God requires us to do good works to let our light shine. Jesus is our only light when we repent and our sins are forgiven.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father…in heaven.
If the light switch isn’t turned on, light will not be in a room. If we have sin in our life, we won’t be plugged into Jesus. If you think you have light but it’s darkness and are deceived, “how great is that darkness…” Many think they’re saved and have light, but they’re living in sin and are deceived. If people believe they’re ok with a little sin, they won’t seek real salvation. They’ll continue living in sin because of the great darkness. Light dispels (drives out) darkness. If a match is lit in a cave with total darkness, it’ll light the whole area. God wants our good works to shine to all, not just at church or to our family.
Matthew 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
We have to learn to not let any corrupt thing come out of our mouths. Before we get saved, we’re used to corrupt things coming out that aren’t edifying to others. We put them in their place, tell them what we think. It isn’t good works if what we say isn’t ministering grace to those who hear. When we first get saved, we may say something that doesn’t minister grace. We have to humble ourselves to ask forgiveness of those we spoke to.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
The enemy wants bitterness to take hold of us if things don’t go our way or are very hard. God doesn’t want us to be bitter. If bitterness works in us, we have failed to have God’s grace. God hasn’t failed his grace, but we failed because we didn’t ask. God can help us stay sweet. Bitterness, wrath, and malice keep us from having works that shine for God. We have to make sure they don’t work in us. If bitterness comes, you need to repent and pray for God to help and give you grace to help. You feel when anger and wrath are coming to you. That’s when you should run to God to pray for his help before you say a thing. We get victory over anger and temper by effort and being on our knees in prayer for God’s grace. Bitterness, anger and wrath come if we don’t use self-control. We can’t control the outer man by alone but by God’s grace.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving…even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Kindness is to be shown to our enemies, those who despitefully use us (with spite or ill will) or curse us. Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for them. He meant be kind to everyone regardless of what they’ve done, not to have an attitude. For us to shine, we must behave completely different and have a completely different attitude than the world.
Matthew 5:44-48…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven…
When we come to God to be saved, we come in complete humility. We’re willing to do whatever God wants and we don’t want to keep even one sin. Jesus told of a woman who was a sinner but her works and humility followed her down through 2000 years. Anointing Jesus and washing his feet was a simple action but was her way of asking forgiveness. She loved much because she was willing to do works that produced faith for her forgiveness.
Luke 7:36-50 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman…which was a sinner…brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee…spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known…what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering…Simon, I have somewhat to say…he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon…said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said…Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since…I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head…thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
We must have works like God wants in our life. The first thing we have to do to have works that shine is to be humble. We have to be completely clothed with humility 24/7. We cannot produce the works God desires unless we’re humble.
I Peter 5:5-6…ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all…be subject one to another…clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God…
Caleb was 85 years old when he asked Joshua for Mt. Carmel in the land of Paran. Caleb wholly followed the Lord. Nabal was a descendant of Caleb but didn’t have the attitude of Caleb. He chose not to follow the Lord. Everyone has to choose. You can raise your children in God’s ways but they choose if they follow God. Nabal was churlish (rough, stubborn, selfish, hateful, ill-mannered) and evil in his ways so he was dishonest. Abigail was a beautiful woman with good understanding. She loved, trusted, and believed in God. We all need good understanding. If we lack wisdom, we need to ask God (James 1:5). Abigail didn’t know what she’d face that day. God helped her have understanding and wisdom.
I Samuel 25:2-3 And there was a man…in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats…the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and…beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and…of the house of Caleb.
David asked his men, who had protected Nabal’s flocks and men, to go ask that Nabal’s shearers share what they had.
I Samuel 25:4-8…Nabal did shear his sheep. And David sent out ten young men…said…Get you up to Carmel…to Nabal, and greet him in my name…say…thy shepherds…we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing…while they were in Carmel…Wherefore…give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
Nabal knew who David was but his answer was selfish, arrogant, and hateful. His response made David angry and caused strife (a soft answer would’ve turned away wrath Proverbs 15:1). David had a revengeful anger was going to kill Nabal.
I Samuel 25:9-13 And when David’s young men came, they spake…those words in the name of David…Nabal answered …Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh…and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? So David’s young men…told him…David said…Gird ye on every man his sword…there went…about four hundred men…
A servant told Abigail what happened and she responded with kindness and respect, completely different than Nabal had. We must have an entirely different attitude than the world to shine as lights. Abigail immediately collected food to take to David. We need to treat people like we want to be treated, not try to get even.
I Samuel 25:14-22 But one of the young men told Abigail…David sent…to salute our master; and he railed on them. But the men were very good…we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing…consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him. Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves…bottles of wine, and five sheep…corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and… figs, and laid them on asses. And she said unto her servants, Go on before me…But she told not her husband Nabal. And it was so…she met them. Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
Abigail hurried to David and fell with her face to the ground at his feet in complete humility. We should meet our enemies in humility. Abigail was willing to take the blame so her household could be saved. Are we willing to take the blame for others if it means their salvation? Abigail willingly took blame for her husband’s sin but she wasn’t responsible.
I Samuel 25:23-28 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face…at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord…let this iniquity be…my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal…but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, …seeing the Lord hath withholden thee…from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now…they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
Abigail wanted to make peace, asked for forgiveness and called David ”lord” 14 times as she talked to him. She didn’t find fault or accuse him. If we know there’s a problem between us and another, how willing are we to take the blame so we can make peace? Abigail hurried to David and fell at his feet. There wasn’t any pride to do it her way or find fault. If she came to David in pride and defending her position, he wouldn’t have accepted her advice. Jesus took our blame, didn’t defend himself or argue he was right. He didn’t open his mouth. A lot of times we need to keep our mouth shut.
I Samuel 25:29-31 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee…but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord…thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling…when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and…appointed thee ruler over Israel; That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or…avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
When the pastor or someone gives us godly advice, we need to take it. Sometimes the only way to find peace with people is to take blame and find reconciliation – at home and in the church. What difference does it make if you take the blame and it reconciles two people? Pride will say it’s their problem, not mine.
I Samuel 25:32-35 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord…which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice….which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed, as the Lord…liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted…to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning…David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said…Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
Abigail knew Nabal had a temper and to be quiet. When she told Nabal his heart became like stone. He died 10 days later.
I Samuel 25:36-38 And Abigail came to Nabal…he held a feast in his house…Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing…But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.
When David heard Nabal died, he sent for Abigail to come be his wife. She was still humble, bowed, and called him lord. She just wanted to do whatever God wanted. To shine like lights in the world, we have to be clothed in humility.
Samuel 25:41 And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)