July 19, 2007

 

Keep on Shining

By Melissa Taylor

 

“Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.” Matthew 5:15 (NLT)

         

Devotion:

Huge crowds were following him. He was the talk of the town, and everyone wanted to see him and hear what he had to say. Was this man who spoke with such wisdom for real? The crowds hung onto every word spoken by him. His name was Jesus.

 

In Matthew 5-7, Jesus delivers what is known as the Sermon on the Mount. This teaching, which took place on a hillside near Capernaum, was given over the course of a few days. Each day the crowds returned. They couldn’t get enough of Jesus. As Jesus taught rich and powerful lessons, he also presented the crowds (and us) with challenges. One of them is recorded in Matthew 5:14-16:

 

“You are the light of the world---like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (NLT)

 

I will be honest with you. I never thought of myself as the light of the world until I realized that I’m not the light, but Jesus is in me. This raises a few questions to which the answers came pouring out when I asked them to myself.

 

Is my light shining for all to see? No, not all the time.

 

What am I hiding the light (the light of Christ) under? What are my baskets? (Get ready, I bet you can relate to a few of these.)

 

1 - Focusing on me

2 - Worry

3 - Not spending daily time with God

4 - Being quiet when I should speak (or the other way around)

5 - Going along with the crowd

6 - Ignoring the needs of others

7 - Concern over how I look

8 - Fear of what others will think

9 - Insecurity and uncertainty

10 - Busyness

 

So often the light that lives in me cannot shine because it’s hiding under one of these baskets.

 

There will always be something in life that will compete to keep my light from shining. But these verses, specifically Matthew 5:15, tell us “don’t hide your light….” There is a good reason for that. When my light is dim, then others can’t see God’s power in my life. I want my family, friends, neighbors, and everyone I meet to know that my light is the light of Jesus Christ. I trust Him and love Him with all my heart. If I focus on me, that light dims. When I focus on Him, that light keeps shining, even when faced with hardships.

 

Don’t listen to the thoughts that bring you fear, worry, and insecurity. Those are not from God and they will put out your light. Instead, remain focused on Jesus. Trust Him with your life, all of it, and shine that light of yours for everyone to see. Who knows, the light that shines through you may just be the light that will transform someone’s life today “…so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

 

Dear Lord, Today let Your light shine through me for all to see! I claim Your Word today and I give to You all the things in my life that are the baskets that hide it. I pray that others may know You as they see You shining in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

 

The Confident Woman by Anabel Gillham

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Application Steps: 

Write the verses from Matthew 5:14-16 on an index card and post them on your bathroom mirror as a reminder to let your light shine today.

 

Reflections: 

Is your light shining for all to see?

 

What are the “baskets” in your life that hide the light? Make a list and pray over it.

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 18:28, “You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation---whom shall I fear?” (NIV)

 

John 8:12, “Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’” (NLT)

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org