This morning we visited a church, and the message came from Luke 12. People by the thousands were stepping on each other to hear what Jesus had to say, but He started talking, not to the thousands, but to the disciples. In part, He said this:
“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
We who have Christ living in us have a light automatically shining in us. But sometimes we keep that hidden. In our typical backwards human thinking, we believe we do not have to share that light. It’s optional. We live the opposite of that other passage, one example of which is in Mark 4:21:
And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?”
So if our lights are safely tucked under that basket … umm … folks, that basket is just made of reeds, or even grass. It’s flammable, and so is our bed. We can’t hide it! We can’t!
God will let His light shine. It will shine. Are you shy? Too bad, that bed and basket are gonna burn. Trying to live lifestyle evangelism and never say a word about the Eternal Word? God might catch more than the bed and the basket on fire. Look at Jeremiah 20:9:
But if I say, “I will not remember Him
Or speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am weary of holding it in,
And I cannot endure it.
The Sunday school lesson at the same church today had another very important message. Peter tried to deny the Lord a he warmed his hands at the enemy’s fire during Jesus’ trial in John 18. You can understand his confusion. Jesus had told them at the Last Supper to get swords. And Peter seems to have had one of the two mentioned.
When the Roman Cohort and Temple guards came to arrest Jesus, He just told them who He was and they fell to the ground. Peter thought the time to seize the earthly kingdom had come. He lopped off an enemy ear to prove he was ready. But Jesus said no, no fighting, I’ll go peacefully. Let my disciples go.
Peter was pumped full of adrenaline and still willing to follow Jesus, but when push came to shove he didn’t know what to do. The Sunday school teacher said people were asking if he was one of the disciples. Maybe he would have been surprised to find a willing audience. But he did worse than just keep silent. He denied knowing the Lord.
But don’t forget, that’s not at all where Peter’s story ends. After a few more stumbles Peter emerges from Pentecost as a fearless leader and speaker and spends the rest of his life almost flawlessly speaking the Word and serving Christ.
So, whatever you’ve done that’s hidden the Word, under the basket, under the bed, know that God will get you proclaiming his Word. The pastor urged us to understand that “it’s time to step up.” It’s time to bring those Words out of the shadows and proclaim them on the housetop. It will happen. Don’t make God wait any longer. Don’t make it burn through the basket. Let it shine. Step up. Put it on the lampstand. Do it now. It’s time.
Image by Piotr Siedlecki from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=65103&picture=fire