but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.
Recently, I was sitting in church, just going through the motions. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and I was finding it hard to focus on the reason I was in church to begin with. Then, God spoke to my heart and gently reminded me why I was there.
Jesus is the reason. He is the One who gave His life for me and He deserves my awe! There is no one else like Jesus. He alone is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Name Above All Names. He is the only One who is worthy of His title. The Father has exalted Him above all else, and I must do the same in my life!
Sometimes it’s easy to forget and get caught up in the mundane things in life and lose focus. So, today I ask myself, has Jesus become common place in my life? Am I giving credit where credit is due? Am I in awe of the One who died to save me? Am I living my life in a way that brings glory to Him?
Jesus knew what he was facing when He came to earth. He knew that He would be separated from the Father as He never had been before and He knew that He would die a brutal death that was reserved for only the worst of criminals.
He could have saved Himself from such a painful death. He could have said I’m not the Son of God, I’m just the son of a carpenter and they would have let Him go. Likewise, He could have called upon all the angels in heaven to come down and defend Him and they could have easily destroyed the entire earth.
But Jesus didn’t do either of those things. Instead, He did as the Father asked. He left behind the glory of heaven, humbled Himself and became a servant. He did it for you and for me, so that we could live together with Him forever. He did it because of His great love for us! And for that sacrifice, God has exalted Him and given Him the name which is above all names. He alone is worthy of our praise!
Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? If so, are you living your life for His glory? Today, my prayer for you, is that you will know the love of Jesus and make Him the focus of your life. May His love and peace fill your heart.
Together let’s celebrate Jesus, Name Above All Names!
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You are the light of the world. A city on the hill cannot be hidden. 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. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
About a month ago, there was a commercial on TV for Bring Your Bible to School Day. It showed a group of teenagers wearing a basket on their heads as they went about their day. It was funny and a little bit silly too, but it conveyed the message clearly that our light cannot shine when it is hidden under a bushel.
Sometimes we find ourselves figuratively wearing a basket over our heads. Maybe we’re afraid of what people will think of us if we share our faith with them. Or we mistakenly assume that everyone has already heard the good news of Jesus. Satan would like for us to believe these lies and keep our faith to ourselves.
But Jesus has called Christians to be the light of world and to put our light up on a lampstand for everyone to see. It is our job to reflect the glowing light of Jesus and to be bold enough to take the basket off of our heads and let our light shine bright. When we do, these three things will happen…
#1 Opportunities to share our faith will open up.
How can someone ask us about our faith if they don’t know we have it to begin with? When people see us, they can tell that there is something different about our lives. And they want to know what that difference is. With each person we meet and with every question they ask, God opens up a new opportunity for us to share our faith. A seemingly chance encounter in the grocery store checkout line, or a random meeting at the DMV just might be the perfect time for us to share our faith with someone who needs the light of Christ in their lives. My pastor likes to call these “chance” encounters divine appointments. God loves to give them to us, especially when we least expect them. So, let’s be on the lookout for our next divine appointment and take every opportunity God gives us to let our light so shine before men.
#2 We will show the path to Jesus.
A lighthouse points the way to safety. It stands tall and shines brightly to keep a ship from crashing into the shore. And just like a lighthouse, we point the way to safety. Our light stands tall above the darkness of this world and shows the path to Jesus. It is a shining beacon of hope that keeps the unsaved of the world from crashing and burning into the despair of Satan’s lies and guides them into the loving arms of the Savior.
#3 We give God the glory!
Most importantly our light gives God the glory for what He has done, for us and for everyone else. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and be raised again to save us! And our lives have forever been changed because of it. We no longer have to live in guilt and shame because we have been forgiven. By letting our light shine, we are showing the world what Jesus has done for us and for them. And we give God the glory that rightfully belongs to Him.
Christians are the light of the world! The city on the hill and a shining beacon of hope. We point the way to Jesus by reflecting His radiant light for everyone to see. His light cannot be overshadowed or hidden from view. So, today I pray that we will be the light of the world and give glory to God for what He has done. May God bless you!
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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.
Everyone loves salty food! Potato chips, French fries (anything fried, right?), pizza, pretzels, and the list of yummy foods could go on forever… But doctors and dieticians tell us not to eat too many salty foods because they’re bad for our health. And they say we should check the amount of sodium on food labels. But more important than the amount of sodium in our diet is the amount of salt in our spiritual life. Even though we may not sprinkle salt liberally on our food it should be sprinkled on our hearts abundantly. Our spiritual health and the spiritual health of those around us depends on this kind of salt, even if our diet doesn’t.
We’ve all heard that Christians are to be “salt and light”. But what did Jesus mean when He said that we are “the salt of the earth”? And how can we apply that to our day to day lives.
To fully grasp what Jesus meant when He spoke these words, we need to understand the purpose of salt in Bible times and what salt symbolizes to us now in a modern world today. So, let’s look at some of the keys elements of salt together…
#1 Salt is Stable
Salt is a very stable substance. The molecules of sodium chloride form an ionic bond that is very strong. In the same way, salt symbolizes the strength of our stability in Jesus. Our faith is firmly bound together in the tangible, real truth of the Living Christ. This stable foundation we have in Him is as factual as the science of salt molecules.
#2 Salt is Life Sustaining
Salt is essential for life. Our physical bodies need a small amount of salt every day. Without the trace amount of minerals and electrolytes in it we will die. But spiritually, we must have an overflowing amount of salt. For ourselves, so that our spirit will flourish in this life and the next. And to season the lives of the people around us with the salt of God’s wisdom and love, so that they can have this life sustaining nutrient too.
#3 Salt creates Thirst
Each of us is born with a spiritual thirst inside of us. It starts out as a longing or a feeling of being parched but not knowing why. The longer this thirst goes on, the bigger it becomes. Until one day it’s full on dehydration that quickly becomes an undeniable need and must be filled right now.
Movie theatres put a lot of salt on popcorn to make us thirsty so they can upsell us a giant soft drink. As Christians, we don’t want to “sell” anyone our faith. We just want them to know who Jesus really is and to understand that our life is different from theirs because of Him. So our goal is to sprinkle our spiritual salt around in a way that allows the world to see Jesus and become thirsty for what He offers. The “secret” Christians have is simple. We know that Jesus is the only One who has the power to quench the spiritual thirst inside each of us.
#4 Salt Preserves
God created our bodies with a need to eat. And with that need comes another, preserving food for future consumption. Since God created us, it’s no wonder that He also gave us a natural way to preserve our food with salt. But modern technology has replaced our need to preserve food naturally. Now that we have refrigerators, chemicals and 24 hour grocery stores we’ve conveniently forgotten how to salt meat and can vegetables. But salt has been used as a food preservative for centuries.
This is exactly what Jesus was talking about when He said that we are “the salt of the earth”. As Christians we understand that Jesus is the only One who can truly preserve life. And we know He took our place on the cross and became the life preserving salt that we desperately needed Him to be.
But because of what Jesus has done for us, it is our responsibility to be the salt for others. Not that we can preserve their life, we know we can’t. But we can point the way to Jesus, the Preserver of life!
#5 Salt can lose its flavor
When salt loses its flavor, it also loses its purpose and becomes useless. The common practice in Jesus’s day was to throw tasteless salt out onto the street where it would be trampled on by people and animals.
Sometimes we lose our saltiness as believers. We don’t intend to, it just happens. We get caught up in our mundane daily routines, go through crisis after crisis or get hurt by another church member. Little by little we lose our taste for salvation. The incredible joy we once felt diminishes and we find ourselves just going through the motions. Then, one day we wake up and realize we’ve lost our purpose too. We’ve become ineffective Christians, something we never wanted to be. But unlike salt, that cannot regain its flavor once it is gone, we don’t have to remain stuck in this pattern of joyless, tasteless being. We can turn to Jesus and regain the purpose and zest for salvation we once had! And we can once again be useful and productive for the kingdom of God!
Jesus has called us to be “the salt of the earth”. Because, when we share our faith, we are giving the unsaved world all of the redeeming qualities of salt. We are showing them the stabile foundation we already have in Christ. And the thirst quenching, life sustaining, preserving power that they can have in Jesus too. Together, may we season the life of an unsaved person with the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ each and every day!
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Connie Rowland is the Artist and Blogger behind Master's Hand Collection, a series of Christian artwork that depicts God's hand in our lives. Each picture features an inspirational word spelled out in American Sign Language with a corresponding Bible verse. Check out the About page for more info on Master's Hand Collection and Connie.
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