Posts Tagged ‘ City on a Hill ’

VerseD: Daniel 12:3

And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Daniel 12:3, ESV

Because of Christ’s good work, we now can be like a city on a hill, letting our good works shine brightly to the glory of the Father.

VerseD: Jeremiah 31:3

the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.
Jeremiah 31:3, CSB

Though we all stray from God, He calls out in love to come home. Today, He uses the Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to call to this fallen world.

Be His voice.

VerseD: Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14‭-‬16, NASB

Being a Christian means people will watch you.

Live in such a way that they see your good works and healthy relationships and want to know the God who made you.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 08/10/2014

Find the light of wisdom and get a head start over at Proverbial Thought!

My family is currently going through one of the more difficult times a family can face.

In this time, my mom said that if there was one thing she wanted in this life it was that Jesus would be seen through her.

Even Jesus spoke to this being true in our lives:

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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16, ESV

Let us remember that others giving glory to God ultimately means that they come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of their souls, and the lover of their lives. And, as Jesus also said, they will know these things “if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). When we come together as one in Christ, His light shines brightly through us!

 

 

 

 

bonfire

we all try to be candles
in our darkened world
but as barely a spark
what are we good for
if we can come together
and our lights shine brighter
more of the world will light up
we will look more like a bonfire
our light will shine bright
more like a city on a hill
illuminating more than
alone we ever will
let us come together
and let the fire roar
saving the sick and homeless
the worried and the poor

Singing in the Acid Rain

With a full year behind it, you know it is full of wisdom. So head on over to Proverbial Thought to partake of that and new wisdom commentary!

Imagine for a moment that you have an umbrella. Not just any umbrella, but a super-durable umbrella.

This is an umbrella that seems to defy physics. It is incredibly light yet is strong enough to take hail and fire and brimstone falling from the sky. It is no thicker nor less functional than your average umbrella; yet it will not crumble under said hail and brimstone, burn up in said fire, nor dissolve in a shower of acid rain.

Now imagine you live in a city that has constant acid rain showers. There is relative safety in most buildings, but if we are honest we know that buildings will not hold up indefinitely to acid rain.

Some buildings are in worse shape than others. People can not stay in them long without being in the same conditions as outside.

Now imagine that you actually live in a bunker under a mountain. You are pretty safe inside. It would take quite a while for acid rain and most other things to get in.

So what do you do?

Your Dad asks you and your siblings to go out and help those in the acid rain.

Some say to each other, “We are safe. Our Dad can welcome those people in if he wants to. We can stay and prepare for the great feast!” What they do not realize is that they will find themselves kicked out of their home just before the feast.

Some others grab their umbrellas and hurry outside. Seeing how dangerous it is, they run back inside and complain about how awful the world is outside, and they spend their time talking about how great things are since they are saved from the outside world.

Others say to each other, “We will be safe with our umbrellas. We can go outside and tell them how great it is inside!” They may see some people believe them, but while outside they complain about their lazy siblings and how horrible it is outside. This pushes many away, and some with umbrellas may find themselves joining their lazier siblings outside during the feast.

There are a few who take their umbrellas and hurry outside. Some walk around their neighborhood telling others about their safe home, bringing many inside and helping them get umbrellas of their own. Others run to the far ends of the city proclaiming the news of safety and peace. Some of these reach out from under their umbrellas, getting burned by the acid rain, just to get to some of those struggling through the acid rain. Some even brave the full onslaught of acid rain to allow others enough precious time under their umbrellas to get to safety, and they end up looking just as burned and messed up as those they saved.

At the end, most of those who remain for the feast look worn out, tattered, and disfigured from the acid rain.

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? We’re stinging, again.

Maybe you have already caught on to the point.

One of my favorite passages comes from Jude, verses 22 and 23 (NIV):

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

In the above parable, the city is Earth, the home under the mountain is the Church, the umbrella is the Gospel, and the acid rain is the sin that soaks into every part of our lives and world. Obviously, then, the Dad is God. Those who reside within the mountain and go out into the city are Christians.

This past Sunday was the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Almost six weeks later, just before His ascension, He issued this commission:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20, NIV

We cannot reach out to people unless we go where they are.

We cannot rescue people if we do not get involved with their lives.

We cannot teach them if we do not do as we were instructed: to live like Jesus.

If Jesus, God made Man, came to our sin-soaked world, walked with us, suffered with us, even died with us, can we not suffer a little with our world to show them the resurrection power of Jesus?

Ray of Darkness

I first offer you some sagely advice: go to Proverbial Thought and get some godly wisdom!

What Lights?

Have you ever been walking or driving down a road at night when it is really dark? Have you ever been there and had a car come around a corner with its high beams on?

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you have probably read and/or heard this passage read:

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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16, ESV

As a believer in Jesus Christ, we should desire to be the light of the world to a lost and broken world drowned in darkness. It is good to be the light and want to help people.

What if our desire to help gets in the way of helping?

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Luke 11:33-36, ESV

Spreading Darkness

Is it possible that the light coming out of our eyes is dark?

If we are calling out and shining light on the sins of the world, yet we are just as guilty of those sins as believers, we share an hypocritical message that no one would want to believe. Why should they? We say one thing and do another.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16, ESV

I am not saying most Christians do this. I do not know most Christians nor their hearts.

What if there is another possibility?

What if, in our desire to be compassionate and loving, we forget our compassion and love?

The longer we walk in darkness the easier it gets to see, though we can not see with the same detail as in the light.

Obviously, those who walk in the light know this, and we simply wish to share the light with others.

Going back to my initial question, what happens when you are on a dark road and someone comes around the corner with their headlights on high beam?

Night blindness.

It is almost as though you are completely blind, or at least considered legally blind being able to see only the biggest and brightest things. Usually those sights tell us either to draw near for safety or flee from danger, such as in case there is another car speeding toward us!

This is what it can be like with a Christian approaching one who still walks in darkness.

In our zeal to reveal the sin of the world, we may come out of nowhere with our high beams right in their eyes!

We worsen their lives with our attacks on their sin!

Do not get me wrong: we should most certainly wish to help lead the world to the Savior who forgives and cleanses away their sins.

Some indeed may turn, in the induced blindness from our light, toward our light in hopes that we are someone who can help.

In a world that lives in fear, however, the most natural response is to react out of … FEAR!

Remembering the Way

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. . . .Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:1-2, 15-21

In our desire to share God’s love, we must remember to be careful in our approach. There will be times we must speed in, but most of the time we must tread carefully with love, compassion, and wisdom.

The wise will share the love of Christ by trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Update: Prodigal Magazine had a very good article yesterday about this very thing! They have good writers! God is amazing!

Celebrating Re-birth

Before you read whatever I have to say, get some wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

Last year, I explained that this particular day is important to me. It is a day I celebrate with my friends and family.

To re-cap, I call it my Re-Birthday. It is the day I celebrate Christ getting a hold of my heart and my life! It has been 13 years to the day!

I make a cake. I share it with my loved ones … and even some I do not know particularly well, if at all.

Here is the thing …

I do not want presents on this day.

I do not want to go out to a restaurant on this day.

I do not want someone to make my favorite meal on this day.

I do not want an extravagant party thrown in my honor on this day.

Because …

Christ calls each of us to be a new creation.

Christ commands us to give up our own desires for His desires.

Christ asks us to be His ambassador of life, peace, and servanthood to this world.

Christ only wants to move through us to a lost and hurting world, to draw them closer to Him.

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:17-24

Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,     and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16

While I take a day every year to focus on the gift of grace, forgiveness, and life our Lord has given me, this is really a daily thing. We should all be ready each day to thank Jesus for loving us so much. People should be able to tell that you have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

We should thank Him through our devotion to sharing His grace to the rest of the world, with every person we know.

Christ is the Light.

Let Him shine through you!