After the turkey… after the shopping… plug your brain back in and read/listen to some challenging work. Continue reading “Weekend reading”
It is not enough to think that if someone simply has a church they can walk by that they have an “adequate” witness of the gospel.
We to be IN the lives of those who do not yet believe so they have an opportunity to see Jesus in some form of reality. Let us not be lazy and think we’re going to let some TV ministry be an adequate witness of the gospel to someone who never turned on some particular program.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14” You are the light of the world- like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matt. 5:13-16, NLT)
The use of salt and light reflect on how we are to live as believers in our society. We are not to withdraw and be separatists. Yet, we cannot hold out hope for a “Christian” government. We are the preserving agent, and anyone who argues otherwise is choosing to read history with their own stained glass readers.
In reading some commentaries on this passage in my study, I also found this thought:
But we must remain active preservative agents, indeed irritants, in calling the world to heed God’s standards. (New American Commentary on Matthew)
I am liking that word, to be honest. It is a great word in a day when the powers that be in Washington can’t get things ironed out. I can say with some sense of glee: “A pox on both your houses!”
Why? Because I’m called to be an irritant!
But not just for the sake of being irritating. Some people REALLY have that gift…
But to shed true light in areas of darkness. The things of darkness are irritated when light comes around.
So, BEHOLD, go forth and be an irritant for Jesus today!
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (Jn 20:21-23, NIV)
We are new creations in Christ. Jesus didn’t save us to send us to heaven. He saved us to send us into the world.
We go as the Father sent the Son. It’s a good idea to actually look at what the Son did, and then go do the same.
Jesus mentions a huge one here: forgiveness. We live in the power of the Kingdom. We are agents of the Kingdom to bind and loose.
We are literally “playing with fire.” It is a baptism of fire.
It is necessary to take our faith in Christ seriously.