Jesus Says: God made you to stand out!!!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that as His followers we are called to be salt and light in this world.

Salt, though having many uses, has found its most common use as a basic food seasoning.  I would venture to say that 99 percent of the meals you've ever eaten in your entire life have had at least a pinch of salt in it.

Light is one of the most basic elements of our universe, and was the very first thing that God created. By means of light (and our eyeballs), we have the ability to see everything else within creation.

In and of themselves, there isn't anything overly impressive with either salt and light.  Both are very common, and we tend to take both for granted.  Yet, without salt and light, this world would be a very different place, and the absence of either would instantly be noticed.

Salt and light may have many overlapping qualities, but in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus linked the two together for their ability to "stand out" and be apprehended by the personal senses of others.  Salt is noticed because of its "yummy goodness" (a phrase my wife uses).  And likewise, light is something that cannot be ignored because of its brilliance and ability to illuminate.

Wherever either salt or light exists, their "presence" is instantaneously discernible.

As followers of Jesus, our lives ought to have a certain presence about them that causes us to stand out.  This should be discernible by others in their common everyday interactions with us, to where they take notice that we do something besides occupy space.

Being salt and light should make us outstanding customers at the checkout line, great neighbors to live next door to, and some of the best employees to work at wherever we are employed.

There should just be something "different" about us that causes us to be noticed.  After all, we have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in us.  We are blessed and highly favored by the Lord!  That is something that billions of people in this world know little to nothing of.  It is something people should notice about us, even if you live like I do, in the heart of the Bible Belt, where everybody knows that there is a Christian under just about every rock.

Once upon a time, I used to take it for granted that just about everybody in the South knew the basics of the Gospel, and had regular interactions with deeply committed Christians.  It was pretty easy to operate under the assumption that the vast majority of the people you know are saved.

But one event forever changed my presumptions about such things.

A few years ago I was doing a door-to-door ministry with a group of folks less than a mile from a church I used to go to.  It was around Christmas time, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to invite neighbors to our church.

We knocked on the door of one older gentleman, who invited us in from the cold to talk to him.  Sitting on his couch, I couldn't help but notice he had a large Christmas tree up.  Admiring his tree and making some general conversation, I eventually asked him how much he knew about the Lord, and the story of the birth of Jesus.  I was shocked to hear his response: He didn't really know much of anything about Jesus.  He knew Christmas was his birthday, but beyond that, he confessed he didn't know too much about Jesus, His life, or the gospel message.

Such a thing floored my Bible-college trained butt.

Here was this man, who had spent the majority of his adult life living less than a mile away from the church I attended, which is in the heart of the Bible Belt, and he ended up admitting that he really didn't know much of anything about Jesus beyond that Christmas was his birthday, and that's why we put up a tree and exchanged gifts every year.

Just think: If this sort of thing exists in the heart of the Bible Belt, imagine what it is like in the rest of America, and even the rest of this world!

Therefore, I would encourage you to never take for granted that God has put you where He has in life for a very specific purpose.  You might not like where you live, where you go to school, or where you work.  But you are where you are by Divine appointment.  It's no accident.  It's part of God's greater plan.

God has you where you are at so that you can salt and light in this world.  He needs you to carry His presence wherever it is that you are.  He made you to stand out, and to do so on His behalf, for this world is full of men who have no knowledge of God whatsoever.  He needs you to be salt and light to a world that has yet to notice Jesus.  And ultimately, their only hope in noticing Jesus will be in their noticing you.

Be salt and light my friends.

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