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Be a Kingdom Influencer - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2024 6:00 am

Be a Kingdom Influencer - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 27, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip begins a message about what it means for Christians to be salt and light in the world.

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I've always loved this about Jesus, the fact that he uses illustrations to get a point across. Jesus put, like we like to say, he put the cookies on the bottom shelf. Anybody can understand this.

Anybody can grasp this. Remember Jesus said, feed my sheep, not feed my giraffes. He was really good at feeding sheep by just getting it down to where everybody could understand what he was meaning. So he, in his teaching here, uses two simple analogies from the natural world, salt and light.

Are you an influencer? Well, today on Connect with Skip Hitek, Pastor Skip begins a message about what it means for Christians to be salt and light in the world. But first, here's a resource that dives deep into the story of who God is and what that means to you. Does God exist? And if he does, is it possible to know him?

How you answer those questions shapes how you see the world and navigate life. And Skip Hitek knows how important it is to have an accurate view of God's character. I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate view of God. In Skip Hitek's book, Biography of God, learn to recognize and remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. The truth is, I am a fellow traveler on this same road that you are on.

And we have access to the same information, the same documents, but I hope to offer a fresh perspective on God himself. Biography of God is our way to thank you for supporting Connect with Skip Hitek as we reach a lost world with the gospel. Request your copy with a gift of $50 or more when you give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888.

That's connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. All right, we're going to turn to Matthew 5 as we join Skip today. What persuades a person to say yes to anything? Well, that is the power of influence. And that has been actually studied over the last six decades.

How do you get a person to move from one position to another position and say yes? Now, persuasion is all around us. It's on billboards. It's in music. It's in pictures, radio, television, internet, social media.

There's always people persuading us or trying to to a certain position. Have you ever been talked into buying something? You know, they were so good at their job and you walked out of the store going, you know, I don't think I really needed that, but here it is.

Here it is. And you wonder how that happened. Even if you do the research and you look at all the YouTube videos to see if you really want that product, somebody in one of those videos just talked you in to get in that thing. So you were persuaded. Now, most of the people who persuade us or influence us when we're young are parents, brothers, and sisters. My earliest influences were my brothers. My brother, Jim, gave me a love for photography. My brother, Rick, got me interested in guitars and music. My brother, Bob, got me interested in motorcycles. And my parents influenced me to like yard work.

I didn't like it when they asked me to do it, but I do now. I was influenced by them. When I met my wife, Lenya, for the first time, I became an influencer.

I had to think, how can I influence that young lady to make the decision, yes, when I ask her to marry me? That's what I turned into, an influencer. Influence and an influencer has become sort of a social media term more lately.

It is adopted by them. How do we get people online to, with their audience, sway their audience to engagement? How do we get them to buy our product?

How do we get them to pay for our service? So those are called influencers, and it's actually a very lucrative position. I found out that you can make up to about 200,000 a year if you're a really successful social media influencer. How many of you knew that? You can make that kind of money.

That's a boatload. So we are all influencers to someone, as well as being influenced by people, we are also persuaders, influencers. We have an audience, we have a network, we have a sphere of influence, could be our kids, could be co-workers, could be on social media.

When it comes to influence, here's the question I pose to you. Do you want to be like a tumbleweed or do you want to be like an oak tree? That's actually from a quote I'm going to put up on the screen, and we're going to look at it together. Galen Anderson wrote, a man's life is like either the tumbleweed or the oak tree. Some people just grow like the weed. They are of no value in their youth, and as the years of life come, they break loose and become a blotch on society. They have no useful purpose in life, they have no useful purpose in life, just drifters. Their loved ones will mourn their loss, but society will not miss them.

Then there are those whose lives are like the oak. They have turned from the frivolity of this life and have invested in the things that have genuine worth. Their influence for good will live on in the lives of others after they are gone. Their death is noticed because their lives were spent bettering the nation and the community. They will be missed. So do you want to be tumbleweed or oak?

Yeah, I'm guessing the oak tree. You want to have lasting influence and impact. Well, the next question is for what? What is it exactly that you want to influence people about or for?

What cause are you influencing others toward? With that in mind, let's look at our text. Matthew 5 verse 13, Jesus speaking, says, 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. You are the light of the world. A city set upon a 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. Jesus is speaking here in what is called the Sermon on the Mount.

I've never liked the title, by the way. The Bible didn't call it that. We call it the Sermon on the Mount. That's like saying, the title of my message is The Sermon from the Pulpit. So this really was the sermon about the kingdom. That's what it was about, the sermon on kingdom living. And he is speaking to a crowd. In the crowd are his disciples. He has his disciples in mind when he shares these words. The disciples were, from what region did they come from?

Anybody know? Galilee, Galilee. Galilee was like the country. It was a rural area, not a city area. They were blue collar workers. They were like normal folk. They were farmers, fishermen, peasants.

And their lives would have seemed would have seemed to them insignificant in the light of the Roman Empire that was in control of that land. In fact, they may have even asked themselves, how could I ever make a difference in this empire, in this world? Which I believe is a question we all ask, how can I make a difference in the world in which I live?

We should be asking that question. So what I want to do with these verses is give you three reasons why you can and should make a difference in the world in which you live for three reasons. The conditions are right, the commission is clear, and the caution is plain.

First of all, let's look at the conditions. You'll notice in our paragraph that Jesus in verse 13 uses two analogies, two metaphors. The first one is salt.

The second one is light. Those are metaphors. Those are analogies. We know that our Lord did this a lot. He taught with illustrations. He taught in parables. So he begins the Sermon on the Mount giving pithy little statements, blessing statements. We call them beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. He describes in the beatitudes the character, the nature of kingdom followers, of followers of Him. They're like this. That's their character. Now with this analogy, with these metaphors, He tells you what His kingdom followers do in the world in which they live.

They are like salt, and they are like light. And I've always loved this about Jesus, the fact that He uses illustrations to get a point across. Jesus put, like we like to say, He put the cookies on the bottom shelf. Anybody can understand this. Anybody can grasp this. Remember, Jesus said, feed my sheep, not feed my giraffes.

And He was really good at feeding sheep, right? Just getting it down to where everybody could understand what He was meaning. So He, in His teaching, here uses two simple analogies from the natural world, salt and light. By using these analogies, He is implying something about the world itself. He doesn't have to say it explicitly. It is a presupposition. The fact that He said, you are the salt and you are the light of the world implies something about the world.

Now I want to ask you this. How would you describe your world? How would you describe your state, your country, the world in which you live?

You hear the news reports. You know what's going on in the world. So if you were to describe your world, would you say it's peaceful, it's righteous, it's decent, it's filled with good? Or might you use terms like it's corrupt, it's dark, it's evil, it's bad? You see, by using these terms, they themselves speak a lot about the world.

Look at the first one. You are the salt of the earth. Of the earth. By using that term, Jesus is implying the world is decayed and rotten and needs help. You know, we use the term salt of the earth. I've heard people use it. Oh, He's the salt of the earth. Usually what we mean by that is He's honest, He's upright, He's simple, a straightforward, friendly, you know, just a salt of the earth guy.

However, when Jesus uses the term, it has a different meaning. Salt was used in ancient times to stop meat from getting rotten. They would rub the salt in the meat because meat, if you leave it out, will smell pretty rank in a couple of days. So they had no refrigerators, they had no freezers.

To prevent decay, to stop bacterial rot, they would rub salt into the meat. Ever smelled old rotten meat? Ever open your refrigerator one day and go, man, that's been in there way too long? You smell it, right?

And then you might even make the mistake of taking it out of the fridge and putting it in the trash, which makes everything worse because now it doesn't even have that low temperature of a refrigerator, the corruption process is faster. So everything smells. So think of that smell when you hear this phrase, you are the salt of the earth. When I was in high school, I worked at a place called Hugo's Delicatessen.

It was an Italian family and they had meat and they had a drink cooler and I would sometimes cut the meat and our boss was very finicky about cleaning up every speck of meat in the corner on that stainless steel countertop because if you didn't, if you left some meat like it fell on the floor or got into the cracks, you'd smell it the next day or the next couple of days. So you are the salt of the earth. You stop the rot, the corruption in the world around you.

Second, you are the light of the world. Now this implies the world is in darkness. Go back in your mind's 2,000 years. Did they have electricity back then? No, they had no electricity. We do today. We enjoy light in a room. Nighttime doesn't change much for us. You go into well-lit homes. You're able to cook meals, read books, play with your kids because you're in a world of lights. You go get in your vehicle. Your vehicle has lights to navigate through the darkness. And then there are lights out on the street just so you have a relative idea of what is going on in your environment. Not 2,000 years ago. 2,000 years ago when it was dark, everything stopped.

People went inside and they lit little oil lamps about the size of your hand, a little clay lamp, a little clay lamp, and they would then lift it onto a shelf, a stone shelf in the home pretty high up to give light to the room. So, when Jesus said, you are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world, the implication of Christ is this. He is saying the world is corrupt, decayed, rotten, and dark.

Jesus, tell us how you really feel, right? Now, I don't know if you agree with that assessment. That is Jesus' assessment that happens to be a biblical world view. The world is dark.

The world is corrupt. In fact, in school, I remember them telling us that people lived in the dark ages before the age of enlightenment. What I've discovered is every age is dark. The enlightenment they're speaking about is like just book knowledge. You know, we're enlightened, we learn more, so we're enlightened.

But every age of man, whether you're smart or not smart, is dark apart from Christ and needs light. And by the way, you should know this, it is not getting better, it's getting worse. Sometimes people say, well, we're evolving upward.

Really? Do you read anything? Do you ever watch a newscast? You think we're getting better? We're not getting better, we're getting worse. Yes, we have better technology, so we're learning how to kill people easier and faster. But that's not improving mankind in our nature.

Paul said to Timothy, evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse. So I'm painting a black picture for you for this reason. The conditions are perfect, just perfect for salt and light to make an impact.

The conditions are right. Salt and light, because it's corrupt and dark, can make maximum impact. The darker the night, the brighter the light. So we often complain, the world is so bad, so we often complain, the world is so bad. Yeah, it needs some good, it needs some salt, it needs some light. Yeah, but if you looked around lately, it's such a mess. Every time you hear the word mess, I want you to think of something else. Message and messenger. The world is a mess.

It needs a messenger with a message in the mess. That's salt and light. Conditions are perfect for us. This is where we come in. So let's look at the second. First is, the conditions are right. The second is, the commission is clear.

What's the commission? Verse 13, you are the salt of the earth. Verse 14, you are the light of the world. Verse 16, let your light so shine before men. Every now and then in the Bible, you read a statement that makes you stand up straight, lift your head up high, and go, wow, I'm important.

This is one of those statements. If there ever was a statement that should cause you to realize what a remarkable thing it is to be a Christian, it's the statement, you are the light of the world, you are the salt of the earth. Because when our Lord said that and Matthew wrote it down, he used an emphatic plural.

Plural, y'all. But it's emphatic, so it's you and you alone are the salt of the earth. You and only you are the light of the world. So to put it all together, by implication and by statement, Jesus is saying, yep, the world is rotten, yep, the world is dark, but I have a plan and you're it.

My plan is you. You're the only hope this world will ever have. If you don't be salt and you don't be light, there's no hope. You're the salt of the earth.

You're the light of the world, you and you only. Now, how does that make you feel when you hear it like that? Some of you will say, it makes me feel really pressured, like there's a lot hanging on me.

It makes me really stressed out. How about this? How about this? It should make you feel important. It should make you feel valuable. In fact, I didn't tell you this, salt was so valuable in ancient times, it was like money. Roman soldiers were often paid with salt. Ever hear the phrase, he's not worth his salt? You know where that comes from? Comes from that practice of paying Roman soldiers with quantities of salt because salt held its value.

It was so valuable. In fact, we get the word soldier from two words, saldare, which literally means to give salt. And our word salary, somebody's paid a salary, comes from the word giving salt. So we have a commission in a dark world, in a corrupt world, to be salt and light. Now, I want to drill down on that a little bit. What does that mean exactly? What does this mean practically? What does it mean practically to be salt and light in the world in which we live? How can we make a difference?

Let me give you a few ways. Number one, we disinfect. We disinfect the world, just like salt was used to stop corruption, rubbed into meat to preserve it, to disinfect the meat, the bacterial rot that was in the meat. That's what we do. We disinfect.

That's what we do. We disinfect. Also, I didn't tell you this, but I will now, salt was used for medicinal purposes. It was a medicine. It was put in a wound to take away infection. It was rubbed on babies when they were born to also take away bacteria on the skin. In Ezekiel 16, God says to the people of Israel, on the day you were born, your cord was not cut, you were not washed with water to clean you, you were not rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloth. So there was a common practice when a baby was born to take salt and rub to keep the corruption away, to disinfect the baby, so to speak. So what do we do? We disinfect. Christians are to be a moral disinfectant, a spiritual preservative to retard or stop spoilage in this world.

Hey, you think it's bad now? Imagine how bad the world will be when all of the salt is instantly removed at the rapture of the church. No one to say that's not going to happen. No one to stop the onslaught of immorality. All the Christians are gone. During the tribulation, it will only take seven years for the world to get so bad, God has to wipe it out. It rots very, very quickly. So we disinfect.

We have a job of disinfecting our culture. And by the way, I've told you this on several occasions, every past revival I have ever studied has moral benefits to it as well. Yes, people are saved.

Yes, people come to Christ. Their lives are changed, but because their lives are changed, they build hospitals. They start orphanages. They start educational systems for young children.

They better the society in which they live. That's Skip Hyten with a message from the series Kingdom City, encouraging you to be an influencer for God's kingdom. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's unchanging word with more people around the world.

Studying scripture is essential to enable believers to understand what God desires of all of us and for all of us. The broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig exists to connect people around the world to God's word so they can enjoy His presence and do His will. We invite you to join in that important work today. Through your support, you can expand this ministry into more major U.S. cities and help more people respond to the life-changing truth of the Bible.

Plus, you'll keep these teachings that you love available to you wherever you listen. Would you partner with me in this effort? Here's how you can give a gift now. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Tomorrow be sure to join us as Pastor Skip shares a powerful message encouraging you not to be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Christian shouldn't blend in. A Christian should stand out. Salt is very different from the meat that it is rubbed into. Light is a very different substance. Though it's in the same space, it is very different. I believe that one of the greatest endeavors, desires of our enemy, the devil, is to make us indistinguishable from the world. .... Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-27 05:11:13 / 2024-05-27 05:20:10 / 9

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