“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16, KJV).
In the verses following the familiar blesseds of the Beatitudes, Jesus instructs us that we are to be both salt and light in a world that needs to be seasoned with His presence and power, in darkness that must be dispelled by His light in us.
He has empowered us to exert influence in our world. The question is – will we? We are often very clear on the call to be separate from the world, to be distinctly different from the world not just outwardly but inwardly. Sometimes I fear, though, that we have adopted a survival mentality rather than realizing that He has called us to change our world!
There are three distinct ways we can exert our influence, with power to change. We must first use the power of prayer. I Timothy 2:1-2 compels us: “…that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” We must pray for our world. Our God is global; our prayers must be as well.
We must exert His power in us through the power of truth. Alexander Solzhenitzyn’s once wrote that “one word of truth outweighs the whole world.” Yet that one word must be heard. In a world that challenges the sanctity of life, we cannot and must not be silent. In a world that is challenging the validity of the Word of God, we must proclaim His truth.
As Salt and Light, we must use the power of example. When people see our good works, they will give glory to our Father in heaven. It’s an old Sunday School song that poses the question – and answer – “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine…”
The old adage says, “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.” The rest of the story is – I spent enough time on a farm growing up to know, “You can, however, put salt in his oats.” Salt makes people thirsty!
Jesus says, “Come everyone who thirsts!”
It seems the darkness of sin is getting every blacker in these days in which we live. Rather than letting the darkness seep into our lives, we must sanctify ourselves, keeping the vessel clean so the light can shine forth clearly.
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth…You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept… 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…” (The Message).