PART 4: BE LIGHT IN THE WORLD
“God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."
- Matthew 5:14-16 (The MSG)
Jesus uses the example of a city on a hill to explain how believers should ‘go public’ with his message. The city on a hill is in a position where it cannot help but be seen because it is on a hill, everyone can see its light.
Because you have this call to be light, Jesus says you can’t go and hide away in the dark, under a bucket, or keep that light to yourself because the light points the way to salvation. Therefore you should let it be seen - on a light stand, as the scripture says. This is a call to be light in your home, in your college or university, in your workplace, in your sporting club or gym and broadly across your community.
How can you be light? “By keeping open house and being generous with our lives.” (MSG)
What does this look like?
Showing kindness even when others don’t deserve it - that’s generous.
Being generous with your words, and using them to encourage others instead of keeping them to yourself.
Being generous with your time - taking time out for a coffee, or for a dinner with someone, or even just to sit with them and listen to their story.
These are just a few ways that you can be generous - I’m sure you can think of many more.
In the last part of the passage we see that being generous has an eternal impact.
“By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in Heaven.” (MSG)
God’s love is displayed in acts of generosity - his nature is generous. Be encouraged that by being generous with your time, generous with your words of encouragement, generous with sharing your stories and being real and authentic with others, you are giving them an insight into the loving kindness of our Heavenly Father. And in turn, prompting the people you share with to want to know more about God and open up their lives to him.
God, I want to be light in my community, shining your light and pointing the way to you.
Help me be brave in sharing about you with my friends, colleagues and peers.
Help me to be attentive to what other people are going through.
Help me to be generous in all areas - in giving grace, in encouraging others and in making time for others.
Thank you for your great generosity toward me.