The new year is generally accompanied with hope and great expectations. I try to be optimistic and look at a new year (and new decade) as a fresh start. 2020 is going to be a great year…or is it? As optimistic as I’d like to be, I’m also a total realist. Things just keep getting bleaker. Here’s a shortlist of topics/issues that seem to be spiraling out of control: Politics, gender identity, terrorism and terrorist attacks, racism, suicide, school and church shootings, human trafficking, and kidnappings. No wonder people are anxious, confused, and afraid.
So what is the Church’s response? Well, Jesus has something to say on the subject. “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. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. 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. That’s the challenge, but how do we go about being salt and light where we are? I believe we need to Get In and Get Out. Get in the Word and get out of our comfort zones. Sometimes that’s just opening our mouths and telling someone about the goodness of the Savior, and for some it’s actually moving from a space of convenience into a place of opportunity to share.
Jeff makes fun of me about my coffee. I like a lot of sugar and creamer in my coffee (because I love myself), and Jeff says, “At what point does it cease being coffee?” It can often be the same with our purpose to be salt and light; it can get watered down with things that aren’t necessarily bad, and it can change us. When it comes to sharing our faith, Satan has fooled us into thinking that,“people just don’t want to hear it.” That’s a lie! There are hurting people facing really tough things, and they are hungry to hear Truth. They need hope! TREC International The Church is called to be separate in lifestyle but never to be isolated from the people it seeks to influence. Salt and light don’t work very well from a distance. January 2020
Now, for some of you, sharing your faith isn’t out of your comfort zone at all. Jeff has no problem asking a server at a restaurant how he can pray for them or sharing his God story with anyone. But that is way out of my comfort zone. I have to fight the fear every time I open my mouth. It’s something I work at; I have to put myself in a position where I have to do it. Maybe, like Jeff, evangelism is your gift, but going to a different country is too much of a stretch for you. Maybe you’re afraid of different types of food, or getting sick, or flying. Maybe you desire to go on mission, but worry about the money. Whatever it is that’s causing you to stumble can be overcome.
As a matter of fact, if it’s your desire to go and tell others about Jesus, we can help you. We never take a team on the field unprepared. We will teach you how to develop your God story and give you opportunity to practice it until it’s comfortable for you. We can take you into areas of the world where the Gospel hasn’t been heard. We can take you places where the spiritual darkness is so prevalent that the light that in you will draw men and women to an understanding of the gift of grace.
But getting out of our comfort zones isn’t just applicable when you are on mission with us in Nepal or Cuba. God’s people should be involved in the educational system, media, arts, every civic volunteer organization, and politics with the sole purpose of being salt and light. These are mission fields, too, and Christians should infiltrate every aspect of life with light.
Jeff and I would love to come speak to your church, small group, missions group, or your friends about TREC and give you information that will help you start your journey to going and making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all that He has commanded us.
Let’s take being salt and light to a new level in 2020!