Bible Ballistics: Are You Well Seasoned??? Vol. 7#03
As we enjoy the delights of this season of “Joy” in the arrival of the Savior of the world, I think of the sights, sounds and smells of the season. I love the ringing of bells, the cinnamon and spice that pervades the air from baked goods in the oven, and the sounds of joyous hymns and carols that proclaim the one and only “Messiah’s birth….”. I pray that you are making time to remember the reason many of us celebrate—Jesus, the redeemer of the world. The one who came that we might have life—eternal life.
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing made
that was made.
4 In him was life;
and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5
While we don’t celebrate the “beginning” of the Lord Jesus Christ (As some false teachers purport), we do celebrate the incarnation of the Son of God, the “Word”; we celebrate His coming in human form to be the Redeemer for all who would believe in Him. He who created light, came to be the “light of the world”—to shine in the darkness! And as the “light”, to shine on us and bring us into the “light”—unto salvation, relationship, and oneness with Him and His Father!
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life……. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 8:12 & 9:5
Now Jesus didn’t mean that He would stop being the “light” when He returned to the Father, but His physical presence would cease to be with us. And He didn’t say that we would “see” the light, but that we would “have the light of life”!!! We receive of His light, and that my dear friends, is what we are to manifest to the world—the light of Jesus and know the oneness that we have with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Father (And ours), God Almighty!
“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” John 17:11
We are one in Him because HE is in us!!! His Spirit, His very presence is with us always. That IS the New Covenant, which Christ Jesus purchased and accomplished at Calvary.
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:27
Jesus Christ IN me and IN you who believe and have been born again by the Spirit of God:
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:9-13
And not only “born……of God” but empowered to be all that God intends for us to be—by HIS power not our own:
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
And that “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” includes the power of the Holy Spirit which is working in us, even as He has already given to us so much:
“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so,
but we glory in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience;
and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God
is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us.” Romans 5:1-5
WOW!!! God’s love isn’t in my heart because I have done such a special work, but because of what Jesus did at Calvary and the work that HIS Holy Spirit is thence able to do IN ME—to shed HIS love in my heart, and with His love in me, I have “peace” with God (not just he peace of God working in me, but I have peace WITH God)! So because of the love of God, and peace with God, I can experience HIS work, and His grace enabling me to live in a way that is manifesting His glory my life. ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’. And that brings me to what I’d really like us to focus on today. Because of what Jesus has done for us, and what believing in Him does within us, there should be an inescapable difference in me. I should reflect something to the world that they don’t, in fact can’t, understand or explain in human terms.
Because Jesus is the light of the world, and His light now dwells within us, we should manifest that light every where we go, and in every thing we do; at home, at work, in the market place, in the hustle and bustle of life, Jesus should be seen in you and me!
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, talks about “the” poor in spirit, ‘the’ meek and other groups of people, but then in verse 11 He changes the pronoun to “YOU/Ye”! He goes from the broad sweep of the “the/they” who have opportunity, to the “YOU” of those who actually follow HIM, and tells us what we “are”—NOT only what we are to do, but who we are to “BE”!!! It’s about a change of heart, a change of nature, and change of direction—I have changed from going my own way to going HIS way, as Isaiah describes:
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
Whose way are you going? Have you received the sacrifice that Jesus made for you at Calvary? Have you received the gift of God’s grace in His laying on Jesus your sin, and mine? If you have then you are equipped to do the work of the Kingdom of Jesus, the Kingdom of God, because you are “translated/transferred” into that very Kingdom.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:12-14
And because we have received the “redemption” through His blood, we are part of HIS kingdom—NOW– part of His army, part of His family, called to do HIS work. How? By ‘being’ the salt and light that HE has made us, and “BEING” that salt and light before the world by the power of His Holy Spirit. Let’s see what Jesus says we ARE!
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have 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.
14 Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on an hill
cannot be hid.
15 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.
16 Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus calls us to BE salt and light, NOT to “DO” salt and light! Because when we “ARE” salt and light we can make a difference in the world around us. Look at verse 16. Jesus doesn’t say, “shine your light”, He says, “Let your light so shine before men”—we are to stay plugged in to the source of the light! And if we stay plugged into the light, HE will shine, and others will see HIM in us, and glorify God. Why is much of the church so ineffective in our world? I believe it’s because we aren’t “BEING” light. We have lots of people who try to imitate the light, who try to create their own light, who try to run on battery power—but have no real connection with Jesus, and Jesus Himself, tells us what the outcome of that is.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
While the context here is abiding in the vine, I believe we can make application to the light without violating the context. The bottom line is, we MUST be connected to Jesus—He is the only way! And when we are connected to Jesus the world will see HIM. But without the Holy Spirit of Jesus/God dwelling within us, we are ‘power’less—pun intended! So first of all we must be sure we are connected to the source of power, Jesus. If we are, then we must keep that connection open and active. We must keep our focus on Jesus, prayer and His Word and then we will see His work in and through our lives. How? Let’s examine the Word for the answer to that!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
Did you notice verse 2? We are to surrender to God, dying to ourselves and the outcome will be that we “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. But only when we give ourselves, as that “living sacrifice” will we truly see the “life” of Jesus demonstrated in us—and that is what the world is in desperate need of. You and I living genuine transformed lives before a world of corruption that needs salt and light more than it needs anything else!
And just how are we to work this out in reality, when we live in such a hostile world? Only by allowing the grace of God to work within us. Paul gives us a good set of instructions to use as we strive to be plugged in, yielded and focused on Jesus:
“Continue in prayer,
and watch in the same
3 Withal praying also for us,
that God would open unto us a door of utterance,
to speak the mystery of Christ,
for which I am also in bonds:
4 That I may make it manifest,
as I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time.
6 Let your speech be always with grace,
seasoned with salt,
that ye may know
how ye ought to answer every man.” Colossians 4:2-6
So, my challenge to each of us is to be “spiritually” seasoned with God’s grace, the salt of the Savior, the wisdom and discernment of the Spirit, that we might reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus whom we serve! May it ever be so! Are you well seasoned? It’s worth the effort. Just as tasteless food is not very desirable, neither are Christians who aren’t seasoned by Jesus and His Word!!! Remember, speaking “with grace” not continually complaining, but “seasoned with salt” not walking through this world ‘taste’lessly—again pun intended—but full of the Spirit of Christ. Let’s allow the seasoning of Jesus to make us effective in all we do, by “being” a reflection of HIS love and glory at work in us!