1 Chronicles 16:25 For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place. Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved.
As I reflect and think back through the years I can’t help but remember all the good things God has done in my life. He is great and greatly to be praised!
This morning I will go to church and worship the Lord. It is the Lord’s Day! And I will again be honored to be in His presence; to join together with others as we proclaim how great our God is!
Hebrews 10:24, 25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
With that joining together in worship comes more opportunities to see God work in and through my life and the lives of those around me. God has so blessed me with the ones that are around me to encourage me and, likewise, that I can encourage and support in their walk with the Lord. As time draws near to the return of the Lord Jesus we each will have more and more opportunities to be “Jesus with skin on” to those around us. That may sound arrogant to some of you, but if the Spirit of God lives within you then you are to some the only reflection of the character and nature of Jesus that they might see. There was a song years ago that said, “you may be the only Bible that some people ever read.” This morning I would like to ask you, “of what reflection are you to those around you”? Are you reflecting Jesus to the world or would they be surprised to know that you belong to Jesus?
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Salt and light….Jesus said we are to be salt and light to those around us?
Salt – according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary it is 1) the muriate of soda, a substance used for seasoning certain kinds of food, and for the preservation of meat. 2) In chemistry, it is a body compounded of an acid united to some base, which may be either an alkali, an earth, or a metallic oxyd. 3) Taste; sapor; smack 4) Wit; poignancy;
We are to season people with our speech and our presence. As He changes us we will have the natural ability to perceive and understand the things of the Lord and have a keenness and quickness of perception or discernment. Sometimes we will have a sharp or pungent flavor to those around us. That means that they won’t always agree with us, but if we speak with a saltiness we will whet their appetite for the Lord. Salt always makes people thirsty. We then preserve them by our witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Wit – 1. The natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence. 2. a. Keenness and quickness of perception or discernment; ingenuity.
Poignancy – sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste keenly affecting the other senses: poignant beauty; sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste .
Our speech, our presence and our witness bring people to want the saving knowledge of Jesus for themselves when we reflect the character and nature of the Lord.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Our speech is to be with grace, which by one definition is unmerited favor. As we talk with people we are to show them favor, undeserved mercy, giving them love and acceptance even though they may not be worthy of it. God extended grace to us in saving us. He gave us His life in place of the death that we deserve. He gave His very own Son to exchange our sin for His forgiveness; our sickness for His health; our poverty for His riches! We are salt to those around us!
Light – Greek word phos – Strong’s #5457 – meaning “to give light”, expressing “light as seen by the eye,” and, metaphorically, as “reaching the mind,” whence phaino, “to make to appear,” phaneros, “evident,”.
Jesus said we are to be “light” to the world; we are to make Him appear, or make Him evident to those around us. We are to be “Jesus with skin on”, set on a high hill shining for all to see that Jesus lives in us and wants to live in them. We are to express God to the world!
Food for thought: How salty are you today? Who are you reflecting? How bright is your light? Are you a preserving witness of the Lord Jesus Christ?
You know what? God doesn’t expect us to do these things on our own. It is only as God changes us that we can offer the reflection of the Lord that changes those around us. You may feel, as I do, that my reflection at times is dim, that my speech isn’t always seasoned with grace and that I reflect my own fleshly desires more than His. It is then that I have to go back to the word of God that says:
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed ot the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
You see, it is as we see that God is the One doing the changing that we are in awe of His greatness! We come back full circle to the reason why we worship the Lord; because of His greatness! I can’t change myself and you can’t change yourself, but we can yield to God’s working within us. We can pray that He will show us the things within that He wants to change and allow Him to have the freedom to do that.
I think that the New Living Translation really gives me a greater understanding of what is taking place within me when God is working:
Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.
You see, it is God giving us the desire to obey Him and then also giving us the power to do it! That takes the responsibility totally off of us and places it on Him. He is responsible for making the changes even to the point of giving us the desire to be changed!
Now, can you join me in saying “How GREAT IS OUR GOD”!!!!?
Father, I thank You for Who You are to me, in me and through me. You are great and greatly to be praised! I am in awe of Your greatness! Thank You for working in me giving me the desire to obey You and the power to do it! Thank You, Father, for this day that I can gather together with other believers in corporate worship of You! May You be blessed by our praise! Father, as we live each day, I pray that You will cause us to be mindful of the words that we speak and how they should be seasoned with grace. I pray that You will show us how to reflect You in all that we say and do; that You will change us so that our light will shine brightly and we will reflect You as You draw all men unto Yourself as we lift You up. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer as I offer it in the name of Jesus! Amen.