resolve many existential queries and guide our actions in 2024. Imagine if our daily lives, interactions, and attire could reflect this purpose – to shine for Jesus, spreading His message in everything we do.

Making Disciples 

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, our mission is clear: to make disciples and shine brightly for Jesus. Our gathering at City Light isn’t just about personal growth; it’s about equipping ourselves to illuminate the world around us. New York, often seen as a dark place, is our canvas to push back the darkness with the light of Christ. We are committed to creating more disciples, as Jesus instructed, and being ready to share the hope and faith that drives us. Let’s set intentional goals for 2024, not just for ourselves but to help others grow in Christ. Together, in Christian community and with God, we can make 2024 a year of unparalleled spiritual radiance.


God, help me to shine your light to those around me. Give me the courage and boldness to live a life that points others to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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