SUNDAY LEFTOVERS: This is not about food. Think of it as a doggie bag filled with the essence of a Sunday Sermon. It might be something that stood out to me that I want to investigate further, something I might need to work on in my life, or maybe just an uplifting quote that is "Refrigerator Worthy" (RW) as our pastor often says. It might be me putting a sermon into my own words to help me remember it and internalize it. Whatever it is, I hope it will help both you and me in our walk with God.
Yesterday our sermon was about Upside Down, Inside Out Living. It was about being different from the world. Too often we are caught up in the world and the values that the world has and forget about the values that God has taught us. When we do that, we are worse than the world, because we profess to be Christians and when others see us living as the world lives, it sends the wrong message about who and what Christians are supposed to be.
Jesus said, in the Sermon on the Mount, "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world--like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:13-16 NLT
Salt was used in the time before refrigeration to preserve fish and meat and keep them from decaying. Too much salt would ruin the food and make it inedible and it had to be thrown out. Salt does no good if it is not applied. We must apply what we learn from God to the way we live so that others can sense that there is something different about us. If we set ourselves out to be better or higher than others, it is the same as adding too much salt and our message becomes impossible to take.
Light reveals what is hidden in the darkness. We should be transformed beings. Being the light of the world means that people should be able to look at us and see Christ in us--not only by our words but by how we live our lives.
Consider these two statements:
1) People aren't afraid of Jesus, they are afraid of Christians.
2) Bumper Sticker: Jesus, please protect me from your followers.
You might laugh but they speak volumes about what happens when we become judgmental, self-righteous, sanctimonious Christians, following our own agenda instead of God's. Jesus told us to tell everyone of the Good News. He did not tell us to hit people over the head with it, use it to glorify ourselves or be judgmental.
To be salt and light, we have to do two things:
1) We must desire to be something different from the world.
2) We must make a decision to give up our own agenda and to follow God's.
When you put these two things together, you will begin devoting your life to radical upside down living.
For more information from Jesus about upside down living, read: Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 6:33 and Matthew 7:24-27.
Okay, this IS about food....