Summary: This sermon is adapted from the sermon's provided in the "I Love My Church" series developed and marketed by Outreach Ministries
I LOVE MY CHURCH
Key Passage: Matthew 5:13-16
(Projected Aim: Help people see that loving the church impacts the community for the Gospel.)
Has anyone here every dreamed of going somewhere for a long time, only to be disappointed in it when you finally got to go there?
For years I worked with a guy who was a battalion chief with Chicago Fire Department. HE used to rave about the food at Luciano’s on Rush Street. Chicago isn’t a city I generally enjoy going to- just too much there, too many people, too much traffic, and just a pain to get around in. But one-time Tammie and I were down there and decided to walk along Michigan Ave and Rush street and see the shops and the sights and we came across Luciano’s and decided to eat there.
I was expecting culinary nirvana, - this is Luciano’s! Authentic Chicago Italian food.
But instead got horrible service, mediocre food, and a huge bill. If Yelp had been around, then I would have logged on and given it an unfavorable review.
It was a bad experience all around.
If we were to boil it down, A great dining experience really comes down to those two things: food and atmosphere. It’s all about what you see and what you taste. For the math people in the house, here’s the equation: Food + Atmosphere = Experience. If you hear about a new restaurant coming to town, aren’t those the two things you ask about? How’s the food? What’s the feel/look?
The opposite of Lucanio’s is almost every time we have gone to a Red Lobster- great food, great atmosphere, and wonderful service. I would eat there every day if I could afford it.
Apply this to our I Love My Church series.
Jesus has given us new lives without fences, lives that are part of the new community He is creating.
This life in this community, in His kingdom, is life as it was meant to be, giving us a new identity and a new set of values and ethics to live by.
We concluded the first week that our reputation as people of this new community should be one of love. God wants all people to know this life of salvation, forgiveness, peace, healing, purpose, and hope.
Here’s the question we have to consider in our series:
How do people come to this new life with God?
How do people hear and discover, how do they experience the kingdom of God?
Let’s look to the bible to answer some of these questions
Let’s read Matthew 5:13-16:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Main Thrust- God entrusts us to create the kingdom experience.
A few moments ago we were speaking about eating establishments and what makes them appealing to a person coming in off the street. The same principles apply to how we live our Christianity and if it is attractive to those who have never tasted and seen that the LORD is good.
I. You are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)
How many people here add salt to almost everything? You can be honest, I won’t tell your doctor.
Salt brings taste. It is a flavoring agent. It brings taste to bland food. It preserves. Someone gives you a plate of food really not up to snuff and what are the first words out of your mouth? “Can you please pass the salt?”
Don’t miss what Jesus is telling us in this metaphor.
He is making it clear how necessary and important we are for the welfare of the world. Because we have experienced a transformation in our lives as we have come to the kingdom of heaven, now our presence is necessary as God’s means of influencing the world for good. Regardless of status or profession, the kingdom life that we possess is invaluable for the effect it will have in our daily circles of influence.
II. You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
In Jesus’ time they had small wicker oil lamps, which gave little light in the average home that had few windows; they were most effective when set on a lampstand. Even the smallest of lights lifted up can chase away darkness.