Tag Archives: salt and light

Choosing To Love

One of the places I find myself at odds with mainstream Christianity in America (and maybe you too) is how we treat non-believers. In today’s culture, Christians are under attack for our faith. There is a war for the heart of this nation that we find ourselves in. The problem is that the enemy uses people and groups to attack us, and we fight back with these groups of people. We’ve forgotten that our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of the unseen world. We never once read where Jesus attacked the people who were attacking Him. Instead, He loved them and fought against their spiritual darkness by bringing light.

We as Christians have been called to be salt and light. Who needs those? People who are living in the dark and need God’s flavors sprinkled in their life. How can we bring light when we are constantly attacking the person? How can we show them how to taste and see that the Lord is good when we consider them our foes? We’ve can’t afford to be distracted by the enemy and fall into the trap of attacking others. We are to be known for our love rather than our disdain. How can we show God’s love when we are meeting hate with hate?

In Colossians 4:5, Paul urges us, “Be wise in the way you act toward those who are not believers, making good use of every opportunity you have” (GNT). His message was to the Christians there to remind them of the roots of their faith. I believe we too need that reminder. We need to pray for wisdom in how we show God’s love to those who are against our faith, and that we do it in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Our mission hasn’t changed. If we want to turn this world upside down again, it’s going to come from God’s love through us not from our human attempts to force change.

Photo by Leighann Renee on Unsplash

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Helping One Another


Yesterday, I went to a friend’s house who had been flooded by Hurricane Harvey. As I walked down their road, my heart sank. There were piles of people’s lives in their yards. Some were about 8 feet high and about 20 feet long. These piles contained years of things they had purchased and collected over time. There were things that can’t be replaced that are lost forever. As my eyes began to fill with tears, i noticed something else. Both sides of the street had cars and trucks parked on it all the way down.

All of these houses had people coming to volunteer to help them begin the process of starting over. As we walked down the driveway, a golf cart pulled up behind us. A lady and her daughters asked, “Are tall hungry? We’ve made food for workers.” Soon after, a man walked up offering bottled water. In the midst of destruction, people were helping just as they have been doing during this entire storm. It was encouraging to me to see so many people doing what they could.

As Christians, we are to encourage and help others whenever possible. Part of being salt and light is proactively helping others in dark situations. If you want to show the world Jesus, show up in the hardest times, not just when it’s convenient. Sacrifice your time and resources for those in need. This world could use a lot of help, hope, and encouragement.

Here are several Bible verses on encouraging others and helping them. 

1. And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 GNT

2. And let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds.
HEBREWS 10:24 AMP

3. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Romans 12:11-13 MSG

4. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Romans 12:8 NLT

5. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need — how can God’s love reside in him? Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.
1 John 3:17-18 HCSB

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Your Reputation


What takes a lifetime to build, but can be destroyed in seconds? Your reputation. As Christians, we should be concerned about our reputation. When people think about you, is “Christ-like” a word they would use to describe you? You and I are called to be salt and light. When I cook, I use salt because it never takes on the flavor of the food. Instead it interacts with the food it’s with and enhances the favors already there. Salt that’s still in the shaker only has the potential to affect flavors.

When people think of you, would they say you enhance their life? Do you bring flavor? We are all known for something by those around us. It’s time we thought of what that is and asked God to help us be more Christ-like. Of course, God’s idea of who we are should be more important to us than man’s. However, you and I have a mission to seek and save the lost. If we have a poor reputation, how will anyone listen to our message. I once heard someone say, “I can’t hear what you’re saying because you’re actions are so loud.”

God is concerned about how we bear His name. Here are some verses that talk about reputation.

1. So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him.

1 Timothy 3:2-4 NLT

2. Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that, although they may slander you as evildoers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God in the day of inspection [when God shall look upon you wanderers as a pastor or shepherd looks over his flock].

1 Peter 2:12 AMP

3. A wise person gets known for insight; gracious words add to one’s reputation.

Proverbs 16:21 MSG

4. If you are always planning evil, you will earn a reputation as a troublemaker.

Proverbs 24:8 GNT

5. An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious.

Titus 1:6 NLT

6. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil’s trap.

1 Timothy 3:7 AMP

7. Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom; hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.

Proverbs 28:7 MSG

8. Fire tests gold and silver; a person’s reputation can also be tested.

Proverbs 27:21 GNT

9. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Proverbs 3:3-4 NLT

10. A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.

Proverbs 22:1 MSG

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You Are The Light

My son has recently started saying he is afraid of the dark. As an adult, I try to explain to him that there is no need to be afraid of it, but I get no where with him. To help him out, we installed a night light and a lamp with a timer on it. Some nights he wants the bathroom lights on too. Having more light makes him feel more secure and allows him to rest. Later, when he matures, he will see there’s no reason to be afraid of the dark. It reminds me of the darkness that this world has and the light that you and I are called to be.

This world has been a dark place for a very long time. In fact, John wrote about it in the first chapter of his Gospel. He wrote, “The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.” The darkness of this world cannot extinguish the light of Jesus. It has tried for two thousand years to put it out, but it can’t because Jesus didn’t take the light with Him to Heaven. Instead, He gave it to us.

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” He put His light in us so that we could spread light everywhere we go. Why then would we be afraid of the darkness of this world? Why wouldn’t we go to those who are in darkness and bring light into their world? Jesus said in the next verse, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.” It wouldn’t make sense for me to put a cover on the night light in my son’s room and it doesn’t make sense for us to hide our light.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your good deeds shine for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” Just as He came into the world and brought the light of Heaven down, so He is asking us to share our light with others. He wants us to do good to those we meet. You don’t know what darkness they’re living in. It doesn’t matter really because the light you have inside can chase it away and ignite the light in them. You just have to decide if you are going to hide your light under a basket or to allow God to place you on a lamp stand for all to see.

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Encouragement For The Discouraged

Getting discouraged is something we all face in life over and over again. It can come from not getting the job we wanted, being rejected by someone, unanswered prayers or unmet expectations. It’s a mind game really. Our thoughts after a disappointment determine how we feel and how we feel determines how we behave. The more we behave in a disappointed manor, the more our thoughts takes us down the hole towards depression. Those thoughts lead to worse feelings which translate into worse behavior. It’s a downward spiral that’s hard to get out of. I’ve been caught in it before and here’s how I found my way out.

The first thing is to recognize the negative thoughts when they come in and to stop them. II Corinthians 10:5 tell us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The Message says, “Fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the life shaped by Christ.” We can’t let destructive thinking roam free in our minds. We have to capture those thoughts, emotions and impulses that affect how we feel and bring them into captivity. To overcome discouragement, we have to quit dwelling on those thoughts and replace them with the promises of God.

The next thing we need to do is refocus our attention on God. David felt very discouraged after having been anointed king of Israel because instead of taking the throne, he was hiding in caves being pursued by the man he was replacing. He spent a lot of lonely nights wondering where God was and why He wasn’t fulfilling His promise. David called out to his inner man and challenged himself. In Psalm 43:5 he said, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again!” You choose where to put your hope. If it’s in yourself or someone else, you’ll be disappointed. If it’s in God, you will not be.

Finally, surround yourself with people who will lift your spirits and stay away from those who will take you further down the hole. In II Corinthians 7, Paul was being persecuted and was feeling discouraged. He was going down the depression hole when God sent him Titus. In verse 7 he wrote, “But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.” To me, nothing helps pull me out of the darkness of discouragement that fellow believers bearing light. We are meant to help each other by bearing each other’s burdens. If you can’t find someone in your circle who can bring that light, pray that the God who encourages the discouraged would send someone your way to encourage you.

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Stand And Shine

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Every year at this time, I’m amazed at how many Christians are scared of Halloween. They believe that in partaking in it, they are partaking in witchcraft or celebrating the devil’s holiday. I get it if they don’t want to dress up and go knocking door to door asking for candy. What I don’t get is sitting at home in the dark with the lights out hoping no one comes and knocks on their door. To me, that is the opposite of what Christians should be doing. We should have the most lit up yard and offer the best candy available. We should have a table set up in our driveway and be sitting out there hoping others will come join us in conversation.

In Matthew 5, Jesus said we were to be salt and light. He didn’t tell us to run and hide. In verses 14-16 in the Message Jesus says, “Here’s another way to put it: you’re here to be light, bringing out God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in Heaven.”

Jesus said to keep an open house and to be generous with your lives. He didn’t tell us to hide our light and to give in to darkness. He told us to do the opposite. If there is no light, there can only be darkness. Why would we hide our light on a day where it is needed most? To me, that is falling into the enemy’s trap. He wants you to hide your light. He wants you to close your door. He doesn’t want you talking to your neighbors because they might hear you, open up and talk about your faith. Jesus said that when you open up to others, you’ll prompt them to open up to God.

Most of us are scared to go door to door to share our faith. There may be people in your church who do it, but it’s not something most of us would ever do. We make excuses, we tell ourselves it’s ineffective, we say it’s offensive and we don’t want to push people away. Yet on Halloween, you don’t have to go door to door witnessing. You have people coming to your door hungry, looking for something more than candy. They’re looking for lights so they know whose door to knock on. Oddly enough, the ones who bear the true Light are cowering in darkness. They’re putting their light under a bucket while the lost search for it.

You don’t have to celebrate Halloween. You don’t have to dress up. But I believe you are playing into the enemy’s hands and doing the opposite of what God has called you to do if you turn off your lights and hide. We are called to be salt and light. As Jesus put it in Matthew 5:13, “If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” Don’t lose your usefulness on Halloween. Let God use you to build relationships with your neighbors, open up conversations and to talk to others about God. Don’t run and hide, stand and shine.

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Stand and Shine

20131031-075421.jpg

Every year at this time, I’m amazed at how many Christians are scared of Halloween. They believe that in partaking in it, they are partaking in witchcraft or celebrating the devil’s holiday. I get it if they don’t want to dress up and go knocking door to door asking for candy. What I don’t get is sitting at home in the dark with the lights out hoping no one comes and knocks on their door. To me, that is the opposite of what Christians should be doing. We should have the most lit up yard and offer the best candy available. We should have a table set up in our driveway and be sitting out there hoping others will come join us in conversation.

In Matthew 5, Jesus said we were to be salt and light. He didn’t tell us to run and hide. In verses 14-16 in the Message Jesus says, “Here’s another way to put it: you’re here to be light, bringing out God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in Heaven.”

Jesus said to keep an open house and to be generous with your lives. He didn’t tell us to hide our light and to give in to darkness. He told us to do the opposite. If there is no light, there can only be darkness. Why would we hide our light on a day where it is needed most? To me, that is falling into the enemy’s trap. He wants you to hide your light. He wants you to close your door. He doesn’t want you talking to your neighbors because they might hear you open up and talk about God. Jesus said that when you open up to others, you’ll prompt them to open up to God.

Most of us are scared to go door to door to share our faith. There may be people in your church who do it, but it’s not something most of us would ever do. We make excuses, we tell ourselves it’s ineffective, we say it’s offensive and we don’t want to push people away. Yet tonight, you don’t have to go door to door witnessing. You have people coming to your door hungry, looking for something more than candy. They’re looking for Light to see whose door to knock on. Oddly enough, the ones who bear the true light are cowering in darkness. They’re putting their light under a bucket while the lost search for light.

You don’t have to celebrate Halloween tonight. You don’t have to dress up. But I believe you are playing into the enemy’s hands and doing the opposite of what God has called you to do if you turn off your lights and hide. We are called to be salt and light. As Jesus put it in Matthew 5:13, “If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” Don’t lose your usefulness tonight. Let God use you to build relationships with your neighbors, open up conversations and to talk to others about God. Don’t run and hide, stand and shine.

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