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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Danger: Light and Salt Ahead


In the context of Jesus teaching that we are the light of the world, I love the line at the end of this video "And you were made to love (God's glory) and to reflect His glory"



Chris and I came across this sign on an electricity pylon in Tiberias in Israel a few years ago: Danger of Death. We live in a world where so much more seems to be dangerous than ever before; there are danger warnings on so many things: the sun is dangerous

and we need protection from the light of the sun:
and we are taught from little, don't look at the sun; in fact don't look at any bright light:
We live in a world where so much more seems to be dangerous than ever before; there are danger warnings on so many things: salt is dangerous



And Jesus says:
In other words, in the twenty-first century western world, where from little we are taught that light can be dangerous and salt must be avoided ... Christians, particularly the type described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount ... are dangerous. They are particularly dangerous in a world where personal integrity is at a premium ... and dare I say has become, to some, quite quaint. What do I mean by that? Simply that we live in a world where a person's Yes to something is not enough. If I say I'll do something, my word, my Yes is not enough unless I back it up with a legal document, setting out in words what I'm committing to do, setting out some kind penalty if I don't keep my word, and then signing it in the presence of witnesses:
 
In such a world, Christians should be labelled "Dangerous".


Danger: here comes a person to whom the Word and the Way of the God of the Bible is important. We've seen in our home group material over the last few months that God specifically placed His people at the cross roads of the world in order to show how a people under God live. This morning John reminded us of some OT laws that, when obeyed, shine light into the world around us. God placed His people where He did in order to be a shining light to the nations. In Leviticus there is a law which says: "Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt" Travellers would have learnt that when you passed through that part of the world, you didn't have worry about being ripped off. God's people reflected God's glory ... they were people of integrity ... there Yes meant ... Yes. Christians are God's people today, we are made to love and to reflect His glory; and we are "dangerous" to the 21st century world because we are people to whom the Word and the Way of the God of the Bible are still important because the Word Himself said:
Danger: here comes a righteous person ... not a perfect person, but a righteous person. He/She can be relied on to do what is right in the eyes of God ... her Yes is Yes, his No is No ... and when he/she gets it wrong (which will happen, because they are righteous, not perfect) ... when they get it wrong, they will confess, apologise and put right as quickly as possible ... again, this makes them dangerous, because they are people who don't hide their own mistakes, and are never complicit in the cover ups of other peoples' mistakes, that are all too common today because they are obedient to another command of the Scriptures:

 Pride prevents the unrighteous from obeying this very clear command of Scripture. In fact those who follow the way of the evil one believe it is a sign of weakness to confess to others that you got it wrong ... but in the Kingdom of God it is a great strength to acknowledge that you are not perfect.

People who are this light and this salt are "dangerous" people in today's world. Danger! ... this person will audit your tax return differently to the one who says: "I think you'll get away with that expense claim"
Danger! This politician will actually do what he said he would do, even if it means he loses his seat at the next election ... or goes against the party whip.
Danger! This person will actually speak out against injustice.
Danger! This person will not tolerate gossip, so you better stop when they walk into the room.
Danger! This person is, in the words of Jesus, "light to the world" ... she will shine light on any darkness she uncovers and bring it into the light.
Danger! This man is, in the words of Jesus, salt of the earth. He will attempt to prevent rot and decay from spreading.
Back to my sign: Sermon on the Mount type Christians are a danger to the way of the world because they spell death to the way of the world.
But be warned ... they are a "danger" to themselves as well ... live as salt and light and you will die as salt and light ... Jesus warned that the world will hate us because of Him:
Be that as it may be, don't let it stop you being salt and light in the world.










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