It is a wonderful privilege to worship the Lord with other Christians on the first day of the week. Our Lord wants us to start every week together and in his presence, praising him in song, remembering his death, petitioning the Father in his name and returning to his word. The fellowship that we enjoy is both with the Lord and with his saints. We are joined to each other by being joined to the Lord.
When we focus on spiritual things we build each other up. Spiritual pursuits safeguard our behaviour from all that is unbecoming. Lying, cheating, foul language and dishonesty have no place in our lives. Gathering for worship and Bible study remind us of the presence of God and teach us how to live in a way that pleases God.
But what about those times that we spend apart from each other? What about Thursday morning? Do I practice my Christian faith when fellow Christians are not around? It is one thing to faithfully worship, another altogether to live out our faith, day to day.
If unsaved people are going to respect the gospel that we preach, they must first respect the gospel that we live. Hypocrisy is the ultimate disservice to our Lord and a major obstacle to the faith of those who long for salvation. We all want to multiply the force of the gospel by demonstrating the power that it has brought into our lives – to obey God. To the degree that we may not yet be obedient, to that degree, this potential remains untapped.
Jesus used three metaphors to describe the influence of His disciples. He said:
- “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13).
- “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
- “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven” (Matthew 13:33).
- And writing to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul added, “Clearly you are an epistle (letter) of Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:3).
In a very important way then, Christians are like salt and light in the world. Salt preserves and purifies. It adds flavour and an ingredient needed for life itself. Light illuminates, guides, and warns of danger. It is obvious to the eye and draws attention to itself. When equated with spiritual things, light may represent insight, hope and even life in Christ. God treats this world with special care because his spiritual children live here. The world is preserved for now by our presence and the hope that others will accept God’s offer of salvation. And insofar as we live as ‘sons of light’, we extend God’s light to a world living in spiritual darkness.
Our lives also influence those around us in much the way that yeast acts upon dough. It works slowly, silently and out of sight to permanently change that which it comes in contact with.
Friends and neighbours read our lives as if they were letters written just for them. To the degree that God’s will is done in our lives, we become letters from our heavenly Father to those all around us, intended to bring them to salvation.
Your life affects the lives of those around you. It may even affect those who observe you from afar. We may never how many lives we touch, but we can know that we touch many lives!
Freidrich Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher and noted atheist, once said to a friend, “Jesus’ disciples will need to look more saved if I am to believe in their Savior.” Nietzsche excused his own disbelief because the Christians that he knew, did not obey the Lord whom they confessed. But he made a good point. The world is looking to see if we take our faith seriously, for if we do not, then neither will they.
God has chosen to reach the world through our influence. Let us treasure and guard the honour.
- May we be a reason that God delays his coming so that his light may be seen in our lives
- May the world become ever more godly through our example and influence.
- May the world see Christ in our lives on its way to having Christ in theirs.
Let us glorify God in word and deed, each and every day – until he comes.