Between a Basket and a Lampstand

“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” 

Matthew 5:14 


“In between a basket and a lampstand.”  That statement hit me like a ton of bricks during my study time the other morning.  “In between a basket and a lampstand.”  I could not get those words out of my head.   


This verse is so familiar.  We know most of it by heart and, as a child, can even sing it to a catchy little tune.  But as I sat there in the stillness of the early morning, it wasn’t the warning of hiding my light under a basket that I felt God speaking to my heart.  It was the warning of living in between a basket and a lampstand.  This is the place where I got stuck!  This is where Christ knew His disciples would be tempted to stay as well.  They would be tempted to hide their faith out of fear of being tortured, imprisoned or killed.  But simply NOT hiding wasn’t enough either.  Christ commanded them to be seen, like a city set on a hill.   


I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t necessarily ‘hide’ my light but, by no means, was I intentionally illuminating it.  You see, putting a light on a lampstand is very intentional.  It is placed in a way for the light to be even more effective.  As followers of Christ, we are the light of the world.  Charles Spurgeon once said, “Ye are the light of the world.  If ye burn dimly, dim is the world’s light, and dense is it’s darkness.” 


The light in between a basket and a lampstand is a dim light.  It’s a passive light.  It’s not seen from a distance.  It doesn’t help lead others to Christ.  It doesn’t glorify God.  And when I really thought about it, I realized that it’s a very selfish light...just enough for me but not much help to anyone else.   


 I’m writing on this today because I finally realized that I don’t belong in between a basket and a lampstand.  You don’t belong there either.  It’s an overly populated place with many well-intentioned Christians, believers who are too convicted under a basket but too uncomfortable on a lampstand, so they find a nice comfy spot in between and call it a day.  But it’s not where we belong.   


 Christ gave us these words because He knew we would be tempted to hide our light, He knew we would be tempted to lessen our glow, He knew we would be tempted to even imitate the darkness.  He knew we would be tempted to live in between a basket and a lampstand.   


 I so badly want to encourage you today, the first day of the New Year, to just evaluate your light.  Are you living it out for others to see?  Who are you shining on?  You may be in a season of life where your responsibility is to shine on your children.  I pray you are on a lampstand in front of those babies.  You may be called to shine in your church.  I pray you're not hiding out of fear.  God may be asking you to do something bigger, to take a leap of faith so your light will illuminate way beyond your comfort zone.  I pray that you’ll be obedient and that your light will affect the world for Jesus.   


 “Christ never contemplated the production of secret Christians; Christians whose virtues would never be displayed, pilgrims who would travel to heaven by night and never be seen by their fellow pilgrims or anyone else.” 

-Charles Spurgeon   


 I hope this has blessed you today and that you'll be encouraged to let your light shine for the world to see!



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