Summary: We are called to be the salt and light of the world.
July 29, 2007
When someone looks at you, other than looking at your extraordinary good looks, what do they see? If we could really cut to the chase, it’s not about those good looks, it’s about who you are in Jesus!
Over the past week we have had some major controversies in the world of sports. . .
Michael Vick, a great athlete and quarterback for Atlanta, was indicted for dog fighting at his home.
A longtime NBA referee is under investigation for being linked with the mob and betting on games he officiated - which means he most likely fixed the outcomes of some games.
Barry Bonds is about to break the major league baseball record for career home runs, despite rampant rumors of steroid usage.
Michael Rasmussen was leading the biggest bicycle race in the world, called the Tour de France when he was kicked out of the race.
The one thing that jumps out about these athletes is the question mark on their character. When we think about any of these sports, we often can’t finish the conversation without talking about the negatives.
What about adding Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to the conversation - this doesn’t cast a good picture for young actresses and singers.
I think you get the picture. For the next couple of weeks we’re going to look at what being a believer in Jesus means. What are we supposed to look like, and how do we get connected to our life source . . . Jesus.
So, what does a “real” Christian look like? How can you recognize the real thing?
☺ Can you spot a real Christian by knowing their political affiliation?
☺ Can you identify a Christian based on how they vote on political & social issues?
☺ If they have a fish decal on their car? Does that indicate for that the occupant is a
bonafide fisher of people?
Someone told me once that if the fish points to the right this person is a conservative Christian and if it points to the left they are a liberal. I don’t know about that, but does the presence of this decal say anything about the driver’s level of spiritual maturity?
☺ How about denominational affiliation? Is someone more likely to be a sincere
Christian if they’re in the SBC or the CBF or the UMC or the RCC or the AME
or the PCA or the ABC?
☺ Do cross pendants around people’s necks show they are committed to Christ?
☺ Or what about taste in worship music?
☺ If someone prefers to clap their hands and sing praise choruses, is that an
indication of the depth of their love of Jesus?
☺ Or are people who stand reverently singing from a hymnal more likely to be truly devoted to the kingdom of God?
It can be very difficult to determine what a real Christian looks or acts like.
Jesus gives us a very real call for our lives . . . we are to be the salt and light of the world. It’s as if God is saying “Plan A is for you, my followers to go into the world, to be salt and light to the world. Attract people with your faithfulness, with your goodness, with your radical commitment to me. Follow me and I will make you attractive to people.” And by the way folks, there is no Plan B.
We have been entrusted by God to go into the world, to take the message of Jesus Christ into our homes, our communities, our workplace, with friends and we are to help lead others to know who Jesus is. There is nothing more exciting or joyful than to know you are being used by God to bring His message of grace, hope, forgiveness and eternal life to someone who needs to experience Christ’s love.
Salt and light may not sound like a great strategy for reaching the world but we have to understand how Jesus was using salt and light as metaphors. One thing that salt and light have in common is they have a radical influence on whatever it is they come into contact with. That’s the important thing.
Notice that when Jesus said we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, He was not stating that as a suggestion. They are stated as requirements. Jesus said, “YOU are the salt of the earth and YOU are the light of the world.” No ‘ifs, ands, or buts about it.’ Jesus doesn’t say you are like salt or that we will be light at some time in the future. He said WE are these things. This is a major part of our calling. It’s our purpose as His disciples. It’s who we are and why we live in this world. Once we accept Jesus into our lives, we are automatically tasked with functioning as the salt of the earth and the light of the world.