Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
-- Feeding Jesus' sheep
-- Equipping His servants
-- Proclaiming His Gospel

Let Your Light Shine

By Dennis Pollock



Of all our world's religions, Christianity alone says that no matter how hard we try to keep the rules for goodness, we can never totally please God, nor can we gain entrance into heaven by diligent efforts to follow the divine commands. Anyone who can read even a little bit, and think even a little bit, will find that the New Testament insists we can never be saved by following rules. Rather we are saved by believing in Jesus Christ, and in His substitutionary death for our sins and His resurrection from the dead.


The Bible is filled with the idea that salvation is "by grace through faith." The most popular verse in the Bible plainly tells us, as Jesus states: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). We are justified, we are saved, we are made acceptable in God's sight, not by keeping His rules, not by being nice, good little boys and girls, but by putting our faith in Jesus. I could give many more Scriptures, but if you need any further proof, open your New Testament and read it.


Evangelicals all over the world get this. They learn this truth in Sunday School as children in Nigeria, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, the Ukraine, England, the U. S. and everywhere else that Bible-believing Christians gather. But we also believe something else, which seems almost to be a bit of a paradox. We believe and hold that Christians who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus are expected to make a diligent effort to do good works as we walk with Jesus. And as with the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, we have good reason to believe this as well. When Jesus commissioned His disciples to go into the world, He told them to make disciples of all nations, and insisted that these disciples were to be taught "to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20). They were not only to believe on Jesus – they were actually to do the things that He had been commanding His disciples throughout His short time on this earth – in other words: do what you find Jesus teaching and commanding in the red words of the gospel accounts in your Bible!


Our Job Assignment


One of Jesus’ expectations of His disciples was that we are to engage in something He called "good works." Christians are supposed to do good works! The apostle Paul emphasized this as well, and we find this idea a major theme in the little Book of Titus. In three short chapters Paul hammers it home again and again, writing:


  1. "…in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works." (Titus 2:7)
  2. "… Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." (Titus 2:13-14)
  3. "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works…." (Titus 3:8)
  4. "And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful." (Titus 3:14)


Paul does not go into a lot of detail here, but we see a hint of the kinds of good works he refers to, when he adds the words: "to meet urgent needs." Clearly he is talking about the needs of others. We who love and trust Jesus are to go around meeting needs and helping people wherever and however we can. We are to be "good works doers." Not only are we to do these good works; according to Paul we are to be "zealous for good works." We are to be eagerly looking for ways we can give to the poor, encourage the despairing, teach the ignorant, befriend the friendless, cheer up the hopeless, uphold those about to collapse, deliver the captives, compassionately bear with the difficult ones, and love the people whom everyone else has given up on.


Shining Lights


Jesus states: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (5:16). And this was exactly what He did. The Bible says: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38). Jesus did not spend all His time preaching and teaching about God. He spent considerable time ministering to the physical needs of men and women, especially in the area of sickness. By these good works, God was glorified. After Jesus healed a lame man, Luke writes: "And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” (Luke 5:26).


Jesus not only preached with His words; He preached with His life. He went around doing good, blessing people, giving hope where hope was gone, ministering to their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs, and as a result He made people especially attracted to the God He proclaimed. You might say that His entire life was a "sermon" – His teachings, His miracles, His compassion, His forgiveness, His delivering people from oppressing spirits… People saw His good works and glorified God.


As followers of Jesus, we are to emulate our Master. We are to live such lives that people will be attracted to the Christ we serve and desire Him for themselves. This is highly significant. Many times, we only think of ministry in terms of preaching or teaching the Bible. But most Christians will never preach sermons or teach the Bible on a regular basis. The great majority of Christ-followers are mechanics, nurses, schoolteachers, computer technicians, grocery store clerks, accountants, factory workers, and so forth. Put them behind a pulpit in front of a couple of hundred people and they would be terrified. And as a result, they tend to think of "ministry" as something the pastor does.


All Believers are Ministers


But every believer in Jesus is a minister. Some minister primarily with words, but most minister in other ways. As Paul would put it, they live their lives "zealous for good works," looking for ways to bless people, help people, and encourage people. It's not that they never speak about Jesus. Every believer should do that as the opportunity affords. But most of their time on earth will not be spent preparing and preaching sermons or traveling around the world preaching in stadiums. It will be spent fixing cars, mowing the lawn, changing diapers, going to church dinners, encouraging their children to do better in school, and in thousands of mundane duties that make up responsible living. But while they do these things, they should be, according to Jesus and Paul, eagerly looking for ways to be a blessing to others. And even if this means helping in some physical way, they are not to despise these opportunities, but rather rejoice in them.


In my life I have preached and taught the Bible quite a bit. But at a certain point God opened up a door for me to write about and make videos about overcoming the terrible plague of diabetes. I knew if I were to make this a success, I would have to learn a great deal about cameras, microphones, and lighting, and as a result I spent hours and hours watching YouTube videos that instructed me in these things. I felt guilty about this at times as I was supposed to be a "minister of the gospel," not a diabetes guy. Yet still there seemed to be a divine pressure on me to study the techniques of making quality videos that I could neither escape nor resist.


As I began to make videos about how to beat diabetes, I found there was a huge hunger and thirst for this information. People began subscribing to my channel by the hundreds and then by the thousands. Eventually I surpassed 100,000 subscribers, people eager to watch my videos. Recently it passed 200,000. Some of my videos are approaching one million views.


Creating these videos took a lot of my time, and this also produced guilt in me. I could be praying or reading the Bible, and here I was making videos about health! But the success of these videos was unmistakable. The people who watched my videos were from all over the world: America, India, Pakistan, England, Scotland, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and more countries than I could name. It became clear to me that God was in this. I began hearing of testimonies of diabetes-reversal from all over. The chains of diabetes were falling off people right and left. Some told me I had saved their lives.


Divine Instructions about "Beat Diabetes"


From the beginning I felt the Lord had given me two very clear instructions about how to incorporate Him in these videos: 1) I was not to shove Jesus in their faces, and 2) neither was I to hide my faith. Whatever I said about my faith or about the Lord was to be the natural outflow of my walk with Him. I do not preach on this channel. I actually say very little about Jesus. But He "pops out" here and there in my talks, and anyone who watches several of my videos will soon realize that I am a follower of Jesus, an evangelical Christian.


I frequently read comments from people who say something like: "I am not a religious person, but I thank God for you!" One person wrote: "I never thought I would be taking medical advice from a southern, American Christian (I think they were Australian). After a while I realized that this was evidently God's plan from the beginning. Many people "binge-watch" my videos and spend hours and hours and hours listening to me talk about diabetes. As a result, they get exposed to an evangelical Christian in a way they never would any other way. They would never go to a church or listen to a TV preacher. But because they desperately need help with their diabetes, they will put up with me, and as a result they discover that we evangelicals are not as stupid or backward or as bigoted as we have been portrayed. They will hopefully "see my good works and glorify my Father in heaven." As it turns out, some of my finest "preaching" is not preaching at all. It is me sharing little ten- and twenty-minute talks about how to overcome diabetes. How creative is our God!


And as I thought about this, I realized that this is exactly what God wants for most of His children. The vast majority of Christians are not gifted speakers, they are not dynamic preachers, nor is it necessary for them to be such. By being a blessing to others, by being zealous for "good works" and helping others in their urgent, pressing, even desperate needs, they will make our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ appealing to those who are hurting, and some will end up being drawn to the Savior and receiving eternal life.


Our God loves people so much He finds amazing and incredibly innovative means to reach sinners, sometimes sinners who would rather die than walk through the door of a church. Even so, God finds ways to reach them, to shine His love and light through His children to those dwelling in darkness and spiritual ignorance. It might be a friendly banker who takes time to go beyond interest rates and shows compassion on those who are near financial collapse, or a kind schoolteacher who not only can instruct her students in the English language but can make them feel loved and special. And as we honor Jesus with our good works and our words, God is pleased, and we will truly be fulfilling the unique and beautiful ministry God has planned for us from the beginning of the world.




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