Salt and Light

February 1, 2015     Matthew 5:13 - 16    Light and Salt -  Evangelism  

 

       Jesus said his people are salt and light.  You and I are salt and light.  In this passage to sum that up the idea of salt and light and to explain it simply means that we are people of influence.   We influence others toward Jesus.   If we live according to the beatitudes we will be salt and light.  It means our lives will reflect the glory of God.  God will be seen in our lives.   We might ask ourselves if Jesus is seen through your life.     I remember reading about a man who spent 3 hours a day in prayer and he was on a plane trip one time.   And he wrote a stewardess came by him and told him when I walk by you I have a great desire to say the Lord’s Prayer.  There was a godly witness from his life.  There was a godly man in the early years of this country that would walk into factories and people would fall on their knees in repentance while they were working and without him saying anything.   We do create an atmosphere.  I remember when I saw Chuck Swindoll that I could see Jesus in him.  He had a godly glow around him.   I have also been around folks who remind me of evil.   There is an aroma around you and it should be the sweetness of Jesus.  

    Woodrow Wilson tells the story of being in a barbershop one time and said I was sitting in a barber chair when I became aware that a powerful personality had entered the room.  A man quietly came in to get his haircut just as the rest of us had come in and he sat in the next chair to him.    Every word that the man uttered showed an interest in the person that was cutting his hair.  And before I was through getting my hair cut he said I was aware I had attended an evangelistic service, because D.L. Moody was in that chair.  He said I purposely lingered in the room after he left and the noted the effect that he had brought on those in the barbershop.  The people talked in under tones and they did not know his name but they knew something had elevated their thoughts and I had felt as I left the barbershop that I had attended a place of worship.   This does not excuse us from our verbal witness.   Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  

      We all make an impact on atmosphere.   You impact the atmosphere in your home.   You impact the flavor of your home.     God’s people are to be people of influence.  God wants us to live lives in such a way that others praise God for us.   It is like you touch or the Lord touches someone through you and they praise God for you helping them or giving to them or just being a friend to the.   The Holy Spirit can move you to reach out to someone and they praise God for how they were ministered to.    I saw Kristi this week and what a blessing it was to see her and to chat with her.  Thank God for her.   I saw Larry and Mabel this week and what a blessing to see them.  I was uplifted and encouraged by spending a few minutes with them.  If you want to be blessed visit some of the folks in this church.  It can be a real blessing for you.     

    There are 2 things that may seem very insignificant but they really impact people.   Salt is one of them.   Salt is very important certainly for taste and eating.  It is important for us today on roads and sidewalks.    Salt has been used to preserve food.  It was very important in the New Testament times.   I read where Roman soldiers were paid with salt and that is how we get the word salary today.  Paul wrote in Colossians 4:6 let your conversation be always full of grace seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone.   I believe the only way we can season it with salt is with the help of the Holy Spirit.  We buy pure salt today but back then they would mine it and some of it was so bad that it was worthless.   It had too many impurities in it.  They would throw it out on paths and walk on it.

     Salt can become contaminated.   Salt can become bad so that it is worthless.   A church can become worthless.  It is sad that some churches have a negative influence.  When a church becomes watered down and begins to look like the world and quits preaching the bible and Jesus its influence can become negative.  Oh there may be some good to it.  Churches that promote unbiblical relationships do not present the bible and do not present a accurate picture of God.    My life can become worthless in a way as far as building the kingdom of God.   One of the reasons I love this church is because we want this church to count.   This church is alive and real.   We want this church to count and I like to throw my hat in with folks like that.  I like to hang around with people like that.   It is fun and uplifting to be around folks like that.  

      The Christian is the salt of the earth and if we are not the salt of the earth then we are not walking in the Holy Spirit.  .  We want to be good salt and not worthless salt.  True friends are true and true salt preserves.  Salt on an open wound can sting.  Friends tell the truth.  Friends sometimes sting us with truth and of course that is for our own good.  Sometimes we need the cleansing.   Faithful are the wounds of a friend.  A true Christian that wants to grow will listen and adjust their life to truth and reality. 

    Light is very important. Perhaps we do not think about light very much.   It is one of those things we just take for granite.   Light dispels darkness.  Good light is so important for plants and for people. You can buy lights that do not help plants to grow but it does give off light.  If you lived completely in total darkness for awhile you would never see again.  You would go totally blind.   I kept a solar powered calculator in my brief case for awhile and it quit working.   That was the end of it.  I think they need to be exposed to day light.  Today you can go to the store and buy grow lights which help plants to grow in your house or in dark places.   We can only really see what the light reveals. 

     Jesus said you are the light of the world.  Jesus also said he was the light of the world.   Arise; shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.  For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be see upon you.  The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isa. 60:1-3)  That is an interesting verse because we see even in the Old Testament that God was interested in reaching more than just the Jews.   The Gentiles shall come to your light.  Every soul is precious.   And in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is making it plain that his people are to show forth God.   We are not to cover up our light as the song writer said, hide it under a bushel no.   A light hid is of no value.   Light is to show forth things.  The point is to show the light and the light that we have is from Jesus.    The only light I have is Jesus folks.  I can’t solve your problems but God can.   I do not have answers for you but God does.   Jesus said men love darkness rather than light because of their evil deeds. 

      There are people who do not have any salt or light in their life.   Their life is burning.  They have great needs.   Do you see people lost and without God?   Do you have a burning desire to share Jesus?    Has Jesus so touched your life that your goal is to bring others to Him?   While speaking in London, evangelist D. L. Moody was approached by a British companion who wanted to know the secret of Moody’s success in leading people to Christ.   Moody directed the man to his hotel window and asked, "What do you see?" The man looked down on the square and reported a view of crowded streets.  Moody suggested he look again.   This time the man mentioned seeing people--men, women, and children. Moody then directed him to look a third time, and the man became frustrated that he was not seeing what Moody wanted him to see. The great evangelist came to the window with watery eyes and said, "I see people going to hell without Jesus. Until you see people like that, you will not lead them to Christ."  I heard this week that there are 2,000 people in New Hampshire without a place to live and about 1,000 of them are in shelters.   That leaves over 1,000 people living out doors in this weather.   There are hungry people in this state. 

    Brothers and sisters people are spiritually lost and heaven and hell are real.   Eternity is real and God is real.   I am not saying that we speak about hell when we talk to someone about the Lord but that is why I became a Christian.  I generally do not talk about hell with lost folks.  When we share with people we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit may direct us to say something about hell.    I talked to a man this week that had a Baptist background and he clearly said he never accepted Jesus as his savior.   That is sad and I just told him that was a very important decision to make.  It is the most important decision a person can make in their life.    I do not see Jesus forcing folks to believe.  I would assume he would understand the consequences of his decision.  I graciously dropped that conversation. 

    It is good for us to be involved with the lost. It is healthy for us to be concerned for others.  Part of good mental health is not being totally focused on me.   A Sunday school teacher, after teaching the lesson of the Good Samaritan, asked the class what they had learned.  One little boy piped up and said, "I learned that whenever I get into trouble somebody better help me out."  That is one way to look at it I guess.  

   All of us can be involved with reaching the lost.    One thing we can all do is pray for the lost.  That is the best place to start.   That is an awesome safe place to start.   We also need to witness verbally.  Romans 10 says how can they hear without someone preaching to them.   I believe the fields are still white unto harvest.  Sometimes the fields seem tough.   I think the spiritual fields are quite tough here.   It is our prayers that can soften people.  It is about like trying to keep a parking spot in Boston.  If you clear a spot someone will want it.   It is just tough going.     But God has many people in this area that belong to Jesus.  We need to pray and labor for those souls.  The more we pray the more fruit we see.  Psalms 126 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.   Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.  The lost are on the Father’s heart.  Mark 

    .    Yes the bible is very narrow and many folks today cannot handle that. Ever wonder who is behind the thought that it is not popular to be narrow minded today?  II Timothy 4:3   for the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.     John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life.   No one comes to the Father except through me.”   Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."  It is God’s heaven folks and God determines who can get in.   What our government thinks about heaven does not mean a thing.  Man does not change it.   It is set in place by God.  Acts 16:31 they replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

     In 1985 a celebration took place at a municipal pool in New Orleans.  The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans City pool.    In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards.   As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end of the pool.    They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.   People can be lost that live in the shadow of the church steeple.  Jesus is the one who saves souls.   But we are part of the process.  We are the light and salt that he uses.