“a city set on a hill cannot be hidden” – Jesus

We are to shine as lights in the world for a number of reasons. We are to shine as lights in the world in order to anticipate Christ’s return, in order to hold fast to the Word, in order to be blameless, and we are to do it without complaining and without arguing with each other.

Read Philippians 2:14-16.

Bible scholars believe that Paul was referencing the Old Testament in some parts of this verse. First, the “children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation” phrase references Moses words in Deuteronomy 32. Paul didn’t want the Philippians to argue and dispute and question each other negatively and constantly, or they would turn into the complaining generation of Israel who had to wander the desert. A whole generation of God’s chosen were corrupted and unworthy of the Promised Land because of this constant complaining to God and internal disputing.

Second, the “shine as lights” phrase references the last chapter in the book of Daniel.

Read Daniel 12:2-3.

Here we see the wise who awake to everlasting life shining bright like the sky above and those who turn many to righteousness shining bright like the stars. That sky is bright from the Light of the World (John 8:12). As Peter said, “And we have something more sure, the prophetic Word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19).

As we shine the Light, that Light doesn’t come from us. As we read last week, “God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Think of us simply as the moon, reflecting the light of the sun: the Light – capital “L” – of the Son – capital S-o-n.

And that Son, says this of us in Matthew 5:14-16. Read this.

It is all about the Son, Jesus, and He, the Light, that we shine, as He works in us “both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” And we, as part of His Church, are to shine that Light, Him, before others, putting it on a stand, not hiding it under a bushel basket. And collectively, we are a city of people up on a hill, not hidden in a valley.

Please read this blog entry, from People on a Hill:


It is also quoted below and based on Psalm 30:4 – “Sing praises to the LORD, you His godly ones.”


You are a never-before-seen expression of God’s image. There has never been a “you” before you; and there will never be a “you” after you. For you to be missing from this world would be for this world to be missing a view of God’s beauty that cannot be recaptured. It is my personal conviction that if you do not carry out your calling, shine your light, walk in the works prepared for you, no one else will. Ever. I believe God will leave those things undone; preferring an aching absence over a convenient replacement… of you. No one can sing your song. No one can give your thanks. No one can cry your tears. No one can live your story. No one, except you. And we, well, we all need you to.


You are His. You belong to Him. He made you; not on an assembly line, one of countless clones. Not as an act of industry or obligation; but one of intention and passion. Carefully crafted for beauty, for pleasure, you belong to Him in as much as you come from Him, a stone cut from a mountain; not as one held against your will, captive to a possessive master. He purchased you to set you free. You can come. You can go. You will always belong with Him. That cannot change. Did you know that “Holy” means “His”? To be holy is to be set apart for a special purpose. It’s the good dinnerware. It’s the vintage wine being saved for that perfect time. It’s the raggedy blanket that could not be replaced by the finest silks or golden threads simply because it is “mine.” You are “holy” not because of your behavior, but because you belong. Someone has set you apart, special, saved. You are His.


It means faithful. It means kind. You may not feel it, but you are called it. You can learn a lot from the way folks talk about you behind your back. When Jesus talked to His Father about His friends, an arguably clueless, selfish, immature bunch, He said things like, “They have kept Your word… They have come to know… they received and truly understood… and they believed…” John 17:6-8. Jesus talks about you behind your back and He calls you, “faithful”. He says you are Holy, you are His. Blameless, beautiful, and kind. Kindness is more of an indication of godliness than anything else. Yes, more than Bible reading and church attendance and apparent wisdom, knowledge, good deeds, power… Kindness is a living giveaway for a godly one. Often one who does not think they are, or at least should be, and yet, so they are called, and so they are… godly.


We are ones. A whole bunch of “yous” brought together, made to belong to one another. As much as we would like to, we do not live as unto ourselves but unto each other. To live and let live is to live alone. No. Our lives must be entwined. I’m quite uncomfortable saying so, but, our light is brighter, our song is sweeter, our story more full with breath and fire when we are ones and not just some isolated yous. Jesus asked His Father for this too; that we would be one. It’s not just what He wants, but what we were made for; what we really want somewhere buried inside. We are ones being made one. And how sweet is the song when we offer it up as one.”