Summary: God has called us to be salt and light - we have an awesome opportunity and responsibility to impact those around us for the future!
Gun Lake Community Church
August 22, 2004
Facing Your Future: Impacting Others for It
Mt 5:13 “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.
Mt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mt 5:15 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.
Mt 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)
“Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.
If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)
Intro: God commands us to be SALT and LIGHT.
People are watching us. I heard of a minister who was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed that a little boy was watching him. The youngster didn’t say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the lad would leave. But he didn’t. Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, “Are you trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?” “No,” he replied. “I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.”
We are always influencing someone, either positively or negatively. People are watching you! What do they see? What they observe has an influence on them. And it should. Jesus has energized us to be persuaders for Him. – Rev. Brian Bill, Pontiac Bible Church
My name is Randy Bennett and I’m the Junior & Senior High Pastor here at Gun Lake Community Church. We are in a series titled “Facing Your Future” and today I want to talk about impacting people for the future. We’ve provided an outline for you in your bulletin to follow along and to take with you during the week, so please pull that out and follow along.
Many of you I’m sure remember Charles Barkley, the NBA Basketball star who didn’t want people watching him too closely. People were disappointed with his actions and attitude on and off the court and challenged him to be a better role model. His response was basically, “Hey, I’m a basketball player. I didn’t ask to be anyone’s role model and I don’t need that added responsibility.” As an NBA star, Barkley didn’t have the option to choose whether or not he wanted to be a role model. That decision had already been made for him when he signed a contract to play in the highly publicized NBA.
The same is true for those of us who call ourselves Christians. Once we make that decision to follow Christ, people are watching. Whether you like it or not or whether or not you think it’s fair, you’ve become an example for the family of God.
For the first point in our outline, God commands us to be SALT and LIGHT. As we read today’s passage, we see that Jesus says, ‘YOU ARE the salt of the earth and YOU ARE the light of the world.’ He doesn’t say you could be, or some of you are; He clearly says, YOU ARE. There are some things in the Bible that are very clear commands and some that aren’t. Take spiritual gifts, for example. You may have the gift of hospitality, but not the gift of teaching; you may have the gift of mercy, but not the gift of prophecy. Evangelism, on the other hand, is one of those things that God commands use do. Although many Christians try, you can’t refuse to evangelize and claim that you don’t have that gift. This passage about salt and light is one of those commands - it isn’t optional. If we believe that God commands us to be salt and light, let’s take a look at what that means.