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The Church is called to be the testimony of Christ in the earth. We are expressions of God in earthly form. It is for this reason that we must be born of the water and born of the Spirit. That which is born of the water is natural and that which is born of the spirit is Spirit, but together these attributes make us spiritual. We are expressions of God in His likeness and image to bring the influence of heaven into the world in which we live. I don’t believe that this can be accomplished as individuals. I believe it takes many members in diverse expressions of Christ to fully reveal who He is to the world. Surely the enemy has fashioned weapons against this happening. We are the gate of heaven and as the gate of heaven we are salt and light to the world.
Matthew 5:13 “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. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Salt preserves and salt brings out the full flavor of all that it touches. We are called to bring the best out of others by inviting all to come and be a part of the transforming power of God’s grace. We are light to the darkness so that those in darkness might come into the liberating testimony of becoming part of the light in Christ. How do we touch the world with the salt of heaven’s grace? How do we shine as the true light in a world of darkness? Jesus gave some keys to being the salt and light of the community of Christ to the community of the world. Those keys are keys of character, attitude, nature, and ways of our hearts. Leaders must grow in these things and lead others to embrace these attributes to be the salt and light of heaven in the earth. When Jesus addressed the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 5, they had lost their ability to be the salt and light of the world for lack of these qualities.
We must be desperate and hungry. We cannot take on a form that is satisfied in ourselves and complete without God. We must demonstrate what it means to know we are lost without Jesus. We are truly hungry and therefore we are eager and willing to receive Him in all things.
Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The poor in spirit are those who cry out for the life that only comes from God. As leaders we must grow in the strength of our spirit, but we can only do this if we are poor in spirit without Him. We can never forget where we would be without Him so we can grow in becoming who we need to become by embracing His presence in our lives in increasing measures in each and every season of our lives.
We must know our need for God. We are in a place of loss without Him. Because of this, we are willing to receive His fullness.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
In order to receive and to depend upon the comfort that comes from God requires us to know that without Him there can be no true comfort. We cannot find true comfort in things that the world offers. True comfort only comes from the One who is the true comforter. Leaders must set an example and inspire those the lead to do the same.
We have to be humble. To be humble is to be teachable. We know that we are darkness, but He is the light. Only God can give us the light of life.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
To be meek is to be teachable. To be the salt and light of heaven we cannot depend upon what we know. We have to depend upon the One who knows all things. Leaders are not those who know all things. They are those who excel in being teachable and grow in knowing God and all that he desires for them to know. In order to teach others, we must first be teachable ourselves. True teachability is seen in our willingness to change. Leaders willingly change so they can also lead others in their journey of God’s change in their lives.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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