Friday, March 11, 2011

Salty Saints, Shining Cities, Flaming Lamps

Matthew 5:13-16 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (NKJV)

"If seasoning has no flavor, it has not value.  If Christians make no effort to affect the world around them, they are of little value to God.  If we are too much like the world, we are worthless.  Christians should not blend in with everyone else.  Instead we should affect others positively, just as seasoning brings out the best flavor in the food.

Can you hide a city that is sitting on top of a hill?  Its light at night can be seen for miles.  If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what Christ is like.  We hide our light by (1) being quiet when we should speak, (2) going along with a crowd, (3) denying the light, (4) letting sin dim our light, (5) not explaining our light to others, or (6) ignoring the needs of others.  Be a beacon of truth - don't shut your light off from the rest of the world."  ~ This was taken form the Study Notes in my Bible.

I was reading in my textbook "The Life of Christ" today and they had written about this topic in a way that I thought would help this passage to stick better in my mind. 
1. Salt. Emphasis is on the distinctive flavor of a life lived by the values of the kingdom brings to the world.  There's a difference.  You can taste it.
2. City on a hill. Nazareth, Jesus' hometown, was on a hill.  At night it's light were visible from Cana, nine miles away.  The emphasis is on the high visibility of a community of people living together by Jesus' happy values.
3. Lamp. Christ's followers are "the light of the world."  The lamp Jesus was thinking of was a pottery bowl full of oil with a wick set ablaze.  It fulfilled its purpose only when the wick was lit and the lamp was put where it illuminated the house.[1]

This convicted me of how often it is so easy to be pulled into the conversation's of the world, the dress of the world, the actions and responses of the world.  I realized again, that I need to spend more time with God, if I want to be more like Him.  Who we spend our time with, is who we will be like. 
I need to ask myself constantly, Is this conversation edifying to the person listening to me or to me as the person listening?  Why am I wearing this oufit? Is my response compassionate and heartfelt - true concern and heartfelt love for those who God brings into my path?  What is my purpose?.....To see God's hand at work in my life, to proclaim His name, to be a reflection of Him, to draw closer to Him...To Focus On Him & What He Desires of Me!
God knows we can never be perfect, but He promised He would never leave us or forsake us and that He will never send us more than we can handle - even though we may not think we can.  He is always there waiting for us to look to Him for help in EVERY situation.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for who you are and what you have done for me.  Help me to be a bright light for you.  Help me to be a beacon in this world of darkness.  Lord, I pray for fellow believers, that you would give them courage to be a light. That you would help us to make a difference and have hearts that are willing to sacrifice things in our life that may be hindering our light.  Lord, please show us how to be better lights for you. Help us to draw near to you and always remember what you have done for us and what we owe you. Give us the strength and courage we need to stay faithful to you no matter what. 
In Your Name, Amen

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing what you are learning and your encouragment to make a difference in the world.
    The theme of the different books that I've been reading of late have also been highlighting holiness. R.C. Ryle in his book "Holiness" says, "There has been of late years a lower standard of personal holiness among believers than there used to be in the days of our fathers. The whole result is that the Spirit is grieved and the matter calls for much humiliation and searching of heart." He points us back to the 'old paths' and sit at God's feet. "...look the whole subject in the face, examine clearly what the Lord Jesus calls sin, and what the Lord Jesus calls doing His will..." There needs to be time spent alone with God examining our ourselves. I know that, personally, when I take this time God is so good and faithful to reveal His truths and His ways.

    I want to leave you with this quote from one of my all time favorite authors, Andrew Murray. "The chief thing is, not to know what God has said we must do, but that God Himself says it to us. It is not the law, and not the book, not the knowledge of what is right, that works obedience, but the personal influence of God and His living fellowship. It is only in the full presence of God that disobedience and unbelief become impossible."

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  3. Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

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