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This Little Light of Mine Was Written to Praise Jesus

Updated on March 22, 2022
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl is a licensed/ordained minister with a Bachelor in Biblical Studies and an Associate in Psychology.

Let your light shine
Let your light shine

The reason for the song

I grew up when children sang this song in church.

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

Oh 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".

This song is very popular and is even used in nonreligious settings and television commercials. What the secular world ignores or perhaps is not aware of is that this musical selection was written by Christian minister Harry Moody Loes and that this popular tune is scripture related. it comes from Matthew 5:14-16 A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven Luke 11:33 reads: "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

Jesus the light of the world

Many people sing the first verse without even knowing that it relates to Christ giving a command to His followers. Nor do they realize there are two more verses that follow. The second verse confirms scripture as it says:

Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine,

Everywhere I go I'm gonna let it shine,

Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

The third verse is the most important because it reveals the source of the light.

Jesus gave it to me, I'm gonna let it shine,

Jesus gave it to me, I'm gonna let it shine

Jesus gave it to me, I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine let it shine.

The light that shines from us is a reflection of Christ who is the light of the world.

John 8:12 Jesus applies the title to himself while debating with the Jews and states: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. ... When I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.

The origin of the song

Harry Dixon Loes, studied at the American Conservatory of Music and the Moody Bible Institue. He was a teacher and a musical composer who wrote or co-wrote a number if gospel songs. His purpose was to lift up the Name if Jesus and no doubt give Christians another tune that gives Him glory. The song, however, also became a folk tradition, with John Lomax first using it in 1939. This little light of mine has also been considered as an African American spiritual. I learned it in a Baptist church and it can also be found on page number 585 in The United Methodist Hymnal where in 1987 it was adapted by William Farley Smith. I took note at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle that many were singing the first verse over and over and wondered how many of them truly understood what the words meant. IF you have read this story and have been singing This little light of mine without knowing its purpose, now is your chance.

Romans 9:8 The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Believe in Him today and ask Him into your life so that His light can reflect from you. The next time you sing This little light of mine, you will be singing with a totally different perspective.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Cheryl E Preston


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