Make A Difference For the Kingdom

We are looking at three different commands that Jesus issued to His disciples while enjoying some teaching moments on the mountain. Since there is such great truth in these lessons, I thought we might benefit from these today as we meditate on what God might have us do in 2021. Especially after being told that if we practice (obey) these commands and teach them to others, we will be highly considered by the Master in heaven.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-01-12
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:13-14, 19
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 You, beloved, are the salt of the earth…..
 14 And you, beloved, are the light of the world……
 19 Anyone who breaks even the smallest, most obscure commandment—not to mention teaches others to do the same—will be called small and obscure in the kingdom of heaven. Those who practice the law and teach others how to live the law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

OBSERVATION: We are looking at three different commands that Jesus issued to His disciples while enjoying some teaching moments on the mountain. Since there is such great truth in these lessons, I thought we might benefit from these today as we meditate on what God might have us do in 2021. Especially after being told that if we practice (obey) these commands and teach them to others, we will be highly considered by the Master in heaven.

APPLICATION: As we learn from our Master and share our experience and our knowledge with others, I believe that we too can be classified a ‘disciple’ of Jesus Christ. So I believe that these commandments taught by Jesus are very applicable to us still today. Here are three very important commands that I believe will help us make a difference in our world, and in our circle of influence:
1. You are the Salt of the earth – Salt was very well known to the original disciples, and it is still well known and commonly used today. It makes a huge difference in the flavor of our foods. Tasting food that was not seasoned in salt, is tasteless to those who use it on a regular basis. Jesus used this as a parable to help us realize that lives not infused with the power, love and image of Jesus Christ is bland, and has very little impact on the rest of the world, because they see no difference in our behavior. However, although many will not claim knowledge or acceptance of Jesus Christ, yet they are quick to recognize a Christian in their midst, as they see a difference in their mannerisms and their life choices, plus they know that they have a connection with the King of the universe. I believe Jesus wants us to stand for what He has taught us and be different, if we need to be, just as salt makes a difference in our food;
2. You are the light of the world – I found this one very interesting, because in John 8:12 and in John 9:5, Jesus said that He is the Light of the world as long as He is here in the world. The Bible says that we are to be like Jesus to the world, so I’m sure that by us also being commanded to be the light of the world, we would be following very closely in His footsteps. Jesus likened this to being a light on the top of a hill. Don’t you see that this means that the whole world could see the light that shines high on a hilltop? Don’t you know that in a room of people, the child of God must be an example, or a bright light for the rest of the world to see, respect and follow after? I believe this means that when the world is not sure where to turn next, or what they should do in certain circumstances, they should be able to ask those discipled by Christ which way to turn, knowing that the Bible and It’s Master is guiding us through each and every decision every day;
3. Practice God’s Commands and Teach them to others – This is clearly not a case of ‘doing as I say, not as I do’! For we are told that we should be obedient and living out the commands of Jesus. In other words, whether we say something about a situation, or if we just act in obedience to what God is leading us to say or do, He will be glorified and He will follow through with His promise to make us ‘great’ in His kingdom. There is nothing better than that dear friends!
So let me encourage you today to make a difference in the world around you. As Jesus lives inside of you through the Holy Spirit, be bold in declaring whose you are. Live like Him and allow Him to live through you to save a world that is otherwise dying and going to Hell.

PRAYER: Living here on earth is challenging in many ways, but when we are obedient to our Master and Lord, we can rest assured that He will only lead us towards loving, encouraging and challenging others to know Him as Savior. Thank You Lord for giving us our marching orders in today’s Scripture. May we be sincere and obedient to Your commands in everything we do and say, so that others will see proof of the Master right here on earth. Oh that Your kingdom may come soon, so that we may freely glorify You in all Your majesty at the right hand of the Father, where we will remain for all eternity. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Your Role In Helping Others Praise The Lord

No doubt you have heard someone say ‘Now that will give them something to talk about!’, or perhaps ‘If they’re talking about me, then they’re leaving everyone else alone!’. We tend to use these phrases with a ’tongue and cheek’ attitude, because we really wish that trouble makers would not talk badly about about anyone. But let’s ponder the idea of letting our life so shine and acting in a way that others will be reminded of Jesus Christ! Perhaps they may even turn and give Him praise!

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-12-14
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:13-16
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 “You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14 You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. 15-16 Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.

OBSERVATION: No doubt you have heard someone say ‘Now that will give them something to talk about!’, or perhaps ‘If they’re talking about me, then they’re leaving everyone else alone!’. We tend to use these phrases with a ’tongue and cheek’ attitude, because we really wish that trouble makers would not talk badly about about anyone. But let’s ponder the idea of letting our life so shine and acting in a way that others will be reminded of Jesus Christ! Perhaps they may even turn and give Him praise!

APPLICATION: Sometimes we must be reminded of why we’re here, otherwise we may tend to think that it’s just to keep our spouse happy, or to provide for our kids, or to be a slave for our employer! However, in our Scripture today God used Matthew to set out two illustrations for us to see how truly valuable we, Christians, are to the world. As a part of the world, we may just blend in with the crowd, because we may look like them, have kids just as they do, have to work just as they do, go to the same parties as they do and perhaps even live in the same neighborhoods. However for some, there may be certain changes that take place in their lives that causes them to be different. For example: they may make sufficient money that they may rise above the rest in riches; their son or daughter may become a professional athlete and a light is suddenly shone on the parents; a household member may be arrested and the press is suddenly always on the doorsteps of that family; etc. But for the one that accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, how does that impact their neighborhood, coworkers or others in their circle of influence? I believe our Scripture helps us with this, for Jesus said:
~ You are the salt, or seasoning, of the earth – Food without salt, or any other type of seasoning is very bland and it would be challenging to encourage anyone to eat it. Houses in a neighborhood that are all alike are often referred to as ‘cookie cutters’. Residents in a neighborhood who are all alike may be referred to as all ’peas in the same pod’! However, when one stands out from the rest in their mannerisms, their decisions on controversial items, lack of worry about trivial worldly things, or their love for life and people around them, their neighborhood might begin to notice and wonder what has impacted them. Seasoning impacts the taste of food – usually for the better! Jesus Christ impacts the character and mindset of a believer – always for the better!
~ You are the light of the world – Someone with even minimal Bible knowledge will quickly tell you that Jesus is the Light of the World and that mankind should not be so presumptuous to believe that they are also ‘light’. However, in the example given above about neighborhood families or individuals, don’t you know that a soul that has been totally cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and have vowed to live in close relationship with Him, they will begin living – acting, talking and giving, like the Light of the world? It’s just natural that this will occur. In fact, our Scripture is encouraging us to live a life where it is obvious to those around you that there is something, or someone impacting your life in such a way that they will not only desire to also have that thing/person, but they will also praise God daily because of your changed life and your natural changes that are evident in your life!
Dear friends, notice that these changes impact you and makes your life stand out, but there is little value in any of that unless Jesus Christ is recognized and permitted to draw others unto Himself through the changes in your life. Please don’t allow personal pride to interfere with that. Allow God only to be praised and lifted up.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Salt of the Earth and Light of the World, thank You for accepting a simple neighborhood guy who could have easily been recognized as one of the normal members of society. Your transformation in my life has been phenomenal, because You brought me from a child of worldly worth, to a prince of the Most High God. Thank You for reminding my friends and I through the Scriptures that our new life in You was not intended to promote self, other than the humbleness in giving up those things that the world may have attracted us to. Oh that through the grace of our Lord may our hardened hearts be melted, and may our attitudes be molded so that our character might allow the Light of the World to shine brightly through every aspect of our lives. Please Lord, use us for Your glory in drawing all those in our circle of influence unto Yourself so that they may praise You for ever and for ever. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Good Deeds That Trigger Praise To God

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 5:13-16): 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

THOUGHTS: Jesus always taught using object lessons that His hearers could identify with. Fortunately, we can still identify with many of the things Jesus chose to use in His lessons. Although salt is still important in most kitchens today, I believe that it has developed more of a negative spin from our health conscious contemporaries because of the abuse by many chefs. However, let’s look at why Jesus may have chosen such a key element to demonstrate His point. It was used by the people being taught to preserve food. Without refrigeration, meat was salted to preserve it and stop decay. Then, and now, salt was/is used to flavor food – make it more palatable for the consumer of the finished product to enjoy the meal because of its greatly enhanced taste. So let’s compare this to the Christian’s life: we are a chosen people, and just like salt is not intended to stay on the ground and go unnoticed, but be used to preserve food, we too are designed to preserve the lives of those who would otherwise die and go to hell without a Savior. Our lives are to bring such ‘flavor’ (a sweet aroma, a desired transformation, a comfort, a satisfaction and a calm assurance) to an unbeliever’s life that they would gain a desire for the same attributes, and a desire for the Savior that we would constantly and consistently attribute the origination of our gift(s) to. Friends, I believe that we should have such an impact on those that we come into contact with, that their lives might be enhanced, just life salt enhances food to be more palatable. The other attribute taught by Jesus is ‘light’. Friends, please try this simple little illustration. Make a room totally dark tonight and then try moving around in the room. Then turn on just a very small flashlight, and notice the difference it makes in the large dark room. It makes a huge difference. We too live in a very dark world – darkened by sin. Jesus wants us to be relief to those who struggle in darkness – perhaps no hope, perhaps no light at the end of their dark and dreary tunnel. In the Bible Jesus is known as ‘light’. When the unsaved discovers a ray of hope in us, it reminds them of Jesus, the Light of the world, and it draws them closer to Him. To a mariner, a small light at the top of a lighthouse gives direction and hope. An unbeliever struggling in a dark world will receive a ray of hope and new direction from a Christian who lets the light of Jesus shine out from them in their actions and words. So friends, may I encourage you to allow your life to impact the lives of others like salt impacts the taste of food, and to allow the light of Jesus to shine bright enough through you that the unsaved receives hope when you walk into a room with them? May Jesus be praised today because of the difference you will make in someone’s life!

PRAYER: Dear God, as Your humble servants, may we seek Your face and allow You to impact our lives in such a way that we, in turn, may impact the lives of those that we come into contact with. May we be ‘salt’ to their dull and meaningless lives, and may we be as a ‘light’ in their dark world where there seems to be no hope. We are capable of nothing like this without Your supernatural power in and through us, so Lord I pray that You might be given full reign over us today. Touch the lives of those that You know need refreshment, restoration or a new outlook on life – life eternal. Please use us in Your own special way today is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!