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Series: Other Speakers
Sunday 9th August 2015 – Riaan Sinden
Matt. 5:13-15; Gen. 1:1-3; Ps.24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26; Gen. 1:3; Isa. 14:24; Isa. 46:9-10;
(Matt.8:25); Ps. 23:4; (Phil. 2:13); (Matt. 5:16); (John 3:16); (Heb. 2:5-18);
Rom. 12:1-2(MSG); Eph. 4:14-15; Rom. 9:20-21; (1 John 4:4); Heb. 10:12-13;
Rom. 8:19; (Ps. 34:8); Gal. 1:10; Isa. 60:1-3
Today I want to speak about the mandate that was given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ to be the salt and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-15). When we look at the state the world is in today, are we a little behind schedule? What is preventing us from becoming the salt and the light of the world? Jesus is referring to two elements: salt and light. We know that salt is used to flavour food, to preserve the meat and fish and is also known for its healing qualities. Then light reveals what is hidden. Then God said, “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3). God never created darkness; darkness is just the absence of light. So we received a mandate to be the vessels that will carry the preserving, flavouring and healing quality of salt and speak light to this world. That is what we are called for. We are to be the flavouring influence to the world. We happily declare that we are the body of Christ; if this is the case should we be held accountable for the lack of results? We know that the world is in a mess. Bad news has become the daily news. What was abnormal has become the norm. We are following after things that are not in line with the word of God. If we are the salt of the world, why is the God-flavour missing? If we are the light of the world why does it seem so dark? We are not called to run away by relocating, we are called to influence in serving the purpose of God in the community. It is time for the Church to take a stand. We need to reclaim the territory that the enemy is illegally possessing. The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it (Ps. 24:1). This means that the enemy is an illegal squatter. Just because we see all the crime and all the bad things happening, it does not mean that God is not present or that He has lost control. In fact God is sovereign. God’s sovereignty is defined as His complete and total independent control over every creature, every event, in every circumstance, and every moment in history, subject to none, influenced by none, and absolutely independent. God does what He pleases.
Everything that happens is either caused or allowed by Him or for His perfect purposes. From the beginning of time God created the end from the beginning. We know the end. God did not lose the plot. The end is already cast in stone by the word of God. Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand (Isa. 14:24). His purposes shall stand. Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ (Isa. 46:9-10). This should to give us hope in a world where people are crying: “What are we going to do? We are perishing!” Just like the disciples in the boat, “Lord do you not care that we are perishing?” (Matt. 8:25). His answer was: “Peace be still”. God does not need anyone’s permission or to ask anybody’s opinion on His purpose, His plan stands yet God chose to use us. He is molding, He is breaking and making us into vessels ready and willing to be used by Him.
Let Him work in you. It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). God wants our participation; it is not Him doing all the work. God can do everything just by the click of his fingers, but what a great honour to serve the Lord of Hosts; to be available, to know that He has called us into His purposes. The more we spent time with Him, the more we will resemble Him, the more we will act like Christ. What will the world see? The world will see Christ and through our works they will give honour and praise to God (Matt. 5:16).
God chose us before the foundations of the world to fulfill His purposes and He wants to reveal Himself to the world through us. He wants to make His unconditional love known through us. That is what it all about. He loved us so much that He gave His only Son (John. 3:16). What a price to pay, what a sacrifice to make! Jesus tasted death to bring many sons to glory (Heb. 2:5-18). This is who we are; we were bought with a price. The nature of God is to sacrifice. Love compelled God to make the ultimate sacrifice. That is what God requires of us. He will not expect anything from us that He did not do Himself. This is God; Jesus laid down His life for us. So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Rom. 12:1-2 – MSG).
Sometimes we agree with the world but it is time to live in complete opposite to what the world thinks. We are not supposed to go with the flow or go against the flow of the world but we are supposed to create the flow! We are to set the standard! As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ (Eph. 4:14-15). We are required to grow. In fact God demands maturity from us. He will keep on molding us. We made a decision by accepting Jesus as Our Lord and Saviour and God is molding us for He is not going to leave us the way we were, His image will be revealed through us. He sees the end from the beginning so He is molding us into what He already said from the beginning. He wants to show His great unconditional love for the world through us, so we need to understand that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world because He is in us. Do not try to do it in your own strength; good works do not impress God. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19). We are supposed to act now! We are not called to be spectators but participators and our lives must create a longing and a hunger after God. When people look at the Church they must desire to be like it. If we are truly going to live this mandate and allow God to change us, we will begin to change our homes and our communities. The enemy will not like that one bit. We fight knowing that the battle has been won; we know that if God is for us who can be against us. We know that we are more than conquerors and we believe in the finished works of Christ on the cross. Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising (Isa. 60:1-3). That is the influence of God in your life. Despite all negative things the word of God will stand. As you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, go and influence your surroundings, starting with just one person close to you. Your home, your communities and our whole nation will be changed.