As those in Christ, our utmost calling is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. Last night, in my Bible Study, we studied Matthew 5:11-16. The passage states that as disciples we are salt and we are light. There is nothing that is to be hidden about that. In fact, our very identities as new creations in Christ are very distinguishable from the world. We are the light of the world now because the Spirit is in us. We take forth his message to the world. That happens when the fruit of good works moves out of our hearts.
Matthew 5:16 says,‘In the same way (as the characteristics of salt and light), let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.’
A point we discussed last night was the importance of pointing people to the reason for our good works…the source of the light. A lot of people may do kind things for others, but our call in bringing God glory and enjoying him is to make him look supreme–not ourselves.
1 Peter 3:15-16 speaks in this same vein in response to suffering for the sake of righteousness in Christ…’But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.’
Both of these passages speak of suffering and persecution for doing good in Christ. I shudder to think of the practice of letting my life do the talking at the expense of not speaking for the very reason and existence and purpose of my life. So many times I have heard and bought into ‘being Jesus’ to others without words. Are heart motives and actions important? Oh yes.
But as Romans 10:14 states ‘But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?’
It is easier not to say…but it is also a denial of him. Oh Lord, that I may be quick to give an answer for the hope I have in you. May my heart beat be for your glory whether pointing to you brings hardship for me or brings opened eyes by the Spirit for that heart to call on you and render glory to you.
As I was studying yesterday, I was gripped with the challenge that our job as disciples is not fufilled by mere personal pursuit of holiness (even though very important) or membership in the body with quiet involvement. Salt and light are very distiguishable. They are publically exposed. We, body, are a lit city on a hill…we cannot be hidden. Today, I pray that in your workplace, classroom, roomate situation, marriage, parenting, etc. that your light shine and that you continually give a reason for the hope that he has given you. May he be given the ultimate glory.