The Lamplighter

Title: The Lamplighter
Category: Devotion
Subject: Light Shine, Let Your
The Lamplighter

At the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in June of 2005, I met John A. Stewart. John shares on his website that “[he] was born and raised in a non-Christian home near Winnipeg, Canada. He gained an early love for ice hockey and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL). During his eight years of professional hockey he experienced a sense of emptiness that the pursuit of worldly success could not satisfy. In 1977, John was born again and received the free gift of eternal life by placing his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.”

Following God’s call to ministry, John prepared himself by seminary study. During this time God used him to plant a church. Later he planted a second church. Stewart now serves as Executive Director of Lamplighters International .

David writes, “For You will light my lamp; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness” (Psalm 18:28). Dr. J.C. Ryle asserts that “A zealous man feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn, and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach and work and give money, he will cry and sigh and pray.”

Dr. W.A. Criswell explains in The Believer’s Study Bible, “In contrast to the moral darkness of the nation and the world in general, Jesus describes His function as the Light (cf. [John] 1:4, 9), the very revelation and truth of God and the solution to the evil in mankind and the world. This is the second great ‘I am’ declaration in John’s Gospel.”

Jesus skillfully employs the picture of the lamp in Matthew 5:15, where we read about those who “light a lamp”. In His parable of the ten virgins, Jesus also used the image of the lamp to illustrate His point (Matthew 25:1-13).

In the words of V. O. Fossett, “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning, / Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning, / Keep me burning 'til the break of day. Sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna to the King of kings. / Sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna to the King.”

Jesus succinctly explains the purpose of the lamp: “it gives light” (Matthew 5:15). D.L. Moody said, “A holy life will produce the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine.” Evangelist David Ring said, “Don’t whine but shine for Jesus.”

Paul shares his God-given vision for the church at Philippi: “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).

In the words of Harry Dixon Loes, “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 is shine, let it shine, let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, No! I’m gonna let it shine. . .”

Jesus systematically evaluates the place of the lamp in Matthew 5:15. Luke presents an additional image, when he writes, “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light” (Luke 8:16). Obviously a lamp belongs on a lampstand not under a basket or under a bed. Dr. Stephen F. Olford explains that hiding a lamp under a bushel speaks of busyness and hiding a lamp under a bed represents laziness.

Dr. Adrian Rogers comments, “Jesus also described His people as being like light, which is on the outside. The light speaks of the testimony of a follower of Christ, revealing and illuminating the truth.”

Dr. Russell H. Conwell, the author of Acres of Diamonds, stated, “The faithful and silent witnessing of John Ring saved me from a life of folly to a life of faith in Christ. He was my orderly during the Civil War. On his first night in my tent he read the Bible and knelt and prayed. I was an agnostic and ridiculed him. Thereafter he went outside to read his Bible and pray. One day he was mortally wounded. ‘Twas then I surrendered myself to Jesus Christ.”

Dr. Michael A. Milton shares the following as he recounted the funeral of the late D. James Kennedy, founder of Evangelism Explosion: “The ‘Lamplighter for Christ’ has gone. But his light is not out. It is not only glowing brightly, but is being passed to others all over the world.”

“The light of the righteous rejoices [shines brightly], but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out” (Proverbs 13:9). Make certain that you have the righteous light of Jesus Christ, the Lamplighter.

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor
First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527
Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice
Available on and
“Giving the Bible a Voice” on WNSI Sundays @ 10:30 AM and on Streaming Internet Radio (251) 626-6210 /
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