“This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine…”

I remember singing those words as a child in Sunday School. The song is based upon Jesus’s words. I particularly like Mark’s account:

And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Mark 4:21-25).

After relating the analogy of the lamp, basket, bed, and stand, Jesus says, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” That’s a phrase He used more than once to call upon those with spiritual ears to listen.

Interestingly, in the next verse, Jesus makes a similar statement, saying, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”

Question: In this verse was Jesus 1) repeating His plea for the spiritually quickened to listen, or 2) explaining the meaning of the analogy?

I believe he was explaining the meaning of the analogy. If that’s the case, Jesus was saying something deeper than “just hold up your light.”

Look at His next statement, “For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Here, Jesus gives us insight into the implications of what you do with the light given unto you. It’s not just a matter of whether you will let your light shine, it’s a matter of whether God will give you more light to shine!

So, Jesus’ words might breakdown like this:

  • Pay attention to what you hear (the light you receive)
  • With the measure you use (the light put on the stand for others)
  • It will be measured to you (God will continue to supply to you)
  • And still more will be added to you (God will multiply the light you receive)

In summary, Jesus was saying that if you want more light (Spiritual revelation), you must be willing to share what you have been given. If you don’t, you’ll eventually lose what you received in the first place.

  • Pastors, want more insight into Scripture? Don’t hold back from declaring the whole truth of God’s Word to your congregation. Otherwise, you will have less to share.
  • Parents, want more biblical wisdom to impart to your children? Be faithful in exercising the wisdom you have been given. Otherwise, your parenting will suffer.
  • Believer, want more discernment for life? Put to use the insight God has already given you. Otherwise, you will find discernment more and more difficult.

The matter of spiritual light is a matter of stewardship. Use it, or lose it. Share it, and receive more of it. Then, “this little light of mine” won’t be so little anymore!

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