Kingdom Influence: Will You Answer the Call?

by | Jan 14, 2023 | 0 comments

Jesus says in Matthew 5: 13:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” – Matthew 5:13.

The salt. It can make things taste good. If you put salt in an open wound it stings…a lot. Yet we use it, for its many healing properties.

We, as believers, are called to be the SALT in a wounded world. 

That’s a pretty, big directive.  

It means, we may say things that are going to initially “hurt” people who are in Darkness. Those who don’t know Jesus. But that saltiness can be the seed planted that leads them to their ultimate HEALING and salvation through a relationship with Christ!

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

So what he’s saying here, is basically, when I leave it is YOU, my followers who will be the light of the world.

But wait- what about John 8:12, when Jesus said “I am the light of the world”?

Which one is it…. Jesus or Us?

Tony Clark that explained it beautifully.  He said JESUS is the SUN and we are the Moon.   The Moon doesn’t shine it’s own light… it’s actually a reflection of the SUN.

So as believers we are reflecting the LIGHT of Jesus! 

In fact, the word “Light” in Greek is “Phos”… that’s where we get the word photograph.  So, you and I are called to be a clear picture of Jesus in this dark world.

In Matthew 5:15, Jesus continues:

“Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house

Let’s key into the end of that verse… that the lamp gives light in the HOUSE.

You and I are first called to shine our light, the Light of Christ, in our own HOMES. 

We can’t just to go out and do great things, but at home we’re yelling at everyone, impatient with everyone, angry or unkind to our spouse and kids.  

We’re called to first be the Light in our own home.  

This is important.  Especially for those of us who have kids in the home. Y’all, our children are under spiritual attack. The Enemy doesn’t give them a pass just because they are young.  He wants them young. We MUST be the light.

For those who have spouses who are believers but may be living in sin, or those with spouses who are unbelievers… we need to be the light.  Why?

We are the reflection of Jesus to our spouses.

This is especially the case for those whose spouse is an unbeliever. YOU may be the only piece of “Jesus” that he or she sees. You’re the flame.

Now let’s go back and put this in the context of the previous verse…where Jesus says: “A city on a hill is not hidden…”

In the daylight, you can see the city clearly, right? Yet at night, in the darkness, the only way someone would know there’s a city there is from the light from the individual houses.

Jesus continues in Matthew 5:16:  

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

To whom shall we shine? To others.  There are 3 billion people in darkness right now in this world.  They do not have the hope that Jesus brings. Their future is bleak. They desperately need light.

Why? What does the LIGHT do?

  1. Reveal Truth
  2. Expose Darkness

Friends, you and I are KINGDOM INFLUENCERS.

We need to be making it a habit to be bold and speak Truth in an age where truth has been perverted. Where Truth (which is absolute) has now become “relative”.  Everyone has their own truths. Which when you think about it, is pretty absurd.

Either 1 +1 =2 or it doesn’t. Can’t equal 3 for one person and 6 for another, and 2 for someone else.

The Enemy has slithered in and planted a rotten seed- the seed of the concept of a relative truth.

Everyone can have their own perceptions…their own set of core values.

But absolute Truth cannot be relative.

As Believers, we know that the God’s inerrant Word is Truth.  It is Light in the Darkness. It exposes darkness for what it is.

And people need to see it for what it is.  

As strange as it sounds, darkness has become “not so obvious’ to a whole lot of people.

Why? Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:14: “Because Satan disguises himself as an Angel of Light”.

So we have to be the LIGHT to expose the tricks of the enemy- the deception, before the Enemy has a chance to steal, kill and destroy.

And we know that’s what he’s up to—thanks to John 10:10. 

If we continue in Matthew 5:16- Jesus says the we are to allow others to see our GOOD WORKS and glorify our Father in heaven.

Why would we want them to see our “Good Works”?  Is it so that we get praise for being really nice people?

Of course not!

It’s because they can’t SEE our faith.  That’s invisible. But they CAN see our Good Works.  

It’s kinda like an Iceberg.  People only see the top, but there’s immense depth beneath the surface.

Think of someone like Tim Tebow. Amazing football player.  Very kind guy.  Writes great books- by the way.  He does many Good Works.  We don’t see Tim Tebow embattled in a bunch of scandal.   His light is shining….and I have no doubt that countless people have come to the Lord because they just “want” what Tim Tebow has. 

In my own life, in early 2022 I was battling with my son’s sudden and very serious medical issues in .  

I had A LOT of people asking how I could possibly be as truly PEACEFUL, positive and calm as I was in the midst of a sustained crazy storm of hospital stays, ambulance rides, ER trips?

Was it all of my personal growth studies?

Some ninja mind hack?

No.

I had the opportunity to tell them—it was Jesus.  

I later learned that there were quite a few women who turned back to the Lord or strengthened their relationship with Him through my story.

Why? The light they saw shining through me in the midst of a stormy season.

Before I wrap up, I want to go deeper really quickly in something that will make you uncomfortable.  Sorry, not sorry.

Let’s go back to Matthew 5:13: “You are the Salt of the Earth” and let’s put with Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men”

We are called to be the SALT and the LIGHT.

But honestly, when you look at the state of our World and unfortunately the state of the Global Church…. I think we are falling short on both fronts.   

We are NOT being the Salt or Light as we have been directed by Jesus.  Why?

We’re “going along, to get along”. We somehow have gotten it in our heads (thanks to the Enemy) that being NICE means being quiet. 

That we are to keep our Salt & Light Inside the four walls of our home or our church. We don’t dare take it out to the people sitting in the darkness… if we don’t condone their worldly ways- they are happy to accuse us of being judgmental and hateful.

For that reason, we have been consumed (and I’m raising my hand over here) by a FEAR of offense.  

What fear?

The Fear of Loss.

Loss of a friend. Loss of a job. Rejection by people. 

Jesus knew this would happen! He said as much a few verses above in Matthew 5:10-11:

“Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness, sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

He KNEW.  He KNEW this would happen.  But a couple of things to remember:

  1. There is NOT loss you can suffer that God cannot replace.  God hasn’t left the throne, sister. He’s still there.
  2. In Matthew 5:12, Jesus says “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

To wrap up…

We, as believers, are called to reflect the LIGHT and SALTINESS of Jesus.  Remember, Jesus didn’t walk around in those 3 years of ministry just “going along to get along”.

No, he was the SALT, he spoke the TRUTH that heals. The TRUTH that saves.

And he did SO in a loving way.  Not a judgmental way- but a loving way. Jesus didn’t throw stones at the adulterous woman- when others were ready to… he showed love and mercy.   

Note also that He didn’t CONDONE the sin. in John 8:11, Jesus said “Neither do I condemn you; go and from now on sin no more” 

Be the Salt & Light in LOVE.

It’s hard y’all. It’s hard. But I want to challenge you to have KINGDOM INFLUENCE in this dark world. We are needed.

  1. SPEAK UP when given the opportunity. That doesn’t mean shouting at random people as they walk by. It means when an opportunity is presented to you, (and you’ll know when it happens) speak up. Ask the Holy Sprit for the wisdom and words. Don’t condone the sin and go along to get along.
  2. Don’t FEAR loss- God will restore any loss suffered on His account.
  3. In LOVE- be the Salt that our wounded world so desperately needs.  
  4. And Be the LIGHT—let the 3 billion in darkness see your Good Works because they Glorify God, You are a photograph of Jesus to those who don’t know him… 

A prayer for you today:

Father God,

We are honored to be chosen to reflect YOUR light in the world.

Father we commit ourselves to be used by YOU for Kingdom Influence. 

Holy Spirit come and convict us when there are areas we are needed.

Reveal to us the corners of our city, state, nation and world where you would have us to go to be the Salt and Light. 

And bless us with the wisdom of what to say and what to do in LOVE not condemnation and judgment so that we may glorify you and bring your Lost Sheep back to you Lord.

Father God, and grant us patience, and understanding especially on those chaotic days so that we may be the Light in our Homes. 

Jesus, give us the strength and wisdom and opportunity to let our light reflect your glory today and always as we go out into the world and encounter friends, families and others who are in darkness now.

Thank you for the promise of the reward in Heaven for those who follow your instructions to be the Salt & Light in the World.  

We love you. We are so grateful for you. 

In Jesus Name I pray,  

Amen

*All scripture references are to the ESV.

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