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Are we making a difference?


“Relevance is a consequence of kingdom living, not a cause.” Rick McKinley

 

Salt and Light

I’m not much in the joking mood today.  Sorry.  I’m not in a bad mood, just…well…you’ll see.  I’ve been watching the news for the last few weeks, and to tell you the truth, there are some things happening that will mark this period of history.  The thing I’ve been struggling with the last few years, as I’ve written about in the past, is what does Christianity look like day to day…in normal life?  We in America have set up our own little version of Christianity that looks like this:  A church building, 2-3 consistent meetings per week, 1 main service on Sunday morning, occasional fellowship times together, Sunday School, and meetings.  Now, before you write me nasty emails, haha, there’s nothing wrong with those things.  Are those things the main focus of God’s Kingdom?  I’m afraid they’re not.

Outside our buildings.  Here’s just a short list of things happening outside of our facilities.  Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, China, North/South Korea, Healthcare, the economy, homelessness in our state, around 115,000 children waiting to be adopted in the US, joblessness in each of our towns, AIDS children in Africa, Haiti refugee camps…the list could go on.  And each of us have our own lives and circles of influence as well.  Each of us could list things like hurting families we personally know, people who are ill, kids who are neglected, young moms needing support and direction, hunger, illiteracy, divorcing couples, … and you could add so much more to this list.

Salt and Light.  Jesus discusses these two simple things and applies them to His followers’ lives.  Jesus wants His followers to be like usable salt.  In that day and age, people would have used salt for food flavoring and preservation.  We don’t want to head into a discussion about salt here, but Jesus wants us to be used like good, usable salt is.  There is corruption in the world…we can prevent corruption.  Sometimes people don’t see the fullness of life possible in Christ.  They’re stuck in the ‘day to day.’  Salt flavors.  Can we bring flavor…maybe a smile or a sense of happiness…maybe even peace to someone’s life?  Light is mentioned next.  Jesus states it plainly by saying that you don’t light up a candle and then hide it.  Light is used to see, to find, and to guide.  Are we helping people see through the darkness of their lives?  Are we helping them find the new life that Jesus has planned for them?  Are we guiding?  The light is in us…are we hiding it?

To tell you the truth, being salt and light to the world where we live…our school, workplace, church family…takes huge commitment and sacrifice.  Jesus said that people will know Him through our love.  Our love is salt and light to a world that seems to be caving in.  Being salt and light will take huge sacrifice.  It will take changing how you look at the world.  It will take changing how you see yourself in God’s Kingdom…right now…today.  It will take action and trust and forgiveness and a large dose of grace.

A picture that has spoken to me…and caused me to struggle…is of Christians in Egypt guarding Muslims during their time of prayer.  Here are direct links to the pictures.  http://yfrog.com/h02gvclj & http://yfrog.com/h24n34j Rioters were present and Christians devoted themselves to the Muslim’s safety as they knelt to the East to pray.  I know…we have huge differences.  I know that we worship the one true God.  I know that they, Muslims, need forgiveness through Jesus as anyone else does.  Is this grace in a photo?  These Christian men are risking lives to guard someone…I’m not sure that it really matters who.  Obviously it doesn’t because Christians and Muslims are usually debating and arguing and fighting.  But here we see Light and Salt.  My wonder is how many Muslims looked at these men and ask, “Why would they do such a thing?”  Answer?  Jesus said to be salt and light in a dying world.  “…Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).  Their good deed?  Protect their neighbor…even if they don’t worship Jesus as Lord.

Who are the people you are guarding this week?  Who are the people you are sacrificing for?  Who are the ones you are praying for?  Who are the ones you are spending extra time with?  Who are the ones that you feel God is asking you to serve?  Will you be open to God bringing to your awareness the people He is wanting you to love, serve and extend grace to?  Will you be ready to give?  Who will know more about God because of your love?

This is not easy.  I’m not saying I have all the answers.  But I believe God is beginning to move the American church into places we haven’t been before…places we haven’t chosen to go.  I believe there are a bunch of us out there wanting those moments where we stand in love, like those Egyptian Christians.  I picture a Kingdom that is moving without hesitation.  I want to be part of something like that…and I believe each of you do as well.  Jesus said that there is nothing that will stop His church, His family.  We have absolutely no reason to be afraid. The battle has been won.  Victory is already ours.  Our eternal life started the minute we confessed our belief in Jesus.  We have nothing to lose.

Love-Serve-Spread the Word,

ed

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  1. Amanda
    February 5, 2011 at 1:26 am

    1. Jesus said not to worship him, but he who sent him. You know, God?

    2. Why would one even QUESTION whether or not they should protect someone else “even if they don’t worship” the same person you evidently do? The question never would have entered my mind.

    • February 5, 2011 at 3:27 am

      Yes, Jesus said to worship His Father in Heaven…He said that to Satan in Matthew 4:10. Yet He also said that when we look at Him, we see the Father and know the Father (John 14:9). And after Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples worshiped Him…and He didn’t refuse…rightly so, because “all authority in Heaven and Earth” had been given to Him…” (Matthew Matt. 28:17-20). And I have the same question…thus the article. Why do we as Christians second guess. I’m so glad that question would never enter your mind. You ask why we would ever question to protect someone….. Some people might. My focus was on a bigger picture than just Egypt. The Bible says that “…the enemy the devil prowls like a lion” (1 Peter 5:8)…so I know that many people second guess what they should do…unfortunately. It would be a different world if we were all perfect and did the right thing all the time. Thank goodness for grace…not an excuse…but necessary.

  2. February 5, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Thanks, Eddie. A good word.

    • February 5, 2011 at 3:08 am

      Thanks Carlene…just stuff on my mind. 🙂

  1. February 5, 2011 at 1:35 am

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