Let’s go public…
I’ve been enjoying reading a second reading of a paraphrase of the Bible called The Message. Of course, you all know that I love the ESV and KJV the best, but I also enjoy reading other translations and paraphrased editions of God’s Word. Lately, reading The Message, many old, familiar passages have been given a new light for me. Here’s one: “’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).
I love the way that passage kicks off; “Let me tell you why you are here.” We often feel like we have no purpose, and that there is nothing special for us to do. If you know Christ as Savior today, then you have a special mission in which God has entrusted to you. You are to bring out the God-flavor to the world. How much time do we spend being God-flavor? Most of the time, we are too busy kicking our own flavor! Over the summer, let’s not lose our saltiness or we might get kicked…kicked to the curb!
The passage goes on to say that Christ has put a light in us. How many of us walk in the dark with our hands over our flashlights? Nobody does that! It would be ridiculous! In The Message paraphrase Jesus words come out like this: “We’re going public with this.” How good are we at going public with the light Jesus has put in us? Are we covering it with a bucket? Sometimes that bucket is in the form of being cool, being lazy, or being preoccupied with selfish things. Whatever form the bucket is in your life, lose it. Jesus says “SHINE!” There is a popular song that says “Shine! Make ‘em wonder what you’ve got. Make ‘em wish that they were not on the outside looking in.” Jesus wants us to shine so that others will see Him in us and want to know Him for themselves. How’s your Jesus light bulb? Fading? Dim? Out? Bright? Burning? Blinding? Don’t cover the light…go public!
You may be saying “How do I do this?” Great question! I urge us all to find our riches in Christ., Paul said everything besides Christ was like “dung”. Before we can shine, we've GOT to make Christ our all. We must so love His presence that everything else pales in comparison. THEN we’ve got to share Him.
Now you may be saying “How do I share Him?” Boy, you guys ask some good questions! Do acts of service and kindness in the name of Christ simply because you love Him. Share the Gospel! Share it! Let that tongue tell of the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus; tell others that Jesus’s death is enough to pay for our sins and Jesus’s life is enough to change our lives, give us power and make us useful in Kingdom work!! He has been so good to us all; we simply need to spend our lives in response to Him. He’s already at work around us, so we’ve just got to join in. How about it? Want to SHINE?