It is back to school time! Many districts and universities have already begun classes and Monday, the rest of us join them. The rooms and lessons are prepared. The students have the new backpacks, new clothes, and supplies ready to go. There is a sense of expectation and hope as we begin.
In your preparing, remember that we also are entering our mission field. Each day we will have a great opportunity to represent Jesus to people who desperately need Him. Your students/classmates, teachers/coworkers all need the Lord. How we interact with them will be an opportunity to share His love. Our life should put Him on display in every circumstance.
Jesus said it this way,
“”You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV
Salt and light both make a big impact. You notice them! You miss them in their absence. But it isn’t just about getting attention. Notice that last verse. As they see our good works, they give glory to the Father. We must live in a way that points people to God. Otherwise, we are no good like salt that has lost its flavor.
As we begin a new year, let’s be salt and light. You know, this works everywhere we go, not just at school. All disciples of Jesus need to shine His love and glorify the Father every day.
Every school day around 6:20 am, I get my two children corralled into the truck and we leave for the thirteen mike trek to school. We get to do this because my daughter has choir and recorder practice early every morning. She also likes to read. Being dark in the truck at that hour, she has devised a scheme to get light by which she can read. She turns on a flashlight, and gets under her jacket or a blanket with her book. This usually works well, but the other morning, the blanket slipped and the truck was flooded with light. I couldn’t see the road or anything but the light. It was shocking!
The impact of that light reminded me of the story of Moses spending time with God. After making the second set of stone tablets, he returned to Mount Sinai. “Moses was there with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. He wrote the Ten Commandments, the words of the covenant, on the tablets. As Moses descended from Mount Sinai — with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands as he descended the mountain — he did not realize that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the Lord.” (Exodus 34:28-29 HCSB)
Moses had spent time with God and it showed. His face shown with God’s glory. I wonder if we reflect the glory of God like that? Perhaps our lives don’t shine with holy glory because we aren’t putting the time in with God. There is no shortcut that I have found in this. It takes time. Spending time with the Lord in prayer and in His word is an investment we must make if we want to reflect His glory to the world around us. We should want the world to see God when they look at us. That doesn’t happen just by saying it. We must invest the time with God.
I admit it, I am a large man. One time I was at Scarborough Faire, and heard it explained. My ancestors were the Robinson sept of the Gunn clan of Scotland. The re-enactors explained that there are three kinds of Scots, wee little Scots, average Scots, and “Oh my gosh that’s a big Scot!” I clearly descend from that latter claymore wielding variety. Being large, I have to walk with a little more care than others. If I’m not careful, I hit my head on things to which the rest of you might be blissfully unaware. I also have to consider the ability of quaint wooden bridges to adequately resist the force of gravity while I am crossing them. Many times my wisdom fails as I break things and nearly knock myself out.
In life we must also consider our steps. Paul said this to the believers in Colosse. “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV). We must walk in wisdom toward unbelievers. I have always considered this to be a reminder to consider our testimony. We must never do things to push people away. Our words and actions will either draw people to Christ or scatter them away. These verses remind us to think before we speak and act. Consider the impact we will have on the people around us.
May we all walk in wisdom and this draw others to the Savior.
I’m an American and the principle of having liberty is deep within my heart, I want to be left alone to succeed or fail without an army of bureaucrats coming in and interfering. I have an awesome mother and do not need the government to act as a helicopter mom for me. From the things I eat, the cars I drive, to the light bulbs I use, I want freedom! Leave me alone and I’ll leave everyone else alone
However, in discussing liberty in 1 Corinthians 10, Paul informs believers that we sometimes must voluntarily give up our freedom for the sake of the people we are with. In Corinth, most meat markets were selling meat from pagan temples. After blood or portions of animals were used in sacrifices, the rest would be sold at the market. Paul discussed the fact that the Corinthians were free to eat whatever they wanted with thanksgiving, He also advised that if their host mentioned the food had first been offered to idols, then for the conscience of their host, they should abstain. By mentioning it, the host obviously assumed it would be sinful to eat. The dilemma for the believer was to eat because it wasn’t sinful and be viewed to be an idol worshiper, or to abstain and fulfill the expectations of the host. A believer’s testimony would be hurt if he ate after being warned. Paul concluded the discussion this way, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” (I Corinthians 10:31-33 NKJV)
In our efforts to influence people for Christ, we sometimes will have to limit our freedoms. Instead of blatantly flaunting our freedom from ritualistic laws and customs, we need to consider the effect of our actions on the audience. Ultimately, we are advised to do all for the glory of God. Instead if seeking our own profit, we should seek the profit of all, “that they might be saved.”
Although I love my liberty, I will sacrifice it temporarily in order to win someone to Christ, After that, I will work on helping them embrace liberty as well.