Jesus said we should not hide our light under a bowl (Matthew 5:15.) Exactly what is that light? Jesus. In John 8:12 Jesus said He was the light of the world. In Matthew 5:14 He said we are the light of the world. How can both be true?
The answer is really simple. We are to be so much like Jesus that when people see us do something, it should be just like what Jesus would have done in the same situation. When people hear us talk, we should say only what Jesus would have said. When we explain the plan of salvation it should have the same effect as if Jesus had explained it.
After all, Jesus said He spoke and behaved only as the Father directed (John 12:49; John 14:31.) So our words and actions must be only and exactly what Jesus directs. He is our light and He should shine continually through us.
What are some of the bowls we use to hide that light?
1. The local church Rather than invite people to Jesus, we invite them to church. Rather than talk about Jesus, we talk about our church. Rather than spend time alone with Jesus, we go to church.
2. Religious terms Using spiritual-sounding words, rather than simply describe Jesus
3. Leaders We give loyalty to pastors and preachers, rather than to Jesus.
4. Social correctness We behave, (even worship), in ways society dictates, rather than as Jesus leads.
It is a truism that a light seems to shine the brightest when the darkness is the thickest. Maybe that is why God sometimes allows us to spend time in such places.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIV)
Who does God want me to overflow onto today?
It is easy to answer that question by saying “Everyone I deal with, each person I bump into.” But God wants us to do more than overflow onto those we meet by chance. He wants to guide us to specific people whom He intends to bless through us today. If we are willing, His spirit will bring to our minds the exact people we are to intentionally find and overflow onto.
Such intentionality may involve some extra effort or take some additional time. It may require that we spend time with people we don’t know very well rather than our circle of comfortable friendship. We need to make overflow appointments.
To receive joy and peace but not overflow onto others would display a selfishness that should shame any Christian. My early-morning prayer each day should be something such as “Dear Father, show me exactly who I should overflow onto today. Guide me to the exact time and place. Give me the courage and wisdom to be an effective ‘overflower’ for you.”