13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13 – 16)
Today is dedicated to reviewing what we have learned over the past three days. We study God’s word for transformation not just for information. Spend your 15 minutes today reflecting on the Bible study over the last three days. Remember that our theme this year is A World in Need. Think about what you have learned about responding to a world in need, and if you have missed any of the days, you can catch up.
As you perform your review, please keep in mind the example set for us by Jesus. He loved the world. Matthew 9:36 tells us that “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them”.
Please consider the question below and ask God to help you to apply the lessons from His word to your life.
How can you strengthen your love for those in the world without loving the world?
February 29, 2020 at 10:35 am
We can strengthen our love for others by trying not to be judgmental. That is, give our neighbor the benefit of the doubt; not always have a pre-existing opinion. It’s not easy. Approaching situations with an open mind, that is Christ-centered, humble, sympathetic, and seeking the best in and for our neighbor, I believe will strengthen our love.
February 29, 2020 at 2:32 pm
I can strengthen my love for the world one person at a time, one interaction at a time. Using those interactions to get to know them not telling them all the wrong (sin) I see in their lives. Jesus saw people and got to know them and in doing that they got to know Him and made inquires that gave Him permission to share. Simultaneously I need to ensure my walk is a spirit filled one that will display my godly beliefs and testimony or they won’t see a difference in me.
February 29, 2020 at 4:51 pm
By listening, sharing,giving, and being there for those who need you.
A Life of serving and sacrifice.
February 29, 2020 at 9:59 pm
Jesus describes me as salt and I know that salt flavours food by being applied to it. This has me thinking about my commitment to being “involved” in the lives of unbelievers so that I can be salt to them.
February 29, 2020 at 10:52 pm
As I read the verse that refers to Jesus looking on the multitude and having compassion, i am encouraged to be compassionate recognizing that those under the influence of the world are “helpless” in one sense and therefore unable to do what we can, through Christ and The Holy Spirit. My prayer then is that I approach my interaction with unbelievers from a place of humility remembering that if not for the Grace/mercy of God i would be in the same place.
March 1, 2020 at 1:11 am
By understanding human nature and knowing that not one of us is perfect apart from Christ. Salvation is a gift from God, not our doing, lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). To me, this understanding keeps my heart tender for unbelievers.
Especially since I languished in unbelief for so long only becoming a believer later on in life therefore I have a heart for non believers – such was I (1 Corinthians 6:11).
March 1, 2020 at 11:15 am
I can strengthen my love for those in the world, by deciding in advance to add value to others. This certainly involves NOT being a judge, jury or executioner.
March 1, 2020 at 1:42 pm
I can strengthen my love for the people of the world by first of all reminding my self that I am not better than anyone. Sometimes I am quick to judge others, forgetting that I have also fallen short and have needed God’s forgiveness.
Forgiving others, treating everyone I come across with Christ-like love, (even if I don’t like type of person they are), making an effort to reach out to anyone who seems like they need a smile or hug, stop saying negative things or have negative thoughts when I hear or see someone I don’t like. (I have noticed that when I even see a picture of Trump, I scowl. I’ve also noticed that my mood changes, for the negative, when I see a police officer).
Finally, striving to be Christ-like in every thing I do and say, would definitely take me on my way to being someone who loves the people of the world.
March 16, 2020 at 11:18 am
Comment from Pastor Anthony Oliver
I can strengthen my love for those in the world without loving the world :
1. By constantly recalling the love the triune God has for the world.
2. By reminding myself that the state of alienation from God being experienced by people of the world is the very alienation I had, would have being having in the present and the future had it not being for the grace / love of God. The same God wants to change the status quo of alienation to many in the world due to his compassion. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
3. By seeking to be part of spiritually healthy community (communities) with Jesus people (the church) so that they would challenge me and I challenge them to live authentically daily so that together we will be the influencers that salt and light should be to a world in need. The community is critical as Jesus himself said the “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world”. The second person plural pronoun refers to the community of Jesus people (the church) in every period of time, every continent or island, every age group, every culture and sub-culture, every ethnicity, every socio-economic classification, in brief, every demographic. The point to be underscored here s that the “you” is not singular but plural and refers to the community as a whole. The community as a whole is “salt” and “light” not just some elite groups or sub-groups.
Spiritually healthy communities are what Jesus requires but are not necessarily the norm in our day. There are spiritual viruses that threaten all of us. At times these spiritual viruses have the potential to become spiritual pandemics, in the same way CODIV19 threatens the world today. A single virus with its genesis from December 2019 (or thereabout) has started to affect the economies of global markets such as New York, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, et cetera.
Similarly, spiritual viruses as the so-called “prosperity gospel”, the “cheap grace phenomenon”, radical individualism, no community accountability, and political correctness applied to much of modern Christianity have led to a spiritual pandemic of unparalleled proportions in our world today. A major ramification of this spiritual pandemic is that the influence of our (Jesus People / the church) salt and light is negligible in our world of need.