“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. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
Salt is used for many things. It purifies, preserves and heals. Salt also gives food a better flavor. Light is used to help things grow, create warmth, and to illuminate dark places. In essence salt and light makes everything better! If people sense bitterness from Christians, they will not be compelled to learn more about the hope we have and follow Christ. There are unfortunately many Christians who are bitter, because we are human and imperfect. But we are called to represent Christ, and so as ambassadors we should to strive to be more like Him. The bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8).
“Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.” Exodus 25:37
God spoke to Moses on how to arrange the lamps in the tabernacle (Numbers 8). Lamps contain oil and must be continually filled to be ignited. We are luminaries of God’s word; a reflection of the light of Jesus, and we each have a sphere of influence in our lives (Psalm 119:105). We may not realize that, but even the way we live our lives can influence others around us without uttering a single word. We must continually be refreshed by the holy spirit to maintain our light. I know I’m not always a bottle of sunshine for those around me, and our mood effects others. If I’m always complaining about things all I’m doing is breeding negativity. If I speak life, and focus on how good God is, I then begin to emit light (Proverbs 18:21). That light is what draws people and points them in the right direction, just as a lighthouse becomes a beacon of safety for ships trying to make their destination. It’s easy to get caught up in the darkness around us, we are human! But we are called to be a light in the dark places. Fortunately God knows we can’t do it alone, that’s why we call on Him in those dark places and He becomes the light for us. When God looks at His children, He sees the light of Jesus. I imagine it is like thousands of stars in the sky only brighter.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
“The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.” 1 Samuel 3:1-4
Eli’s vision grew dim, but the lamp of God had not gone out yet. This speaks to the time of day which is early in the morning before the seven candlesticks went out. But I like to think that it speaks of the holy spirit still alive and active in Eli even until the last moment of his death. The lamps in Jewish time would burn through the night until morning. Then a new lamp is lit…They had to be continually maintained. Light is a manifestation of God and the lamp stand represents the churches. We as the church body are to shine a light forward. Jesus; the word of God, is the light. I don’t want to be like the foolish women who did not keep the oil burning in their lamps (Matthew 25). Jesus is coming back and we need to be alert and ready. I ask God to refresh me daily. The song says, “give me oil in my lamp and keep me burning ’til the break of day.”
In Genesis God created light before the sun. The light God speaks of is actually a spiritual application because this light was created before the sun. So where did the light come from? God saw the light and said it was “good”. darkness hovered over the earth in that time. The light is spirit of God. When the end time comes, it says God will be the light because the sun will be destroyed (Revelation 22:5).
We are called to be children of the light. If you think about it, when you do laundry you separate light and dark so that the dark doesn’t taint the light. If we are to be salt and light, our speech, actions, and the way we live our lives should reflect that light, and stand out in the darkness. We must not let the darkness overcome us. Stay connected to God as much as possible, and be careful what you allow to feed your mind and heart. We can be painters of light in a world of light and dark.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8
“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” – Maya Angelou