My pastor sends out e-notes about each week’s sermon and I really liked this one so I thought I would post it.
REAL : Engaging
We seem to have a hard time engaging with people outside the church. Yet, God wants us to engage the lost just as Jesus did. He was so engaging that in just three years, he turned the world upside down. The good news is that if we have accepted Jesus as Lord, He lives in us. The more we yield to Him, the more we become like Him, and the more engaging we are. Our influence is all tied to Jesus and how much we let him take over.
Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, the God-flavor of the earth. But there is good salt and there is bad salt. The more pure salt is, the better flavor it has. On the other hand, salt that has been tainted by earthly elements is undesirable, even toxic – not good for anything except being trampled underfoot. Likewise, our lives flavor the way the world “tastes” the gospel. As we interact with the lost, we leave a “taste” in their mouths, an impression about Jesus and the gospel. The question is: are we going to be pure salt that leaves people with a good taste their mouths and wanting more? Or, are we going to be impure salt, leaving them with a bad taste in their mouths, and wanting to trample the gospel underfoot? I want you, as people of this church, to be good salt – not hypocritical, not religious, not the kind of person that scares people.
Aside from salt, Jesus also said that we are the light of the world – the same thing that He was while on earth. You see, when Jesus comes to live inside us, He wants to shine out through us. We’re not supposed to hide the light, as we often do, behind the darkness of fear or sin; we’re supposed to bring out the God-colors in the world. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: “When I’m at work, when I come home, when I’m driving around my neighborhood, am I projecting light or bringing darkness?” We’re going to project something; if it’s not light, it’s darkness.
So, what is it that makes us engaging and influential? First, we need competence. We, as Christians, ought to be doing a better job than anybody else in the world, without complaint, having a spirit of excellence. People are drawn to those who excel. Second, we need to be people of godly character, living with integrity. This is a rare commodity in the world, and therefore, highly attractive. Third, we must be considerate of others. Be helpful. Look for ways to serve others. Consider them better than yourself. Fourth, we have to communicate. Yes, we need to live the gospel, but that isn’t enough by itself. We also have to speak it – not in a preachy, religious or condescending way, but with gentleness and respect. Finally, we need courage. For some reason, people are drawn to people of courage. Keep in mind that God is with us and wants us to share the gospel with others. Ask Him to give you the courage you need. He will do so as you commit to engaging the lost around you.
We are all called to be salt and light. None of us are exempt. Are we going to be good salt or bad? Are we going to let our light shine or hide it under a basket? As we go about our daily lives, let’s all seek to live in a way that is truly engaging, leaving a good taste in people’s mouths, and allowing the light of Christ shine so brightly though us that the lost all around us are irresistibly drawn to Him!