What Happened to the Light of the World?

You are not for this world, but you’re in this world. Be careful to live as if you’re out of this world.

It has been statistically proven that the longer the people live as Christians, the lesser non-believing friends they have. Eventually, they become so self-absorbed with fellow believers and struggle to relate with nonbelievers.

After Jesus illustrated His disciples as the “salt of the earth,” He shifted to another household object to symbolize His followers as a whole–as “the light of the world.”

Three applications matter.

1. Lighten Up the World.

Long before the Dark Ages, Jesus said to His early disciples in ways His listeners could fully understand.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

This is not the “light” that we usually know (Bulb, Fluorescent, tragic, LED, etc.). Jesus was referring The light produced by a small clay “lamp” with a wick made from a tightly rolled piece of cloth.

Christ-followers are considered as the light for the world to see, with Jesus as the Light source. When all household lights are on, it lightens up the house, whole village or town.

A light is so easy to spot. In fact, during the WWII, London has to turn off their household lights to avoid German bombing. It’s because, in the darkest night, a flicker of light is still visible thousands of feet above.

Indeed, a city on the hill cannot be hidden if the lights are up. Every time I take night trips from or to Baguio City, I’m always reminded of the city on the hill that can’t be hidden.

When was the last time you took a night flight and you’ve seen a city’s beauty?

That’s how Christian life should be.

2. Level Up.

Christians are also seen as the recipient of spiritual illumination and must share it to fellow people. As such, it is not good to hide the spiritual truth on others. It defeats the basic purpose of a light in a darkened room.

Jesus said, “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

It’s common sense. People put the lamp on top of the bushel, not inside of it where the light won’t be seen and the fire will soon be snuffed out. No oxygen, no fire.

The best place for the lamp to lighten up the house is on top of the bushel where the light can spread freely. Christ-followers are pictured here as setting the house in a lightened environment.

Inside the house, a light is simply meant to let people see each other and where the light is, the family sticks together. Family and guests don’t lurk in the dark. They keep warm and get closer to where the light is.

Warning: A light on fire must be settled and used properly or else it will set the house on fire. It could lead to a loss of family property. Its spiritual implications could be really or totally destructive.

3. Let the Light Shining.

In the same way,” Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The major purposes for Jesus followers as light is to let their good deeds be evident and not show off.

As a result, the ultimate purpose is achieved, which is to give glory to God. As the Apostle Paul puts it, “Whatever you do, in words or deeds, do it all for the glory of God.”

This truth applies to the principle that the lamp is used for a season and time. It didn’t also say, the light is to be used in broad daylight.

In fact, both the salt and light have something in common. The salt can be a light also.

I’m reminded of the lighting system invented by Aisa Mijeno. She is a Filipino inventor who used salt and water to produce light, instead of kerosene. But in ancient times, the most important part of the lamp to keep it burning and produce light is the olive oil.

The wick can be snuffed out by the wind blows or when out of oil. As much as we need the power of electricity to set our lights on, ancient people need the olive oil to keep their lamps lighted.

During pilgrimages in Jesus’ time, people used light through bonfires to keep the night safe, warm them from cold, and discourage predators to attack.

But it tells something more for travelers. Where there is fire, there is light; and where there is light, there are people.

How would you feel if you walk in darkness without a light?

What if your life is the only light they could see in this darkened world?

Keep the light burning and honor God with your whole lives.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017

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How’s the Salt of the World?

The two of the most popular depictions of Christians in the Bible is that of the “salt” and “light” of the world.

And yet these are the most taken for granted and often misunderstood pictures of what and how Christians should live in this world.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” Jesus’ uncanny ability to use ordinary things as object lessons and bring about extraordinary applications is evident.

Three major moves are needed.

1. Season the World. 

The context of the passage is that Jesus spoke to a mixed crowd, but primarily to his disciples (“you“). As such, when he spoke to his followers, he was talking to them in a very personal way.

This is actually a two-way street where the disciples will be reminded of who they are and for the seekers to know what they would become if they decided to follow Jesus.

Jesus used simple terms and languages for his listeners. This is for people to understand his teachings: that His followers are to add flavor to the quality of life in the world.

Salt is a common ingredient in every kitchen. It is basically used for seasoning to make any food tasty. It provides additional flavor and quality.

A little or too much of salt makes the food tasteless or salty. Either way, it’s not good.

When Jesus referred to His followers as the salt, the point is to for them to add value and improve the quality of people’s lives, to be blessings to this worlds.

Think of this. What if your life is the only seasoning in this world where people could have a foretaste of heaven?

2. Spread to the World.

Jesus made it clear that the scope of His disciples’ influence is the world. But it is also true that the world of Jesus’ disciples is the home, community, marketplace, work, etc.

There are other known usages of salt. One major use of salt is for preservation. Salt is a popular preservative to prevent food decay, especially in making salted meat, meat, egg, etc.

If Christian disciples fail to live out and preserve its call to Christian living, the world will stay the same or continue to grow worse and decay morally. Christian life influences societies to live in loving and godly ways.

In ancient times, salt was also used as a salary for Roman soldiers, as well as a disinfectant for their wounds at war. Isn’t it a powerful symbol that Christians can serve in binding the wound of people’s lives too?

Is God calling you to bind the wounded souls of your friends or heal their wounded hearts?

How ironic. Lots of Christians are so preoccupied with their tablespoon influence while God wants them to impact the whole pot, the world itself.

3. Stay Salty.

Jesus said, “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

During the time of Jesus, people got their supply of salt from the Dead Sea. It’s where the salinity of the water is so high that salt is continuously and endlessly created.

There’s only one problem. This kind of salt has lots of impurities, such impurities were the main causes of Dead Sea salt to lose its saltiness.

Isn’t it interesting that even though Christians are considered “new creation” still the sinful human impurities are still there?

Isn’t it true that the main cause of Christians to lose its spiritual saltiness is because of many impurities or lack of commitment to purity, both doctrinal and moral hypocrisy?

What ancient people did to tasteless salt was to scatter it and make road pavements light. At least, even in its lowest form, salt still serve underneath in helping people go to its destinations. In fact, salt is being used to melt the snow on the road during winter.

Have you heard about the new solar light invention made by Aisa Mijeno, a Filipino inventor and CEO of SALt? It’s actually a combination of salt and water to produce light through this formula: Electrolytes + Electrodes = Electricity.

What else is out there to tell us the massive potential of this special ingredient? The science of health could still discover the power and benefits of salt in a person’s body. I even saw farmers feeding their water Buffaloes with salt from time to time.

The truth is, Jesus did not say the salt will not be able to restore its saltiness. It may take a miracle to restore it. But if Jesus could turn water into wine, is it impossible for Him to restore the saltiness of a salt that has lost its flavor?

That’s where God’s grace comes in–that undeserved favor from God despite our shortcomings.

Imagine God cooking in the universe’s kitchen with the world as His cooking pot. Can you smell what God is cooking?

He took a pinch of salt to season the food. How does it taste?

Have you ever realized how God uses something as someone on what he is cooking?

To flavor the world, God uses Jesus followers.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017