I’m continuing the series on: How God Sees Us, which commenced here.
“You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
What does it mean to be salt? Salt preserves and we are called to preserve biblical standards. “Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:14-15
The church is the pillar and foundation of truth. We are called to stand up for what is right, even if it’s unpopular to do so, and it’s certainly becoming more and more unpopular these days. We are to speak the truth in love, with gentleness and respect, even if our opinions are not treated with the same gentleness and respect.
Salt also favours and we are called to be a positive influence in our world. History shows that where the church flourishes, the outcome has been good for society. People are treated with respect, children and the elderly are honoured, all life is treated with dignity.
Second we are to be light. We are to let our light shine before others. We should be known for our Christian love. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35.
The love of Christ flowing through us, will be a light attracting others to him. Light dispels darkness. We bring God’s light into dark situations. When we bring God’s light into a situation, we give people hope. There are alternatives, there are options, there are solutions. God can make a way when there seems to be no way.
My husband conducts a lot of funerals and sometimes people don’t want any Christian content in the service. And while he includes, what he likes to call words of hope and comfort, it’s actually difficult to give people hope at a totally non-Christian funeral. Sometimes he can only bring hope, by his presence, knowing that Christ lives in him and shines through him.
We can bring hope to our community, because we have the light of Christ shining through our lives and people find light attractive. Isn’t that why people drive around at Christmas time looking at the lights? Lights attracts. Even moths and bugs are attracted to light. In the same way, we let our light shine before others, so that they may see the hope and the peace that we have, and be drawn in our Father in heaven.
The world often thinks of the church as merely a hospital where sick and wounded people go. But the Church is not a hospital. God’s intention for us his people, his church, is to preach the gospel and make disciples. As we go about being his witness we will find the sick and wounded and the church does has a ministry to these people. But our real purpose is to be salt and light in the world.
We are change agents in the world, taking a stand, living by faith, and accomplishing his purposes.