Summary: Jesus provides for all people a purpose and meaning to life that will truly bring fulfillment and satisfaction.
"A Purpose in Living"
1. People today are groping for some kind of meaning to life. People are turning to illegal drugs, immoral lifestyles, and some to suicide because life is a meaningless cycle of disappointment and despair.
2. Many Christians suffer in the same way a sense of aimlessness. The joy of life becomes a cycle of boredom and ritual routine.
3. Churches often become lethargic and stagnant because they lose a sense of purpose and direction.
4. What is your purpose for living? What is the purpose for your church’s existence?
JESUS ADDRESSES THESE QUESTIONS AND TELLS US:
I. WE ARE TO BE THE SALT OF THE EARTH (5:13).
A. We are to be Preservers.
1. Salt keeps things from spoiling. It can preserve what it comes into contact with.
2. We are to set a good example by standing for what is right, decent and honorable. This speaks of : a. Honesty b. Integrity c. Personal and family decency
Imagine your community or neighborhood without any Christians. Would there be any difference in the atmosphere and conduct of the area?
3. Would your workplace, school, profession be different without any Christians present? I hope so! Believers are to act as salt does in preserving that which is good and right.
B. We are to be Purifiers.
1. Salt is a cleanser. It aids in healing. It causes pain at the time of application by does having purifying qualities.
2. We ought to be healers. Too often, Christians are agents of infection and hurt rather than healing. Are you a helaing / purifying influence in your home, church, workplace?
C. We are to bring new life to those around us.
1. Salt adds flavor to food. Food that is bland and tasteless can be given new life and zest with just some added salt.
2. Many people live a dull, tasteless life. We are to show people Abundant Life which is available in Christ Jesus!
D. We are not to become useless.
1. Jesus warns against us become like salt with no flavor. Flavorless salt is described as being "dull, sluggish, stupid, foolish."
2. When we fail to be the salt of the earth, over time we run the risk of becoming useless in God’s plan, like salt that no longer is salty.
3. Today, you are either "salting the world around you" or you are being corrupted by the world around you. Which is it?
II. WE ARE TO BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (5:14-16).
We are to live in the world but point beyond it as well!
A. We possess the Light of God. God’s Spirit was placed within you the moment you received Jesus as your Savior and Lord. His Love can flow through you to others.
B. We are to provide guidance. We must be to people without Christ like a lighthouse is to ships at night on stormy seas.
C. We are to be beacons of hope. People need hope to live. A Christian must stand out in his/her attitude, priorities, actions, and words bringing hope to others that not all people are the same - mean, cold, heartless, selfish.
D. We must not hide our Light. You cannot hide a city on a hill, nor put your light under a basket. That does not make sense. The nature of Light is to shine!