"Everyday Salt and Light."
October 13, 2021, 8:38 PM

On September 19, 2021, we started a sermon series titled, “The Purpose of the Church.” Each sermon and each devotional focused on why the church exists. So far, we have defined the church, talked about what Christians should be dedicated to, and we have looked at the foundational confession of the church. Our devotional last week defined the purpose of the church. The purpose of the church is to glorify God. The goal of everything that the church does is to bring glory to God. One of the main ways we glorify God as the church is by making disciples. That is, we glorify God when we share the good news of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ to all people.

Our Scripture for this devotional is from a section in Matthew known as the Sermon on the Mount. This is an extended section of Jesus’ teaching. Matthew didn’t record the whole sermon, but Matthew gives us a large account of what Jesus preached on that occasion. The sermon on the mount covers three full chapters of Matthew, starting in chapter 5.

In this section, Jesus speaks directly to His disciples about their identity. He tells His disciples that they are “the salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” These two images help us see the character of Jesus’ disciples, and our role as disciples in the world. In this devotional I am going to look briefly at the imagery of salt and light, and then I am going to give some practical application of ways that we can bring glory to God in our everyday life as salt and light.

Salt was hugely important in the ancient world. It was used in a variety of ways from preserving meat to even paying soldiers. Salt has a lot of different uses today as well. Salt is, when you think about it, still very valuable. When it comes to this imagery of salt from Jesus, it can be tempting to push the imagery too hard and try to find very precise ways in which we are salt. The bottom line is that salt and light are both things that have an impact on something else. Salt impacts meat, which is how it preserves or flavors it. Light impacts darkness. Both salt and light are agents of change. They are also distinct. Salt is different from meat. Meat would naturally rot, but salt can prevent that corruption if used properly. Light is also distinct from darkness.

Salt and light are also agents of change. Salt changes whatever it is put on. Light changes the darkness and helps us to see what was hidden in the dark. Jesus’ disciples are to be agents of change. We are to live in a way that brings glory to God the Father. If our purpose as the church is to bring glory to God, what does that look like in our personal lives? Last week we saw that every follower of Jesus is to be involved in making disciples. What might that look like? If we are all supposed to be involved in disciple making and evangelism, how can we do that every day?

As you read this, you may be thinking something like, “I don’t have enough influence in life to make disciples. I don’t even have time to make disciples! How am I supposed to live faithfully as salt and light?” Here is some good news, you have more impact and influence than you think you do. Each one of us has multiple spheres of influence in our lives where we can live faithfully as salt and light.

As we see so much strife and division in the world around us, it can be tempting to keep our conversations about Jesus to ourselves and within the church. It can be hard to put ourselves out there in this way.

The Lord has promised us that people will come to faith through the witness of His church. The work of conversion (transforming people’s hearts) is the work of the Holy Spirit. However, God works through us in a way that maybe we don’t fully understand. Our words can awaken someone, or even confirm someone’s feelings toward God.

God hasn’t called each one of us to be in foreign missions, but He has called us to a mission – the spread of the Gospel. This can be intimidating. So, I want to follow up with ways that we can be faithful to the Great Commission as salt and light in our own areas of impact. I have divided up the rest of this devotional into five areas where each one of us has influence. These are our spheres of influence. Read through each section and you might be surprised at some of the ways you can live practically, every day, as salt and light in this world.

  1. Home – Are you a parent of young children? Bring them to church. Teach them to pray. Pray before meals. Read the Bible to them (there are some great resources for parents out there). Are you a parent of older children? Invite them to church. Pray before meals. Share with them how your faith has made a difference in your life. Talk with them about your faith and their faith. Ask how they are doing and invest in their lives.
  2. Work – This is difficult because it may be hard to broach the subject of faith in this environment. Work can be constricting with what is appropriate. However, treating people with kindness and helping others when you can is an excellent way to be salt and light in the workplace. Refusing to participate in gossip or talking negatively about a boss can set a great example for others. It can be as simple as talking about going to church when people ask you about your weekend plans.
  3. Public – Be intentional of how you treat others. If an opportunity arises in a conversation to talk about Jesus, take the time to do so. There are many missed opportunities to witness simply because we think the time might be “inappropriate” somehow. We are salt and light everywhere we go.
  4. Congregation – Seek to help those younger than you grow in their faith. Provide an example of Christian maturity to those in the congregation. Seek to be a leader if you have the gifts for leadership. See how you can fit and contribute to the work of the congregation.
  5. Personal life – Pursue godliness in your personal life. When no one is looking, seek to be a person of integrity, seek to be salt and light even when no one is watching. Pray for the city you live in, your family, your friends, the government, the world. Pray that God uses you and the congregation to do His work.

Remember, God is with you every step of every day. He has given you grace and mercy through Jesus Christ and has given every Christian the gift of the Holy Spirit to sustain us. May God bless you and bless those you encounter as you strive to be salt and light to everyone you meet.