A City on a Hill

4:14 PMHeather

14 “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.
Matthew 5:14-16
When traveling to California this summer, I saw the hills of Sausalito, and the above verse immediately came to mind.  The beauty of this city built from the hills toward the shore was an unexpected treasure.  I didn't know anything about Sausalito before my trip, but I knew as soon as I saw it that I was smitten by it's charm and character.

A city on a hill.  Something that is obvious and seen from miles around.  A town that stands out and stands above towns built down in a valley.  A landmark.  Something that cannot be hidden.  

We, as followers of Christ, are called to be a city on a hill.  We are called to shine our light in order to illuminate the darkness.  We are to stand out, to stand above, to be a landmark.  Not by the rules we follow or the church we attend.  Not even because we do the right thing.  Because many people do many good things without ever pointing anyone to Christ.  

What lifts us up to be that city upon a hill?  What elevates us above the crowd so that we shine in a way that leads other to praise our Father in heaven?  These questions often plague and entangle Jesus followers.  We tend to complicate matters, when truly, the answer is simple.  It boils down to this:  to strive to love Christ and know Him more today than the day before.  And, when we do this, "all these things will be added" (Matthew 6:33).  Our love for Christ will spill over into our love for others.  I believe if we had to summarize Christ's ministry to one word, we would say that He is about LOVE.  LOVE lights our words, our actions, our motives, and our thought lives in a way which brings us to an elevation where all take notice.

INTENTIONAL challenge:  From looking at the pictures above, do you see what obstructs the view of the city on the hill?  The fog rolls in and seems to cling to the top of the hills, blocking the view completely.  We are all too often like THAT picture.  The fog of our own agenda, worldliness, materialism, bitterness, and anger obstruct the world's view of our beauty that is the LOVE of Christ.  Which picture are you?  The first or the second?  Rest assured, the solution is simple.  When we let the Sun shine by seeking to love and know Him, you can be certain that the fog will quickly burn off.

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