Consider, briefly, the purpose of the pen. It is used to record and that is its purpose. Just as the pen was designed with a purpose, so also you and I were designed with a purpose, and we belong to a community that was called to a specific purpose. A pen is at its best when it is used to accomplish the purpose of recording, in writing. When it is repurposed, or not used at all, a pen is not at its best and, perhaps, may even be worthless (except, of course, to those with the name Jason Bourne). When we, as people and as the Church, do not live according to the purpose for which we have been designed, then we cannot be at our best and, perhaps, we may even become worthless. I wish to ask, then, what exactly is our purpose, both as people and as a Church.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men. You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Salt and light
In Genesis 1 and 2, we read a story of a God who created humanity in His image and commanded humanity to steward the earth and to fill it. Here, Christ reveals the same idea by calling those who have believed God the salt and light of the earth. Salt is a preservative and adds flavor while light reveals truth in the darkness. As Christians, or those who believe in God, we are called to be salt and light. We work for the good of humanity and reveal to the world the truth concerning God and the purpose of life, which is to be God’s image.
Christ tells us that we shine our light before men so that they may see our good works and give glory to our Father in Heaven.
I want, for just a moment, for us to consider light. If I light a match in a dark room, there is no amount of darkness than can put out the flame and certainly no amount of darkness that can extinguish the light. If I shine as a light, darkness will not overcome me. We often think that we cannot change the world or have a positive impact or be a sold-out witness for Christ. In reality, with every decision we make and in every minute we live we do impact the world. Either we add to the darkness, or we stand out as a light.
I often look into the night sky and see the stars. There is so much empty space and so much darkness in the universe, but the stars continue to shine. Even if there was only one star left in the sky, it would shine and we would see it despite the amount of darkness. If we feel like we are alone in this dark world, remember that no amount of darkness can extinguish even a small amount of light! We remember, also, that Christ is the only source of light within us. Without Christ, there can be no light.
When we are full of light, we cannot be extinguished by darkness! Knowing this, I find that I cannot stop preaching the Gospel and I cannot stop reaching out to those around me. I cannot stop trying to persuade those in my life concerning Christ. I cannot stop trying to live such a life that people around me might give glory to our Father in Heaven.
Let me make an invitation to you, Christian. Let us not stand back and watch the world fall apart. Let us not be static or watered down or boring. Let us engage culture, do well in all we do and live according to the light that I have described. Let us fill our churches and plant more! Let us continuously disciple one another and hold each other accountable to the high calling that we have in Jesus Christ! Let us never shy away from the purpose for which we have been designed. We will choose to go, fulfilling Christ’s great commission, and we will go with force.
This life is not one whose end is piety or some sort of faux perfection and it is not one that should be used to lionize human existence. This life is one whose end is to glorify God and to lead others to also glorify God. Let our churches reflect that! Let others find the light and the life that is revealed through us!
Original: Christian, is your world too dark? (Matthew 5:13-16).