Posted on: 2nd March 2020
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What is your light? How can you let it shine?
A man went to the police station and said, “I’d like to report a crime.” The police officer said, “What crime has taken place?” The man replied, “Sodium Chloride.” The police officer looked puzzled, saying, “That’s not a crime.” “No” the man replied, “But it is a salt.”
When you consider the chemistry behind salt you notice an amazing transformation from the elements that it is made from to the properties of the compound. Sodium, a reactive metal; Chlorine, a poisonous gas. Sodium Chloride, used to flavour and preserve food. Even this speaks of the difference an encounter with God can have. Jesus’ challenge to the disciples was for them to realise their mission; to add flavour and bring the good news of salvation and to maintain their ‘saltiness’.
How can we apply the words of Jesus today? In what areas of your life do you carry a message of hope, of salvation, of preservation? In your words and thoughts about others, do you speak life and truth? When you consider your own opportunities and future, do you speak life over yourself or are you self-critical and negative?
This week, consider the challenge of Jesus, to be salt and light. Salt and light both impact those around them. They are used to make a difference. How are you making a positive difference to others? Have you lost your saltiness? Were there great things you used to do that you have stopped? Ask God to give you fresh opportunities to add salt and light to others this week.
Devotional Prayer – S Gornall
We remember your words: ‘let your light shine before others’. We ask that you may help us use Jesus’ example of being the light of the world to enable us to think of others before ourselves. We also ask that you may spread light on situations that we may be finding difficult at this time – help us find the right path. As we look forward and prepare for Easter Sunday during lent, we remember Jesus’s good deed by dying for us on the cross. We give thanks for Jesus’ love and we pray that we may be able to set Jesus’ example by helping others in our local community.
Posted on: 1st October 2018
“For the wages of sin is death…”
Last week in our theme we asked the question, ‘Is respect earned or deserved?’ We considered that when we work for something then the reward is earned, but when something is given for something we do as part of our character or as a result of an action, then we say it is deserved.
The writer in Romans makes it clear to the readers that there is something that is earned by us all because of sin – death. This seems a harsh, bleak prospect, but please read on, as the rest of the verse offers hope and salvation to all!
Looking at characters in the Bible, I found someone described as, ‘A man after God’s own heart’ (1 Sam 13:14). The character is David the shepherd boy, who went on to become King David. But David’s life is riddled with incidences of how he ‘fell short of the glory of God’, like Paul described in Romans 3:23. Paul says that all have sinned, including me and you.
David’s sins were many. That’s not me judging him but that is his own admittance in the Psalms. In 2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan is responsible for telling him that he shouldn’t have sent a commander to the front line in his army, to guarantee he dies, so that he could take his wife for himself. Nathan does this in a parable. He describes a rich man who had many sheep and a poor man who had just one sheep, that he loved and cared for like a child. When the rich man had a visitor he decided that he would rather sacrifice the poor man’s sheep than his own. Is that ok? David was outraged by this story, until he realised he was the rich man and Bathsheba was the sheep. 2 Samuel 12:13 says that Nathan admitted his sin. 2 Samuel 12:14 says that ‘The Lord has taken away your sin.’
I take hope from David’s story. Yes, the wages of sin are death, but admitting our sin (repentance) and receiving forgiveness (salvation) results in us receiving God’s gift…
“… but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”