A Message of Exhortation
by Marie Williams
I recently visited a rural community Church. It happened that this particular service would be their Pastor’s last service. He received a call from the Lord to minister elsewhere. With much prayer and mixed emotions, he made his decision. This sermon would be his last with this Church family.
I felt his love towards the people, as he shared the message God had placed in his heart. He exhorted the congregation to be the light in the community. Sharing the text from Matthew 5: 1-16 he reminded us that the first thing Christ did with his disciples, was to, ‘open his mouth and teach them.’
There was blessing after blessing in the scripture to be had, but until Christ taught, they had an unopened gift available and waiting, yet doing them little good until they understood its value and received it.
I chewed on that piece of meat for a while. Seven little words… yet a powerful message. Christ opened his mouth and taught them.
He could have murmured and complained to God of all the sin in the world, drugs, promiscuity, murder, gossip, sickness. Yet, he sat down, opened his mouth, and taught. His teachings are just as dynamic today as they were in the day of our Lord.
Are we reaching out in our community, our city, our state, or simply next door? Are we afraid to ‘open our mouths’ and proclaim the love and blessings of God? Are we telling the lost there is a better way… a way for peace and contentment to reign in their hearts during times of trials? Are we sharing with them the truth, that a spirit of joy can fill their heart and soul, instead of alcoholic spirits that dull the senses and cause heartache and pain? Are we telling our young women how loved they are as they search for love in all the wrong places?
Does your light stay hidden under a bushel? Does it flicker for a time, and then dim and puff out? If so, we leave far too many people hungrily searching in the midst of darkness.
On the other hand, you might be like a tiny glowworm, glowing brighter and brighter. Imagine what the world would be like if every believer allowed their light to shine. Do you get the picture?
Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven. KJV
God’s people are blessed! I can think of so many things to be thankful for. Nothing compares to the joy we as believers should, and can experience, if we simply allow our light to shine.
Did you get the message? Jesus said WE are the light.” Our light should reflect Christ to the world. When they look at us, they should see Him. More importantly, our lives should cause others to hunger and thirst for what we have in and through Him.
As you gathered with family and friends this holiday season, I pray your light shined brightly. If not, you have a New Year, with new opportunities to share God’s love.
Ask God to open doors of opportunity, to expand your territory that you might minister to a needy, hungry, and dying world. Then…..Open your mouth. Share the gift…. share Jesus.