I've read this passage of Scripture many, many times over my 23 years in the Lord's service, but recently I understood something in Jesus' words that I haven't grasped before...
From Matthew 5:13-16
You are the salt of the earth;
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden...
I suppose in the past I've read this and seen the church as a whole expected to be salt and light to a lost world; understood that we are to try and show Jesus in our everyday lives; striving to live up to His standards because others are watching.
But in January the word ARE jumped off the page at me, not once, but over and over again until I underlined it with red pen.
I wrote the passage in my journal, and for many weeks I've pondered it, prayed about it, and allowed it to take hold of my heart.
You see Jesus does not say that I am to try and be salty, or that I should seek to be light in this world...no. He says that I already AM salty, that I AM light of the world.
I AM. You ARE.
But...yes, there is a but.
"But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?" (v 13)
So it's not about being salty, because we ARE. It's about losing the saltiness.
It's not about being light, because we ARE. It's about hiding that light. (v 15)
My question today is this - "are we losing our saltiness, and is our light hidden away?"
You see, I've received many emails over the past few years from believers who describe themselves as 'closet Christians', and that just breaks my heart. But it would break Jesus' heart even more. Hiding Christ in us will rob the salt of it's saltiness and extinguish His light...it removes any hope of sharing Jesus with those who walk in darkness.
Now I know that for some people it's very difficult to share the gospel, fear of rejection and humiliation is real. Essentially it cripples them and voids their testimony. But rather than running away from the fears, is it not better to run TO Jesus?
The fear may take many years to disappear, but handing it to Him and allowing Him to work in your life is the only prescription that will cure you. It is the only way to save the saltiness still within you and to reveal the light that you are.
Don't be afraid.
Jesus is not going to put you out on the corner with a Bible and box to stand on tomorrow. He's gentle, kind, and knows you better than you know yourself.
He wants permission to heal your fears, and to flood your life with more of Himself.
He will never let you go...don't you let Him go, either, ok?
I think this passage is going to be one I return to again and again this year in my private devotions and prayers. The underlined ARE word cannot be ignored and He still has a work to do in me because it's not easy for me to share Him face to face with an unbeliever, but I'm willing, and He's a good teacher...
Download the printable Scripture and devotion HERE.