“Let your good deeds shine out for all to see” Matt 5:16
Jesus continues in the Sermon on the Mount by talking about how we are to be salt and light to the world. He tells us firstly we are the salt of the earth and that salt that has lost its flavour will be “thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless” (Matt 5:13). In Bible times salt was used to keep meat from going off. It preserved it in a time before refrigerator storage. Jesus commands us to be salt for the earth, preserving it. Keeping it from going off.
Looking around the world today it is easy to see lots that is going wrong with the world and start questioning where God is, and why He lets that happen. There is so much pain, suffering, cruelty, depravity, heartache, violence and destruction. You only need to watch a news channel for a couple of minutes to see that the world desperately needs a saviour. So why does God not do anything? Well maybe He has! He has sent us to be Kingdom salt, preserving the earth. So maybe the question isn’t why hasn’t God done anything but why haven’t we done something about it.
If the world is ‘going off’ all around us and Jesus has commanded us to be salt preserving the earth then it is clear we aren’t doing our job right. If we don’t want to be thrown out as worthless we need to up our game. We have work to do as an influence for Kingdom good in society. As people turn their backs on God we need to be active in showering them with Christ’s love. To preserve the earth as Kingdom salt means taking a stand for Kingdom principles, it means hungering and thirsting for justice. It means seeking not our best life now but seeking first the kingdom of God, loving sacrificially, living in such a way as to be a blessing not as burden, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves, championing the cause of the oppressed, laying aside luxuries we don’t need so that others can have the basic essentials we take for granted every day, doing it all for the sake of the kingdom. It means not being afraid to take a stand for unpopular opinions when society rejects God’s standards. It means declaring God’s truth even when people don’t want to hear it. The sad truth is that no matter how hard we do some will still reject the glorious invitation to God’s Kingdom. But we cannot let it be said that we did not try. We do not want the earth to not be preserved because we were not salty enough.
Jesus then continues to say that we are “the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden” (Matt 5:14). The implication here is clear – our Christian lives should be visible. We are called to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) not secret agents for the kingdom. There is something wrong if people only know we are Christians from our Facebook info page or Twitter bio. If we are doing our job of being Kingdom salt then the light of Christ will be shining bright through us and all around will see. And like flies they will be drawn to the light as they see in us a joy worth having. When people see Christ’s light in us they will see there is something different about us. They will see we have a hope and a peace that nothing else can offer. As we let our “good deeds shine out for all to see” those around us will be drawn to the Kingdom life we are showing them and will join us in praising our heavenly Father (Matt 5:16).
So what are you waiting for? Do not let your light be hidden. Burn bright with the light of Christ, bringing Kingdom hope and preservation to a world that so desperately needs it.
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”” 2 Corinthians 5:20
- Is it up to God to do something about all that is wrong in the world, or do we have a part to play?
- What salty actions could you take for the sake of the Kingdom today? This week? With the rest of your life?
- If people look at you would they be able to see the light of the world or would it be hidden? Why? How can you make it more visible?