If you ceased to exist, would the world around you notice?
As a believer in Jesus Christ, my faith is not only about ‘going to heaven when I die’, but rather having an impact–in Jesus name–while on Earth.
The Christian who lives his life without making any real impact is not fully following Jesus’ instructions and desires for us.
Jesus came as THE Light of the World, but in today’s passage from Matthew, Ch. 5, He calls His followers both “Salt of the Earth” and “Light of the World”.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:13-16)
Jesus says we are ‘Salt of the Earth’. By that I do not think He meant that we should irritate and hurt–like salt in a wound. I think, instead, that He’s calling us to be a ‘preservative’–a common use for salt in that day (before refrigeration). We have a certain responsibility to ‘preserve’ this world and keep it as close to God’s plan and will as possible. This is increasingly a challenge in a world and culture that is becoming increasing hostile to the Will of God, revealed in His Word–the Bible.
Difficult, but not impossible.
Despite the difficulty and the pressure to conform, we still have that calling from Jesus to ‘preserve’ our culture.
Salt, though, is also a spice! I believe we are also called to ‘spice it up’ in this world!
Too many believers are hiding their gifts and creativity, assuming that it will not be welcomed. I believe that Jesus wants us to get out there and confidently, boldly lead and share the joy of the gifts, talents and passions that He’s given us!
One example is Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, two Hollywood insiders who put together a bold plan to portray ‘The Bible’ in a t.v. miniseries. They did it–successfully and creatively–and shared their faith as a result.
Another example: Carrie Underwood, an enormously successful country singer who is increasingly singing songs about her faith, and boldly telling the world who she is. http://youtu.be/mH9kYn4L8TI
Another Local example: The Kalamazoo Mud Run http://www.kalamazoomudrun.com/ –put together by Kalamazoo Community Church and friends on the grounds of the church as a fun, creative way to “Get Dirty, Have Fun, and Make a Difference”. Funds go to projects in Africa and locally, but all ‘make a difference’ in Jesus name!
Jesus also called His followers the Light Of The World! He said to “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see…”
That doesn’t mean to brag about yourself, but rather to simply live faithfully, live positively, love God and others, and impact this world in a positive, powerful way for His glory.
Another positive example of this: Last Saturday, volunteers gathered at KCC to distribute food to those in need–as they’ve done every 3rd Saturday of the month for 4-5 years now! At the same time, two small 2-person teams went out into the neighborhoods near the church to clear fire hydrants of the snow, ice and slush. They knew that most of those would never be needed (in fact, they prayed that way), and they knew that most people would not know (or care) who cleared them. If they were doing it for public accolades, they wasted their time.
But that’s not why they did it. Rather, they did it as an offering to God, and as a service to their neighbors, period. Every shovel full was an act of worship and service. They were rung out by the time they finished, but they knew that they had been ‘Light’ to their world.
There are MANY ways that Believers in Jesus Christ are to be ‘Salt’ and ‘Light’ in Jesus name to this world.
The overall point, however, is to DO IT!
INVEST yourself! Make a difference!
Point people to Jesus by your words, sure…but do it by your actions too!
Our world needs a lot more Christians who are engaged, positive, and powerfully making a difference, for His glory.
Be Salt! Be Light!