May 16 – When I Get Out – City on a Hill

Read Matthew 5:14-16

This devotional series was inspired by a point that Pastor Nick made in a message recently. While it is very important to look forward to the changes that you need to make as a result of something (such as quarantine), it is equally important to not procrastinate the life change that needs to happen. Nick’s vision for our church during this time is to be a church that rises out of the ashes in our community and shows people the love of Jesus.

In the midst of this crisis, we (Grace Church) have been intentional to be more present in our community than ever before. From giving out food to those in need to thanking the heroes of our community who are on the front lines of fighting this virus, we want people to know just how thankful we are for all of them as well as just how much Jesus loves them. In all of our efforts, we don’t want people to be a beneficiary of an act and say, “Oh, wow, Grace Church is amazing”. Instead, we want people to benefit from our generosity and see the love of Jesus.

We want them to see Jesus.

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the people on the Sermon on the Mount that they are, as believers, a city on a hill. At the time Jesus said these words, it was during the festival of lights (Hanukkah) when lights were lit all around the city of Jerusalem. Jesus, being a master of object illustrations, pointed out the distinction between light and dark by having people look around at the lights lit around them.

I have always marveled at just how powerful light is. As someone who is terrified of the dark, there is always a calmness that comes over me when I turn on a light and illuminate a room. When I lived at home, my Dad hated when I would use “transition lighting”. I would never go through a dark room without flipping the light on…sorry Dad :/ The monsters never did get me so my paranoia served me well 😉

In the same way we, as believers, we are called to be a light in a very dark world. The distinction between how we live our lives and how the world does should be night and day…white and black. How are you using this time to be a light for Christ?

Do people see you and see Jesus?

Just because we aren’t meeting on Sunday’s in person doesn’t mean that lives cannot be changed. What changes do you need to make in your life TODAY to better spread the hope of Jesus? How is your life going to be different, more beneficial for the kingdom, “when you get out”?

May our light never dim. May Jesus always be visible to those around us.

Jake Lawson

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