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Read this featured blog post by Barrett Berry - Lead Pastor of the Empowered Living Church

With You (I Feel Again)

Introduction "Glorify God"

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV) ~ 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


CONTEXT: You are a blessing. Life is filled with challenges, obstacles and hectic schedules. Our schedules are often overwhelmed when we add the kids after school practices and tutoring sessions. Then there is dinner that has to be on the table before 7 PM or the world may come to an end as we know it. Between these activities we often find it hard, no, we often find it impossible to speak a positive word about anything, let alone to a stranger we pass at the store, in the gym, or even at the church. But, you are a blessing. At times, it may feel like you aren’t, but I assure you God believes you are. It is our responsibility to show the world, our nation, our city, and our next-door neighbors what love looks and feels like from a Christian Believer. It is our responsibility to deliver comfort, joy, and peace when we step out of our homes and enter into our city. It is our responsibility to show the world our good deeds and to glorify our God in heaven.  

Highlight big takeaway #1 here

# 1 - You are the Salt

Matthew 5:13 ~ “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”  


What is Salt?


Salt is one of the most precious compounds known to man. Being the “salt of the earth” or being “worth one’s salt” has long been a compliment. The very word salt comes from the Latin for salary when people were literally paid in salt.


The Chinese have a well-documented history, one that details what could have been the first wars over salt. Huangdi—a Chinese ruler who crosses the fine line between myth and man—is purported to have resided over these beginning wars. Lake Yuncheng, in the northern province of Shanxi, is home to prehistoric China's earliest salt works and the location of countless wars over power of the lake. Chinese historians found that thousands of years ago people harvested salt from the surface of the lake after the water evaporated during the sunny summer seasons.


Egyptians may have been the first civilization to preserve fish and meat with salt. Salt, as we know, draws out moisture which can cause the growth of bacteria and salt also helps to kill bacteria—therefore preventing food from going bad. The realization of salt's preserving properties gave way to the mummification process—along with salt's rise to importance. The Egyptians discovered a type of salt in a dry riverbed—an area they called Natrun—that they used in the mummification process. They named the salt netjry or, as we know it, natron—and referred to it as "the divine salt."


The largest use of salt today is for highway winter time safety. Road salt saves thousands of lives and millions in accident costs, injuries and lost economic activity every year. According to researchers at Marquette University the incidences of accidents, injuries and crashes are decrease by well over 80 percent thanks to road salt.


Salt, for much of human history, has been a highly-valued commodity that served many purposes, but perhaps the most useful and powerful purpose is preservation. Salt has an uncanny ability to preserve just about anything—be it a vegetable or even a human body!


We must not lose our value as Believers and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus compared us to the most valuable mineral in the history of the human race. As the salt of the earth it is our responsibility: 


  • to lead others to Christ by living lives that others can follow; 
  • to remain true to our faith in Jesus Christ by showing grace and mercy to others when they fail (and especially us) and fall to sin; and
  • to exemplify our love for Jesus Christ by loving others, including our enemies, frenemies, and family members we really don’t like, but love.  


2 Timothy 4:5 (NIV) ~ 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. The KJV says, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”


Timothy’s primary function or area of giftedness was not evangelism, but Paul challenged him to “do the work of an evangelist.” One way to view the command to “do the work of an evangelist” simply expressed Paul’s concern that Timothy might not lose his zeal for lost souls as he became more and more engrossed in his primary duties. Perhaps it also expressed the apostle’s concern that evangelism be illustrated and communicated to those he was training. They too need this concern, training, and skill as part of their growth. Part of the job of equipping others for ministry and the growth of the body of Christ (qualitatively, quantitatively, and organically) would be the need to teach and model personal evangelism 


The principle here is true with many, though not all, of the gifts God has given believers. You may not have full possession of the gifts of God. You may not be able to lay hands and people become healed. You may not speak in holy tongues of fire and display the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. You may not sing like an angelic psalmist. But, what you can do is share your testimony, encourage someone by showing them love, and thereby do the work of an evangelist.


The Bible never mentions “a gift of evangelism.” Paul does identify grace-gifted “evangelists” (Ephesians 4:11) whom he explains equip all saints for ministry along with the grace-gifted apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:12-13). In the contemporary era, Christ continues to equip believers for ministry through evangelists, pastors and teachers. As such, all believers are responsible to be equipped for ministry, which includes being equipped by grace-gifted evangelists to evangelize. Rather than describe a spiritual “gift of evangelism” bestowed upon a select few, Scripture presents evangelism as a spiritual discipline to be practiced by all believers intentionally and consistently.


You are the Salt!

Go! Let all the people know!

#2 - You are the Light

Matthew 5:14-15 ~ 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.


Why don’t people light a lamp and put it under a bowl? Because it’s wasted effort. If you light a lamp, you’re bringing light to your home. Here Jesus reminds us that He doesn’t want to waste His efforts either. Our lamps have been lit with the intention that we would give light to others as well.


Ephesians 2:8-10 ~ 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

#3 - You Must Shine!

Matthew 5:16 ~ 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


It’s important to note that, in this instance, our good deeds are the light He is talking about. When we do good works, we give credence to the gospel. It’s not just the evil that we do that works against the gospel, but also our unwillingness to do good.


John 15:5-8 ~ 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


You must Shine!

Celebration - Glorify God!

We are the salt of the earth. We bring swag, flavor, and power and authority gifted to us through the death and resurrection of our living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to go into the world, our city, our communities, and even in our homes to share the Gospel of Jesus for the purpose of Glorifying our God!


Glorify God by going out and making disciples of His people, saving souls through compassion, and loving people even when they don’t live lives that reflect God’s love, grace, and mercy.  


Be the salt and light to a dying world by going out into the community with the confidence that God’s promises will never fail:


God will always be with us

Joshua 1:9 ~ 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”


God will provide what we need

Philippians 4:19 ~ 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.


God won’t give up on us

Psalm 9:9-10 ~ 9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.


Take everything to God with prayer

Philippians 4:6-7 ~ 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Love first, second, and last . . .

Conclusion

We are the salt of the earth. We bring swag, flavor, and power and authority gifted to us through the death and resurrection of our living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to go into the world, our city, our communities, and even in our homes to share the Gospel of Jesus for the purpose of Glorifying our God!


Glorify God by going out and making disciples of His people, saving souls through compassion, and loving people even when they don’t live lives that reflect God’s love, grace, and mercy.  


Be the salt and light to a dying world by going out into the community with the confidence that God’s promises will never fail:


God will always be with us

Joshua 1:9 ~ 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”


God will provide what we need

Philippians 4:19 ~ 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.


God won’t give up on us

Psalm 9:9-10 ~ 9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.


Take everything to God with prayer

Philippians 4:6-7 ~ 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


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Endnotes