In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus gives two word pictures to tell us who we are as His followers: we are to be salt and light.
First, we are to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). Salt has many uses: healing, cleaning, melting, washing and seasoning. But, in the ancient near east, salt was primarily used as a preservative. A preservative is a substance that is added to food to prevent spoilage or decomposition. You see, without a preservative things decay, things rot and things reek. So, what Jesus is saying to each of us as His followers, “you are a preservative.” You are a preservative for your family, for your church, for your neighborhood. You are a preservative for your work, for your city. In short, you are a preservative for the earth. And men, when we fail to preserve, when we become contaminated by our sin, we lose our saltiness and are unable to preserve, things begin to rot and start to stink. In order to be effective as a preservative, we must be intentional in living out the characteristics of the blessed person outlined in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12), as well as treating others with love, compassion, and mercy.
Secondly, Jesus said, “you are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). The world is a pretty big place and being the light of the world can be overwhelming. So, let’s look at it like this: view your world as where you live and where you work. You see men, each of us, as followers of Christ, have a mission field. It begins at home and works into our neighborhoods, our communities, our place of employment and beyond. You were intentionally placed where you are to let your light shine. So, let your light shine in a way that when people see you, they don’t just see a nice a guy. Rather, let them see a man living his life in a way that changes his family, changes his neighborhood, changes his community, changes his church, changes his work and changes the world around him. Doing this will glorify your Father in heaven.
This week’s challenge:
How are you going to be salt and light in your mission field this week?
~ Tim Hall
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