Being the World You Want to See

 In Preaching & Teaching, Tori Smith

In the past I’ve pointed to passages or stories in Scripture that we send to the Children’s Department and never look at as adults, or at least seldom look at as adults. Please don’t miss understand me. I believe all the teachings of Scripture deserve to be found in the Children’s Department. It’s often there that we begin to understand the ways of God. It’s there that we don’t argue with Scripture, we don’t judge Scripture, nor do we tear it apart choosing which words we will believe and which ones we won’t. So, it’s important that all of Scripture is sent to the Children’s Department. The problem is – is when we leave passages there and forget to look at them again as adults. In this blog I want to again take a couple of thoughts found in the ancient words of Jesus; words that we’ve sent to the Children’s Department along with a song and see if there is anything for adults in His teachings. They are familiar words…. read them again.

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 underfoot.  “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

I don’t know about you, but when I read these verses, especially 14-16, the song “This Little Light of Mine”, pops into my head. If it didn’t while reading this, I bet you are singing it now. ? This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine… There is nothing better than watching a little 3-year-old sing this song with their little finger stuck high in the air…or whirling around and around as they get lost in the song. Won’t let Satan blow it out NO! I’m gonna let it shine! What a declaration of faith to pronounce over your life at a young age.

But is there something for us “sophisticated” adults to take from these verses as well? Absolutely! As with all of Scripture, God’s word speaks to people at different times in their lives with different emphasizes as Holy Spirit highlights what He wants us to pay attention to. Remember the words from the book of Hebrews. The word of God is alive and active. Meaning, it speaks to us where we are and tells us what God wants to say to us at whatever age we might be. So looking at these two familiar thoughts, what do we hear God saying to us in this time that we are in?

He is saying that we have a purpose in the world. And that’s to be the leaders, the influencers that change the world around us. Think about cooking for a minute. All of us know what salt does to our food. I know – too much can interfere with what our hearts are doing. I’m not talking about too much. I’m talking about the right (sometimes even small) amount of salt that favors the food. Most of us like white potatoes fixed in different ways. But have you ever left out the salt in potatoes? One bite lets you know that the salt was left out. Salt changes food when it is used, It infuses the food with seasoning which amounts to flavor which leads to pleasure while eating that food.

As Christians we are the salt of the earth Jesus said – meaning we hold the truth, which has the ability to season life, giving meaning and purpose to everyone who will accept our message. If we take seriously our saltiness, we can even influence and bless those who won’t, can’t or haven’t head our message. We are to set forth the principals of Kingdom living in our homes, our churches, our jobs, our school systems, our governments, our arts and entertainment and our economics. The truth of Jesus Christ isn’t just for us. It’s for us to use to change the earth.

Similarly, light has the ability to change the world around us. When we walk into a dark room and flip on the light switch, the darkness is scattered. You can see clearly, things can be found, you don’t fall over the furniture, because you can see. The room makes sense. As the Body of Christ, we were never supposed to retreat into ourselves and leave the world in the dark. We were called to be the light of the world, influencing all people with the love of Jesus.

Here’s the point – we were meant to change the world. And we have slowly backed away from our responsibilities and have let the world go off on its own. It’s time for the body of Christ to reclaim its mission and be the salt and light of the world. It’s time that we infuse the truth of Jesus Christ in every aspect of life on this planet. The Gospel message doesn’t just belong in the church building or in our secret prayer rooms. For too long we have hidden our light under a bowl, or bushel basket. God is calling the church to wake up and be the leaders, no matter where they live, work or play, who season and influence the world with the truth of Jesus Christ.

So, take out your lights, and whirl them around proudly, just like the 3-year-old, because our world is dying in the darkness without us.

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