I really like salt, not too much, but just enough. A little of it makes the whole pot of soup delicious. Light, well who can imagine living in the dark, all of the time? I’m loving the fact that the time of daylight is creeping back, earlier by a couple of minutes, each day, as we move through winter towards springtime.
Jesus reminds you and me that we have a vital role in this world. His disciples are not to be hidden away, out of sight, without influence. Here’s how He says it. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. “You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16, NIV)
In His day, salt had a far greater importance in the food supply than merely adding flavor. Salt, combined with dehydration, allowed some foods to be stored by preserving the food from rot. Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, have much the same role in society. If they are doing what God wants them to do, they will make the world in which they live a better place. Challenging, isn’t it? There are tragic chapters in history where “Christians” who gained power used their influence to advance selfish gains, to do horrible things in the Name of Christ. But it is undeniable that much of the advance of human rights in the Western world came about as a result of the influence of godly men and women.
- William Wilberforce spent most of his life battling slavery in England, often mocked and reviled, but tirelessly making the case that slavery was an evil that had to end.
- Martin Luther raised his voice against a corrupt Church, insisting that it must return to the truth of “justification by faith,” rather than empowering an elite few to dispense salvation.
- William Booth saw the grinding poverty in London’s slums and took his “Salvation Army” into the streets to preach Christ and changed thousands of lives.
Perhaps your faith won’t have those kinds of renowned results, but when it is authentic, deep, and uncompromising, it will have an effect on your family, your neighborhood, and your circle of friends. Just being there, modeling loving respect, steady faith, and real hope makes an eternal difference. We don’t have to preach loud sermons or hit people over the head with our Bibles in order to fulfil the ‘salt’ role of which Jesus speaks. We have to be present, active in faith, constant in prayer, and dedicated to His ways.
Our responsibility is to be light, our privilege to show the Way. It is Jesus to Whom we point, not religion, not a church’s dogma. The last line in the passage quoted above is a key truth. Meditate on it! When we are at our best as salt and light, we won’t necessarily win awards or have buildings named after us. We may do our work in obscurity, but inevitably others will see the results of our efforts and ‘praise our Father in Heaven.’ We – individually and as the Body of Christ – need to think hard about that! When we are present, even though we live against the flow of the culture, do people have a sense that the world is better for our being part of scene? Do we lift others, infuse hope, model love, teach faith?
Paul knew that calling was a difficult one, requiring much more of him than he naturally could accomplish. Our word from the Word comes from his realization of his source of strength. As you read it, pray that God will make you a salty Christian with an undeniable influence for good in your world, for the glory of God. “To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? You see, we are not like those hucksters—and there are many of them—who preach just to make money. We preach God’s message with sincerity and with Christ’s authority. And we know that the God who sent us is watching us. Are we beginning again to tell you how good we are? … We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God.” (2 Corinthians 2:16-3:5, NLT)
The change that comes through the influence of the godly man or woman is not finished in a day. It involves the witness of a lifetime.
Will you take the call to bring Jesus to your corner of the world?
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee
Take my will and make it Thine
It shall be no longer mine
Take my heart it is Thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love my Lord I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
Ever only all for Thee
Frances Ridley Havergal | Henri Abraham Cesar Malan © Words: Public Domain
Music: Public Domain