Salt and Light
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God; that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (I Pet. 2:9)
It is reality, not arrogance, to say that we, who are eternally joined to the King of the universe, are special and radically different from all others. For God has called us His ambassadors. We represent His kingdom here on earth. As salt and light profoundly alter the taste and appearance of everything they contact, so God's life in and through us makes a difference in every life we touch.
God has always sought intimate friendship with His people. He wants us to seek, know and love Him; for only then can He fill our lives with the abundance of riches He longs to share with us. This is the message He wants us to communicate to others.
This message may be spoken, but primarily it must be lived. Words that tell others about Jesus become stale and empty if His life is not seen in us. We may teach the significance and function of salt and light, but there is no credibility unless we indeed are salt and light. This happens, not primarily by doing, but by believing we are who He says we are: His children, friends and fellow workers sent into the world to be salt and light by the power of His Spirit.
This is our choice: Will we live according to the old pattern as if no transformation occurred? Or will we believe what He says about us and trust that He who lives In us will make us effective as salt and light in this world - so that He (not we) be known and glorified.
My Lord, I have no light of my own, nor can I be salt apart from you. Live In me that I may continually partake of your nature and be a beacon of your life wherever I am. Keep me so close to you that no wedge can come between us and hinder the flow of your light through me to others. Thank you, precious Light.
First Day: Read Matthew 5:13. You are "in the world" not "of the world" on the King's mission. Will you walk and work with Him?
1. According to this verse, who are you?
2. What are the functions of salt? How does it affect what it touches?
3. Function implies a need. Why does the earth need salt? (Consider the condition of earth)
4. As "salt of the earth", what is your function here? (Give an example)
5. How do you remain "salty", so that the work He has given you may be accomplished? Conversely, what would make you "tasteless" and your work ineffective? (Remember the message of the beatitudes)
Second Day: Read Matthew 5:14-16.
1. According to v. 14, who are you?
2. Since God has chosen light to illustrate an aspect of His own being, consider some of the characteristics of light. Write what God shows you now, then look for more "light" as you complete this lesson.
a. What is the function of light?
b. What hinders the effectiveness of light? How might you block His light in and through you?
3. How can you be and do what He asks? (You might start with Ps. 139: 23-24. Finish with a practical example from your own life.)
Third Day: Read John 8:12.
1. Who does Jesus say that He is?
2. How then, is it possible for you to be "the light of the world?"
3. How might you continually "have the light of life"?
4. The above answer may be short, but notice that this statement is a summary of the message of all the beatitudes. What, therefore, does it include?
5. If you choose not to follow Him, what happens? Describe this condition. (Keep in mind that Christians who choose not to follow Him experience a different form of darkness than those who have never received His light.
6. How does John 1:4-9 deepen your understanding of the nature of Jesus and light?
Fourth Day: Read Ephesians 5: 8-13. By your union with Jesus Christ, the light of His life is always available to you. He wants you to receive and use it His way; for then He and you together will bring light to those in darkness. Not all who are exposed to the light will desire or receive it (John 1: 11-12, and 19), but those who do become His "children of light".
1. Explain the contrast given in v. 8.
2. How are you to live?
3. Personal: What difference do you make in the lives of others when you live as God's "child of light?"
4. What do others then see?
Fifth Day: Read Revelation 2:1-5. True light springs from an inner love relationship, not from outward action, no matter how great and noble the work or its motive.
1. For what good deeds and qualities did God commend the Ephesians? (Notice for whom they labored.)
2. Yet, God was not pleased. What was missing? Explain.
3. When "first love" fades, what else is lost? Explain.
4. What steps lead back into the love relationship which restores and triumphs?
(Personal) Ask God to give you His wisdom and understanding of the love relationship He desires with you. What Is He showing you about '"first love"? (See Matt. 22: 37 and II Cor. 11: 2-3)
Sixth Day: Read Isaiah 49: 6 and Acts 13: 47.
1. What message did God speak first through Isaiah, then through Paul and Barnabas? (Keep in mind that most of God's promises to Israel are for you as well; for "if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring according to promise..." Gal. 3:29)
2. Since you are joined to Christ, what is the purpose of your life?
3. Personal: Write Him your response to His commission.
The Secret of Abundant Life: Lesson 12
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