“You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Written by: Shannon Swenson
Sun Valley’s mission parallels to that of Jesus: to help people meet, know, and follow Him. We get to do that through being authentic, generous, and in community. We exist for the people around us who don’t yet know Jesus or have a misunderstanding of who Jesus is.
As a church, we just wrapped up our Next Chapter initiative, where we financially gave above and beyond our normal offering to be a light on a hill. The same light on a hill Jesus spoke about in Matthew 5. We are generous with our finances and time. Because of that, we can be used to help people meet, know, and follow Jesus in new environments for our kids, updated buildings and parking, and many other environments that are used to carry out ministry.
Lives will be changed because of His provision and prompting. His guidance and leadership will open the doors wide to our communities, friends, and neighbors who don’t yet understand what Jesus is all about. We get to do the work He called us to do so the light of Jesus can shine in and through us. Two-thousand years-plus after Jesus walked the earth, we find the mission and method is still the same. Be the light.
Generosity will have a part to play in other people finding out about Jesus and His great love. It is not about our works, but about His provision and light that lives in anyone who has said “yes” to Jesus. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit that convicts to be generous and on mission with Jesus. In what we give, He multiplies and is glorified for who He is. We are just the vessels He uses.
In The Message, the same verses read like this:
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors 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.
Through authenticity, we get to shed light on the fact that Jesus didn’t come to save saints. He came to save sinners, and every single one of us falls into that category. We get to help people know they don’t have to have their act together, dress a certain way, or do certain things to know Jesus. As we move forward, God will continue to provide opportunities for us to be the light on the hill.
Thought of the day: Are you sharing generously about Jesus with those who don’t know Him or are you stuck in your “holy huddle” rut of only loving the people who already know Him? What bold step can you take today to be light to someone who doesn’t know Jesus?
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the opportunities You have provided me to be a light for You. Help me to be courageous, authentic, generous, and move forward with holy boldness to help someone today feel the love of Jesus for the very first time. In Jesus’ name, amen.