Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jesus's Commands Matthew 5:13-16

You probably will realize that I am skipping things Jesus says looking for where he specifically commands something.  So I am not making comments concerning the beatitudes.  Instead I am skipping to the passage from the Sermon on the Mount entitled (in the NIV) "Salt and Light".

The command here is found in verse 16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  If there is any doubt about what Jesus is talking about as he describes salt and light it is dispelled here in this simple command.

Salt and light are a person's deeds done as a result of a changed life found in Jesus Christ.  The results of such deeds is a glorification of God.  To put it simply, our deeds reflect on God.  When we call our selves Christian we either make God look good or we make him look bad.

One might ask "what exactly is a good deed?"  A simple question, but a very profound question that needs to be answered.  What the world sees as good doesn't always correlate with what God sees as good.  Good actions are motivated by love, the very principle that God himself operates by. 

Even then we have to be careful.  I'm not talking about any mushy, gushy feeling that many of us equate as love.  Feelings can hide the fact that an action which may seem good is really harmful.  Good acts take all things into account.  They are acts done under the assumption that what is being performed is the best thing and the right thing for a person, the object of love.  When we do the best thing and the right thing for others we can be sure that God will receive the glory.

There are too many of Christians hiding our light.  We think that by not acting we are safe.  The problem is Jesus said "Let your light shine."  Inaction is just as wrong/sinful as bad action.  In essence, inaction is disobedience.

On the other hand, there may be a fear that "letting one's light shine" involves something like standing at a corner on a soap box proclaiming that the end is near.  Such thought places a deep seated fear in a person prohibiting them from doing anything.  Jesus didn't say this is what he was expecting.  Jesus merely said "your good deeds," or deeds produced out of love. 

What does this all mean?  Just be a loving person.  Let love be the motivation behind action.  Start with that and then see where God takes you.

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