THEME: The functions of a blessed people flow out of an ongoing relationship with the Lord.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:13-16; 6:6
We�fve just been studying how blessed we are as God�fs people when our life has the characteristics mentioned in verses 3 thru 12 in Matthew 5. These characteristics are seen in a people who know their need for God, experience God�fs heart, are humble, hungry for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers and face persecution for the right reasons.
Now that we know we are blessed what is the function of a blessed people in a crazy mixed up world? Jesus tells us very clearly in verses 13-16.
Matthew 5:13 �gYou are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
The fact that believers are to be like �gsalt�h indicates, as we relate it to the previous verses, that our function is to be one of living righteous lives and calling others to repentance. It means having an impact for God and not being ineffectual. Salt, by its very nature, flavors and preserves everything that it comes in contact with. If it did not do these things, then it would not be salt. Salt, a valuable commodity in the dry Middle East, was used in the biblical period for barter. In fact the word �gsalary�h comes from the Latin salarius (�gsalt�h). A person lacking integrity might have mixed white sand with the salt and then had more for trade. But salt mixed with sand loses some of its salty quality and becomes useless.
If a seasoning has no flavor, it has no value. If Christians make no effort to affect the world around them, they are of little value to God. If we are too much like the world, we are worthless. Christians should not blend in with everyone else. Instead, we should affect others positively, just as seasoning brings out the best flavor in food.
The only preserving and cleansing influence on earth is the believer who is living in right relationship with the Lord. This will be dramatically demonstrated when the Lord takes home those living for Him at the rapture. The people left behind will become full of fear. There will be no restraint against evil forces when the overcoming church is no longer on the earth and many will become demonized. The influence of the church that is filled with the Spirit in the world is most important for restraining evil from accomplishing everything it wants to do.
With the world on verge of economic collapse now is the time for the church to arise and show forth the glory of God. The world has misused money and has made an idol out of it. The church must lead the way by repenting of this. The love of money is the root of all evil. To keep from being caught in this trap of the enemy we must be obedient to the command to honor the Lord with a tenth of our income, our tithe. Man�fs efforts to save the economy will not work unless they repent of their greed and begin to honor the Lord with their tithe. This is the only way for the world economy to fully recover. As soon as the church is taken out of the world, a false recovery system will be forced upon the world by the Anti-Christ who will require people to worship him or lose their life.
Not only is our function to be �gsalt�h but we also are to be �glight�h.
Matt. 5:14 �gYou are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Can you hide a city that is sitting on top of a mountain? Its light at night can be seen for miles. If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what Christ is like. We hide our light by (1) being quiet when we should speak, (2) going along with the crowd, (3) denying the light, (4) letting sin dim our light, (5) not explaining our light to others, or (6) ignoring the needs of others. Be a beacon of truth?don�ft shut your light off from the rest of the world.
The fact that believers are to be like �glight�h (5:14-16) emphasizes the aspect of visibility. As light attracts people and dispels darkness, so believers are to illumine the way to Jesus the Messiah, the true source of light. The doing of good works is a form of that light. Good works will inspire others to believe in and glorify God. Putting light �gon a stand�h and letting it �gshine for all�h is done by being obedient to our Lord�fs commission to go into all the world and share the good news. (Matt. 28:19).
We are to be effective, godly influence on this earth. We are the only ones that can truly make a lasting difference. In Revelation 3:15-21 we see the Lord keeps very good records about our works.
Revelation 3:15 �gI know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, �eI am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing�f?and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked? 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
The attitude of being secure in our routine means no refining in our life is taking place. We are coasting through life only receiving not giving. The Lord disciplines us that we can wake up and confess our lukewarm attitude and allow our faith to be refined. The Lord yearns for our fellowship. Please open the door and spend some time with Him. He loves us and as we follow Him He will make us overcomers in any situation.
Our function is to be salt and light to a lost world. This kind of influence must come out of a growing relationship with your Heavenly Father in the secret place as described in Matthew 6:6.
Matt. 6:6 �gBut you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.�h
The secret place is the most glorious place to be. It is the place of transformation. It is the place of receiving answers to our prayers. This most Holy Place as Hebrews 10:19-25 makes reference of is the place of preparation where we receive all we need for the building up of the body of Christ so that we all are ready for His coming.
Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
We must be a people fulfilling our function of being �gsalt�h and �glight�h in the church and outside. Spend time with our Lord or we will not be able to continue to take our stand for Christ in a very dark world. We live in times when decisive action to live for God can no longer be put off. So church of the living God arise and shine for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.