Salt and Light
13"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.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither 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. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
I salt just about everything I eat, even without tasting it. You can definitely tell the difference between the regular Morton's table salt and that low sodium Accent 60% less sodium substitute. Why bother. I think the same can be said about a Christ follower who goes to church on Sundays and really doesn't commit to developing that relationship and growing deeper in faith. This person is like the Accent salt substitute that can really turn some people off. I think vs. 14-16 basically say if you have Christ in your life don't hide it. Let everyone see how your life has changed and let it attract others to Christ as well. And a final note: Your relationship with Christ should produce good deeds, not good deeds proving that you are a Christ follower.
I. People Matter To God
God loves you the way you are right where you are. You do not have to change to be loved by God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The great thing here is that Jesus is for ANYONE who choses to believe. Unlike many other religions there is no limitation on who is invited into a relationship with Jesus. God loves EVERYONE and invites all.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
As a Christ follower you should be confident in sharing the love of Jesus with anyone and everyone. Everything you do is a reflection of Christ. This invitation is clearly for everybody.
II. People Should Matter to Us
If we say we love God, we MUST love people also. It is not an option to not love people. It should really matter to us that people without Christ are going to hell.
Matthew 28:19a Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Here the call is to go. It may be just to go an share your faith with your neighbor, a stranger in the community or even on a mission trip.
Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. Wow, we are official spokespersons for Christ. We are called to appeal to others in bringing them into the faith of following Christ. With a little or a lot of training or experience we are all responsible.
Romans 1:14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. We are charged to not pick and choose who we share our faith with. We are on call all the time for everybody. To withold the message from certain persons would be against God's plan.
It won't be easy!!!!! Luke 6:22 22Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. You will be the "weirdo" here according to Pastor John. Just living a solid, non-radical Christian life, you will be different. If you are not different, maybe you have blended in with the world.
III. There Is No Other Way to Live
Just like the river that is drawn to the sea, a Christ follower should be different in their neighborhood, their workplace, their own family. We are walking billboards constantly advertising who Christ is in our life. Hopefully we are bring good PR to Christ and not being a bad witness.
Listen to the sermoncast at www.hopefellowship.net under the media section.