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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book backyard view
This beautiful country setting was captured in a photo by our friend, Kay Book, as she looked out over the fields past their yard on Mount Pleasant Rd., Mount Joy.

"Salt and Light"

Message summary: Let us each spread salt and let our light shine before men as we seek to live for Jesus. May they see our good deeds (a result of God's grace) and praise our Father in heaven!

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"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:13-16).

Salt mill with light Brooksyne enjoys kitchen gadgets. One of her favorite stops when we travel is visiting a kitchen store. She enjoys cooking and baking and I provide ample evidence of indulging in her 41 years of culinary competence!

The other day she purchased a neat set of battery-operated salt and pepper mills. Push a button and the grinder comes on along with a small LED light shining on whatever you are seasoning! Salt and light; what a good combination! (Pictured is Brooksyne salting my tomatoes but unfortunately the light did not show up in the photo. She told me it looks like the shaker is dangling in the air, but she is actually holding it.)

In Christ's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, immediately following the Beatitudes, He uses two very common, recognizable illustrations; salt and light, to demonstrate the responsibilities His followers have in the world in which they live. What a tribute to our Lord's wise teaching. He uses an illustration that His followers can always identify regardless of when or where they live. Indeed salt and light are universally recognized.

Today, all over the world faithful followers of Christ seek to be the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world". We are all called to sprinkle liberally the spiritual salt and spread the light of Christ.

Christ teaching at the Sermon on the MountPastor David Guzic writes,
"A key thought in both the pictures of salt and light is distinction. Salt is needed because the world is rotting and decaying and if our Christianity is also rotting and decaying, it won't be any good. Light is needed because the world is in darkness, and if our Christianity imitates the darkness, we have nothing to show the world. To be effective we must seek and display the Christian distinctive. We can never affect the world for Jesus by becoming like the world. The figures of salt and light also remind us that the life marked by the beatitudes is not to be lived in isolation. We often assume that those inner qualities can only be developed or displayed in isolation from the world, but Jesus wants us to live them out before the world. Jesus points to a breadth in the impact of disciples that must have seemed almost ridiculous at the time. How could these humble Galileans salt the earth, or light the world? But they did. Jesus never challenges us to become salt or light. He simply says that we are - and we are either fulfilling or failing that responsibility."

A sprinkle of salt or a small dot of light may not seem to make much of a difference but the accumulative impact of hundreds of millions of Christ followers is making a massive difference although many who walk in darkness resent it. One day the world will see what it's like without the presence of Christians and it will not be a pretty picture!

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12) and how wonderful that He would call each of His followers to spread His light.  Individually our call is not to light the entire world, but each of us is called to light our own God-ordained part. Individually the light we produce may seem negligible, but collectively we produce a lot of light!  It is simply not known how different things would be without the millions of believers that walk about daily reflecting the light of Jesus Christ.

Today let us each spread salt and let our light shine before men as we seek to live for Jesus. May they see our good deeds (a result of God's grace) and praise our Father in heaven!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Lord Jesus, as I commit myself to You this day, I ask that You make me a glowing ember of Your truth, wisdom, and compassionate mercy. I want my light to shine for You so that all glory will be directed back to You, my source of light. If I find myself in the midst of a circle of employees engaged in ungodly conversation help me not to blend in. But rather I want the light of Your glory to be present in my conversation. May it be full of grace seasoned with salt, so that I will know how to respond to each person in accordance to Your Word. Remind me that it is for Your glory that I do these things, not for the praise of others nor for personal advancement. Lord, help me to reach just one today with an unexpected act of kindness or thoughtful word that will direct the recipient's thoughts toward my Father in heaven. In Your name, Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

See Colossians 4:6

Blue Mountain ridge near Lickdale, PA 11/7/17
Last week when we visited Swatara State Park we saw this farm lane leading up to the base of the Blue Mountain ridge.

Color near Swatara Creek 11/7/17
Pretty colors along Swatara Creek

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"What the World Needs to Hear"  Video  Booth Brothers

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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