Bible Study 3: A City on the Hill
If you are running, strive to win. (1 Cor 9:25) “Compete” in such a way that you give it your all. You don’t agonize over it, but put in your full effort. (Rom 12:11). Irrespective of what you do, or who sees, be on fire doing what God created you to do. For who would you be doing this? (Gal 1:10; 1 Peter 4:11; Col3:23)
“‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:14-16)
People are observing you all the time, taking note of the light that is coming from your life, the light of Jesus in you. This light has begun to shine in the darkness of someone else’s life. The Holy Spirit is the oil inside our lamp and keeps us burning in order to be a light in the darkness. Who has noticed the light in your life lately? _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Jesus warns us not to put our light under a bowl. Science tells us that a light under a bowl would eventually smother from lack of oxygen. Instead our light is to be kept out in the open where it can be seen, it can grow and where it can provide light for those in the darkness. In what ways could you be putting your light under a bowl?
God has given you abilities, gifts and skills that you are choosing to hide under a bowl for various reasons. He did not intend that we hide our abilities, but instead we are to use them to influence others. Here are three reasons we use a bowl:
- I am not good enough (you see yourself as inferior, not as talented, not perfect yet, or not up to standard. ______________________________________________________________________________________
- You have kept it under wraps (don’t know how talented you actually are, or the potential influence you may have.) ___________________________________________________________________________________
- You been hiding in the shadows (afraid to show people what capable of, put yourself down, don’t step out in faith) ___________________________________________________________________________________
God wants you to become an illuminating force to the people around you. He wants you to put your light on display. What is stopping you? __________________________________________________________________________
What happens to a light under a bowl? It diminishes and eventually the fire goes out. What happens to gifts and talents that are not displayed to the world? ___________________________________________________
Is it time to start being a city on the hill? A sign and guidance for all others that are in the darkness.
Lord, thank you that You are inside me, who is made of clay, a weak vessel. But by your Holy Spirit you light a fire in me that although I feel fragile and weak, I am the light in the darkness for many I influence and who live around me. Thank you for all the abilities and skills you have built into me, help me not to shrink back and hide, but to step out in faith and start to shine my light in my own corner of the world. Help me to rely on You to enable me to shine and not on my abilities or other people.