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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
February 5, 2011

     Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt - seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
     Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand - shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 (Message*)

As God's people, we are to shine. This isn't by drawing attention to ourselves, or by consciously doing things that will make people notice us. Rather, we allow the “salt” - the spirit of Christ - to permeate us so that we just naturally act in ways that reveal God's love for all. We do this in all humility, because we are imbued with a spirit of service and have put to death the desire for personal glory.

This manifests itself in the form of the second part of Jesus' Great Commandment. We are full of love for others. We are generous with our lives. We open up to others. We allow ourselves to be bathed in God's grace, and it just naturally overflows from us and blesses others.

You may say this sounds great, but how do we get to the place where we're actually like that? We adjust our priorities so there is time to simply open ourselves up to God, and allow the Spirit of Christ to shine on the dark areas of our selves, so they may be cleansed, and to fill us - making us a new creation, as Paul observes. The spiritual disciplines (practices) are meant for this purpose.

Jesus is not telling us to do something that can't be done. However, we can't do it in our own will and power. As he promised, Christ has sent us the Holy Spirit to do this work in us. May we allow the Spirit to do its good work in us.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2011 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 12-Feb-2011 22:31:07 EST