14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
15nor 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.
16“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 (NASB95)
Hide it under a bushel, No! I’m gonna let it shine . . .
Harry Dixon Loes
I don’t have a choice of shining my light or not. I’m on a hill, I can’t be hidden. I don’t have a choice to be under a basket, God put me on a lampstand. The only choice I have is the “way” I let my light shine, do people see my good works and know their Father in Heaven is Good and Loves Them?
This is very sobering.
I fail daily. And Jesus forgave all my sins past, present and future when He died for me (and yours as well). But how much forgiveness is in others’ reserves? And do I grant to others the mercy that I want, and desperately need, from them?
And Jesus’ light is more than forgiveness. He gave my dead spirit Life! so I can love like He does. The only question is . . .
[T]hat they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:21 (NASB95)
This verse teaches that we are one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus said if we are faithless, He remains faithful, because He cannot deny Himself. This security has been missing since the Fall. Counter-intuitively, its end result is not license (unbridled sin) but rather love and the desire to love (obey). And our desire to love is not just toward God but also toward the world and it is through Jesus’ love through us the world will know that the Father has sent the Son.
Mark 12:41–44 (NASB95)
41 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.
42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.
43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;
44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
I don’t think this is about sacrificial giving. I think this is about dependence, trust, and relationship. The widow did not have Social Security or a retirement plan; she had nothing. Her dependence on God had developed trust in Him and facilitated an ever closer relationship with Him. Giving her last cent to God was saying: “God, I give away my last money to you as my way of saying I am totally dependent on You, I trust You more than money, I love You.”
This is what I think Jesus thought was significant, not what percentage of your disposable and essential income you give. When I am making my daily decisions, and I make my decisions based on my relationship with God and what He wants and not what money dictates; I will have learned this lesson.