No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.
When I first got saved I thought every Christian I met was on fire for God and living completely for him. It was only after spending a lot of time in different ministries that I realized that not everybody behaved the same way. One clear distinction I could make between people was whether they were vocal about their faith. If we were doing street ministry, of course we were telling people about Jesus. However, there were those who continued in this attitude and mindset throughout the normal course of the day. What I gathered was that they were so full of the Holy Spirit and so grateful for the salvation of Christ that they could not contain it. These were people through whom it seemed the light of Christ had no choice but to shine.
Immediately preceding today’s scripture is the parable of the seeds. Each of the four sections of that parable indicate that faith comes from hearing, which is taught elsewhere in scripture as well. [Rom. 10:17] For the three seeds which do not grow to spiritual maturity, the problem is the way in which the word is heard. The point is that hearing the word correctly requires a certain response. Those in whom the word truly takes root will want to share what they know about God. If the word does its work in us the way God has intended, we can expect the word then to come out of us. Whether we shine the light of our lamp for others to see indicates whether the seed is growing correctly in us. That is why we are instructed to “take care then how [we] here.”
Correctly hearing the word is about submission. It is no different than how we as children listened to our parents. If we are truly hearing the word, we will allow it to change us and guide our behavior. We will open the door for the word to take root as truth and become a part of us. It is not like learning any other discipline. We do not simply hear historical facts and figures or great moral lessons. To hear the word correctly is to yield to it and its power of transformation. We must be receptive to the word finding its home within us then allow it to pour out. Father, as we continue to receive your word every day please prepare our soil that we would allow it to take root and produce fruit in us.