February 9, 2014 – Pastor Tim – “Let Us Go Forth”
Matthew 5:11-16, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
There was a time when a certain West coast city may have been one of the most hostile places to the gospel in America. Posters in the shops advertised witchcraft meetings where you could learn to cast spells on your enemies.
It was such a challenging environment for churches that they struggled to get building permits from the city council. And there was a lot of “woe is me” talk among church leaders. Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. Until a group of pastors began to meet to pray regularly and then decided to take the love of Jesus into their city.
Matthew 5:14-15, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. They started a ministry to the homeless, to those suffering with AIDS, to teens at risk. Faithfully and intentionally they brought the love of Jesus to the needs of hurting people.
Faithfully means having full command or mastery in the performance of duty. To be true to one’s word or promises.
Intentionally means done on purpose…Do you mean do things so people will notice? Yup!
Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Then even the most ardent opponents to the gospel may be glad you’re in their town, their office, or their neighborhood.
Before long, the city agencies started calling on these pastors for help. Better yet, the churches started growing as people responded to the gospel in action, which is the point!!
Sometimes we’ve got to “show up” before we speak up. No one really wants to hear what we have to say about the love of Jesus until they’ve seen it in our lives. And then we just might be able to tell them about Jesus.
As the called of God, redeemed by Jesus’ precious blood; let us go forth with His love—demonstrating a life of love. We have His message to speak, and His mercy to give.
James said it this way in James 2:14-18 in the Message, 14-17 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
When we share the gospel or our faith, we need to make sure we live the gospel.
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