Summary: "The second message in a series of messages from the sermon on the mount dealing with The Importance Of Our Attitudes."
Introduction: Last week we looked at The Beattitudes, and the effect that our attitudes today will have on the future events of our life. Today, we are going to look at the importance of "Our Attitude Toward Our Purpose." Everybody likes to have purpose. Even dogs like to feel like they have a purpose. Some to guard, some to fetch and play, but God’s creatures (including us) like to feel needed. Many people try to fill their God given purpose with work and other busy events that make us feel important, but God has purposed us for many things in our lives that are not based upon the many things that are dominating our time. First of all, we learn from the Garden Of Eden we were created for fellowship with God. Today we will look at what I believe to be the secondfold purpose of why we were created. Let’s take a look!
1. WE HAVE THE PURPOSE OF PRESERVATION v13
(a) Witness is more than a purposeful visitation that we can turn on and off. Many of us who have gone from door to door to spread the gospel have found it very difficult (though not impossible) to get results.
(b) WItness is more than quoting a bunch of Scripture to people that we know are lost. It’s hard for us to admit that, many times, we push people away from God by trying to push God on people.
(c) Christ says here that, "YOU, are the salt of the earth." By the way, that is not a corporate YOU, meaning the body, but rather an emphatic you, as in every person. So, if we know that door to door visitation isn’t very fruitful and Bible thumping isn’t very fruitful, how do we fulfill our purpose of preservation?
When the inner man comes out through the outer man and causes people to thirst for God that is how we fulfill the Great Commission. We must be a people that cause people to thirst (like salt) for God through our life’s example.
(d) Some people say, "I’m not good at witnessing." We witness every day. People are watching you and measuring you up, and asking themselves, "Do I want to become a Christian based upon this persons life?" It is our purpose to live a life that will cause others to want to follow God.
2. WE HAVE THE PURPOSE OF OVERCOMING EVIL v14-16
(a) Darkness in the Bible represents evil. We are surely living in the latter days based on this scripture. Evil is so present in our society. Sexual sins, sensuality, debauchery, drunkeness, are not only acceptable, but are encouraged based on media alone.
(b) We have three choices about the evil in our society:
I. IGNORE THE DARKNESS - "Let’s all hide in caves like the prophets of God in Elijah’s day!" That may sound foolish for us to commit to, but that’s exactly what many in the church are doing today - hiding from darkness. I know people who want to keep their children so sheltered from the world (because of darkness) that I wonder will their children he equipped to live in the real world when they grow up - (Much less find their purpose to shine light upon it.) The church has tried far to long to not be IN the world. When Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17:15 He said, "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." If we exclude ourselves from the dark world, who will shine their light in the darkness?
II. CURSE THE DARKNESS - We can shout how much we hate sin from now to eternity, but that doesn’t make the darkness go away. We can march streets and protest until Christ returns, but that doesn’t make the darkness go away.
III. LIGHT THE DARKNESS - This is our only option. Be IN the world, but yet, not OF the world. We have to be where the darkness is. THE KEY HERE IS TO NOT GET DARKNESS TO FLEE, BUT TO TRANSFORM THE DARK INTO LIGHT. By loving people as God does, we will do more than cause darkness to flee into hiding. We will change it into light itself.
SO, we are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. We are either dispelling darkness (by our light) or making the darkness darker. It is our job to shine.
(c) How we shine is by doing more than setting. It’s by doing. Doing good deeds. Showing our love to people who are in a dying world. That is our purpose.
3. WE HAVE THE PURPOSE OF REMAINING FRUITFUL v13b-c
..."if the salt looses it’s saltiness...it is good for nothing"