A Lamp On A Stand—A City On A Hill


Matthew 5:14 & 15 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. –ESV

 What does it mean to be a light? I have written before about receiving light in the midst of darkness, but I would like to explore the idea of being a light.

It is so easy to receive salvation from God, breathe a sigh of relief at dodging the bullet of eternal damnation, and then do nothing. The Christian who struggles with apathy will do what he thinks needs to be done to maintain good standing with God. Perhaps go to church, go to small-groups, even read their Bible and pray.

But outside of these safe religious bubbles, who are we and how do we spend our time? In order to be a lamp on a stand, we have to be willing to be put in a place where people notice us. Are we ashamed of the Gospel, or is it life to us? Can we do things that are out of the ordinary by the world’s standards and have people point and ask questions?

Again, a city on a hill is not very hidden. There are obviously times when discretion is used in our walk, and not everyone sees what we do. But there is apparently a time when we ought to expose to whoever may be looking, the hope we have within us.

James 2:18 But someone will say, “you have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. –ESV   

 So what we do in our walk is a reflection of our faith, since what a person truly believes will always inspire corresponding actions. So let’s take heart in our walk of faith, and allow God through the Holy Spirit within us, to give us fire that burns brightly, and give us boldness beyond what the natural mind can understand.

We will certainly not be able to blend in to our surroundings if we do this. But as it says in Matthew, no one puts a lamp under a basket right? And a city on a hill cannot be hidden. He will give us strength to stand when we are feeling feeble. So let’s rejoice that God would somehow consider us worthy to carry His holy Light within us, and not be afraid to shine—for His kingdom and His glory.

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