Summary: We must live our life for Christ in such a way that it draws others to God.
May 26, 2013 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must live our life for Christ in such a way that it draws others to God.
Focus Passage: Matthew 5:13-16
Supplemental Passage: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:4-6 NASB)
Introduction: A few years ago, at the mouth of Cleveland harbor there were two lights, one at each side of the bay, called the upper and lower lights; and, to enter the harbor safely by night, vessels must sight both of these lights. These Western lakes are more dangerous sometimes than the great ocean.
One wild, stormy night a steamer was trying to make her way into the harbor. The captain and the pilot were anxiously watching for the lights. By and by the pilot was heard to say, "Do you see the lower lights?" "No," was the reply; "but I fear we have passed them." "Ah, there are the lights," said the pilot; "and they must be, from the bluff on which they stand, the upper lights. We have passed the lower lights, and have lost our chance of getting into the harbor."
What was to be done? They looked back, and saw the dim outline of the lower lighthouse against the sky. The lights had gone out. "Can’t you turn her head round?" "No; the night is too wild for that. She won’t answer her helm." The storm was so fearful that they could do nothing. They tried again to make for the harbor, but they went crash against the rocks, and sank to the bottom. Very few escaped; the great majority found a watery grave. Why? Simply because the lower lights had gone out.
And with us the upper lights are all right. Christ Himself is the upper light, and we are the lower lights, and the cry to us is, keep the lower lights burning, that is what we have to do. In the place God has put us He expects us to shine, to be living witnesses, to be a bright and shining light. (From a sermon by Dwight L. Moody, Christ All in All, 10/26/2009)
I. Be salt
a. Sodium is an extremely active element found naturally only in combined form; it always links itself to another element. Chlorine, on the other hand, is the poisonous gas that gives bleach its offensive odor. When sodium and chlorine are combined, the result is sodium chloride--common table salt--the substance we use to preserve meat and bring out its flavor. Love and truth can be like sodium and chlorine. Love without truth is flighty, sometimes blind, willing to combine with various doctrines. On the other hand, truth by itself can be offensive, sometimes even poisonous. Spoken without love, it can turn people away from the gospel. When truth and love are combined in an individual or a church, however, then we have what Jesus called "the salt of the earth," and we're able to preserve and bring out the beauty of our faith. David H. Johnson.