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Be a Kingdom Influencer - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2024 6:00 am

Be a Kingdom Influencer - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 28, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip shares a powerful message encouraging you not to be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

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Christians 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. So many times that's what we want to do. I got to show people that I'm like them. I'm as cool as they are. I fit in and do what they do. Fitting in becomes more important than standing out.

Not a good plan. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Pastor Skip shares a powerful message encouraging you not to be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Now here's a fascinating biography you are sure to want to add to your library. The best biographies contain the kind of intimate details that make you feel like you're getting personal access to the person you're reading about. From timeless icons to contemporary celebrities, it's exciting to learn about influential people. But one biography stands out above the rest. The biography of God.

Here's Skip Heitig. There's this vast, unfed hunger to know God personally. Discover the omnipotence, paradoxes, and mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. There is something uniquely elevating about focusing not on me, but on God. It will do something to you. Skip's perspective shifting book is our thanks when you give a gift of $50 or more to help keep Connect with Skip Heitig on the air.

Call 800-922-1888 or give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Great, we're ready to go. Let's turn to Matthew 5 as we listen to what Skip has for us today. 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. Now, some of you might be thinking ahead of me and you're saying, okay, well, if we do that much good, if Christians do that much good in society, why aren't we appreciated more, right?

Why do they always marginalize us or talk down about us? Well, I'm glad you asked. What happens when you pour salt into an open wound? It disinfects it, but it also, yeah, people don't go, ah, they go, ouch, it hurts. So when you and I, as that moral, spiritual disinfectant in our culture, speak up or do good, it's not going to be without certain repercussions. That's what disinfectants do.

You may want to ask yourself on a personal level, on a personal level, when was the last time your presence stopped corruption? Or I'll put it another way. Do your friends find it easy to tell you a dirty joke or hard? Oh, here's Skip, don't tell him that joke, he won't like it.

Or here's Skip, he'll love that joke. So we disinfect. Second, we add flavor, just like salt adds flavor. Sometimes food by itself is pretty boring, pretty insipid. You know, we in New Mexico have taken it to the extreme, it always has to be red or green, not just salt, red or green, that brings out the flavor.

Well, in many cultures, for many years, salt is used to bring out the flavor, to take the tastelessness out of the food and to enrich the flavor. Like food, life can be flat, insipid, vapid, boring, empty, people get burned out. For this reason, people seek pleasure. For this reason, people develop habits. For this reason, people get addicted on their way to trying to add flavor to their life. But when they can see a person who has real joy, real purpose, real peace, real confidence, flavor, if you will, wow, that's different. They seem so filled with flavor.

Remember what Paul said in Colossians 4, let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one. So we disinfect, we add flavor. A third practicality, we create a thirst. Christians should be creating a thirst. Now, thirst is just the result of salt doing its job. If you put salt on something, you have sodium in something, you get thirsty, salt tablets are often given to soldiers, hikers, because the saline, the sodium, the salt will help deliver hydration to the cells. A low sodium diet, if it's too low, can actually promote dehydration.

So we need water, and salt does that. I'll make a confession. Please forgive me, but I'll be honest with you. I did a practical joke.

This is many years ago though, decades actually. Trying to distance myself a little bit from what I'm about to tell you. So I was at lunch with a friend. I was saved. I was a pastor. And I had one of my associate pastors at lunch, and he ordered some.

I ordered something. He ordered a Coke, but then he said, I'm going to get up and use the restroom. So he went into the restroom. While he was in the restroom, I took the salt shaker, opened it up, and poured a bunch of salt in his Coke and stirred it up. So he came back and drank some. He goes, it tastes a little bit funny, but okay. And he kept drinking and kept drinking, and he goes, man, I'm really thirsty. He kept drinking, thinking it's going to satisfy his thirst. But the more he drank, the thirstier he got. When he got to the very bottom of a very large cup, I finally said, okay, I pulled a joke on you. I put a whole bunch of salt in there.

Hated it. So yes, that's me. I confess that to you now. Point is, the salt was doing its job. The salt creates thirst. It increases a craving for water. Likewise, this world is spiritually dehydrated. It's thirsty. Do you realize that you, by your life, can create a thirst? Your presence can create a thirst. You say, how is that possible?

Here's how. Live such a full Christian life that when others see your life, their life, is going to seem flat, tasteless, and empty. You are living such a full, flavorful life that they get thirsty around you.

Your life is attractive to them. We create a thirst. You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day, by the things that you do, by the words that you say. People hear what you say, and they see what you do.

So what is the gospel according to you? Are you making them thirsty? So we disinfect, we add flavor, we create thirst. Fourth, we dispel darkness. That's the role of light.

Salt, by its properties, the effect is often hidden. Not so with light. Light is more obvious. It dispels darkness. Darkness, metaphorically, scripturally, and analogously, speaks of ignorance, especially spiritual ignorance, wickedness, evil, sin, whereas light speaks of truth. Peter said, we were called out of darkness into his marvelous light.

But here's the thing about light. It has to be seen. Has to be seen.

Has to be seen. You don't light a lamp and then cover it up. That's what Jesus said. You don't turn on the lights in your room and then quickly get cardboard and cover over the light fixture. It would be dumb.

It would be useless, be pointless, be impractical. So verse 14, you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

You can still go to Galilee today and see the city Jesus was referring to. 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. So they take the oil lamp, put it up high on that shelf, so you can see inside the room. Light, by its very nature, demands visibility, because by it, everything else is visible. So all of that to say this, the Christian life is to be lived out in the open, in public. What are we to do? In a nutshell, turn on the light.

We turn on the light. There's no such thing as secret discipleship. Oh, I'm a Christian, but I'm a secret agent Christian.

Nobody knows. I'm sad. Well, that's a problem. Everybody should know that you're saved. It's impossible to be a secret disciple. The secrecy will kill the discipleship, or the discipleship will destroy the secrecy. Turn on the light. Dispel the darkness. But I'll warn you, when you turn on the light, it will reveal the dark spots. And just like if you put salt in a wound, don't put a salt in a womb, if you put salt in a wound, it hurts. When you turn on lights, when people get accustomed to darkness, they squint.

It hurts. You reveal something about their lives that they're not wanting to look at. So just keep that in mind. So just keep that in mind, you dispel the darkness, but the first reaction is not going to be pleasant.

But that leads me to the fifth and final part of this commission. We disinfect, we add flavor, we create thirst, we dispel darkness, but we just don't dispel the darkness, we show the way out of darkness. You take a flashlight and you can shine it in somebody's face and reveal the problem, or you can say, come here, let me show you how to get out of this.

You point the way out. It doesn't just dispel darkness, it shows the way out. Isaiah chapter 9, speaking of Christ and being in Galilee, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, the light has dawned.

So you're going to help, it's talking about Christ being born to help navigate people out of the darkness. My wife, Lenya, grew up in Ludington, Michigan, and she has this beautiful lighthouse in her hometown, right on the shore of Lake Michigan. It's the delight of everybody in that town. It's what people many times will go to Ludington, Michigan to see, the lighthouse on the break wall. You can see the lights from the shore, but the lights aren't there for people on the shore. They're there to navigate or help boats navigate into the harbor at night when it's dark to show them safe harbor, to help them get out of a difficult situation.

So our task is all of these, our commission, all of the above. There was a little boy who was with his father in a cathedral in Europe. They were visiting this beautiful church filled with stained glass windows, and the boy loved it. He'd never seen so many cool windows of objects and people, and they were pointing out, well, that's Saint so-and-so in that window, and that's Saint so-and-so and Saint this and that, and went on and named them all. When the boy got home and he went to Sunday school class, the teacher happened to ask the class, does anybody here know what a Saint is? And the little boy said, I know what a Saint is. A Saint is a person the light shines through. He was thinking back to those stained glass windows and the sun coming through that personage on the window.

A Saint is a person the light shines through. We dispel darkness. We show people how to get out of it. It's our task. It's our commission.

Third is the caution. Now go back to verse 13 after Jesus introduces the analogy of salt. He 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.

Quite a statement. Now is that even possible for salt to get unsalty? Well, a couple thousand years ago, most of the salt or much of the salt came from the area around the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is 25% saline, and so with evaporation, they would harvest the salt on the shore.

But it often became contaminated with gypsum and other materials, so it was not preferred. But I was reading yesterday in my library how that salt actually can become unsalty. So I was reading a book that I happen to have.

It was printed in 1874. It is called The Land in the Book by Dr. William Thompson. And in his book, I was reading that he described salt that was imported from Cyprus and stored on the floors of several buildings. And he said this, quote, the salt next to the ground in a few years entirely spoiled. And I saw large quantities of it literally thrown into the street to be tried and trodden underfoot by men and beasts. It was good for nothing, end quote.

So salt can lose its saltiness. When Jesus gives this warning, he is not speaking of losing your salvation. So if that worries you, put that out of your mind. He's talking about losing your influence, losing your impact, losing your effectiveness. If you lose the very intention that I have you in this dark world for, Jesus said, it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Let me put it a different way. If you are so influenced by your culture that you no longer are an influence to your culture, then you become as insignificant as dust on the streets because you blend in. You blend in. Christians 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. But so many times that's what we want to do. I've got to show people that I'm like them. I'm as cool as they are. I fit in and do what they do. Fitting in becomes more important than standing out.

Not a good plan. Paul said, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you might prove what is that good, perfect, and acceptable will of God. So if you don't want to waste your life, if you don't want to end up as a tumbleweed, if you want to be a life-giving oak, be salt, be light.

That's your intention. Then verse 16 closes out this thought, let your light, and yes, you have it, because you are the light of the world. By the way, just a note on that, some of you are a little bit confused because you go, wait a minute, why am I the light of the world? Jesus said he was the light of the world.

Think sun and moon. Jesus is the sun, light emanates from him. We are the moon. We reflect the light. Light emanates from him, we are the moon, we reflect the light to others. So he said, I am the light of the world.

Now he says, you are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Let your good works become the billboard by which you advertise your Christianity. Let your good works become the billboard by which you advertise your Christianity. They will see your life, they will be thirsty for what you have, you will disinfect their environment, you will emanate in that dark, befuddled area, and you will glorify your Father in heaven. By the way, you should know this, the reason we have so many practical opportunities at this church through the year to get involved, so many projects, you go, what, another project?

We have OCC, Operation Christmas Child, we have a toy drive, we do Thanksgiving meals for the impoverished, we do school supplies for those who aren't doing well, we have a love bomb every year and collect money and supplies for that. Why? Because we can either complain about how dark this world is or we can turn the lights on and we can turn the light on, that's why. We can either say, this world is rotten and corrupt, or we can rub salt in it and make a difference. Jesus did not say, let your complaining be heard before men. He didn't say that. He didn't say, let your picketing and demonstrating be seen before men.

He did not say, let your anger be heard and seen before men. He just said, turn the light on, rub the salt in. I read that during World War II, Europe was so dark because of the bombing, the electrical grid was taken out, that you could see a soldier lighting a cigarette a mile away. That's how dark it was. So it's pretty dark out there, pretty dark in our world, pretty dark in our state, pretty dark in our culture, pretty dark in our city, pretty dark around the world. Perfect conditions for us.

This is our greatest moment. That's what Kingdom City is all about. Rub the salt in the decay, turn the light in the darkness, show people how to get out of it.

Evangelism, good works, all the above, making Jesus famous, making His name great, not just seeing it in church, but taking it to the streets in our family, in our neighborhoods. That's salt. That's light. And it's not just one person. It's all of us. Thing about salt is nobody just takes a grain of salt and puts it on their food.

They take salt in combination with other granules. So it's not one person. It's all of us collectively spreading out through the community. You turn your light on, I'll turn my light on. We'll turn them on whatever in Starbucks, at the grocery store, at the community center. The light will shine. People will change.

It's so messy. Yep, it needs a message and a messenger, and that's us. Something else. Some people come to church because the light's good. The light's better. It makes them feel good. It's like the guy that was looking for his car keys, and he was searching out under the streetlight, and his friend said, did you lose your keys out here?

He goes, no, I dropped them in the house, but the light's better here. Some people come to church because the light's better there. It makes them feel good. They meet nice people.

They make good contacts. And good, we're glad. For whatever reason you come, we're honored to have you.

We really are. But don't stop there. Step out of darkness into the light.

If you haven't done that, we always like to give people an opportunity, because every week it seems there's people who want to seize that opportunity. They realize their life isn't what it should be. They expected more out of life. It didn't deliver, and now they are searching. They're thirsty. They want something more. There is something more. The light's good here, but I want to ask you if you're willing and ready to step out of your darkness into his light. Have flavor, purpose, meaning in your life.

Everything can change. Maybe you have been religious all your life. You went to church.

You believed in God in your head, but you didn't really do anything personal and practical and authentic and real. How about now? Now is as good a time to do it as any.

In fact, perhaps it's the best time. You heard it here, friends. Don't be afraid to stand out. That's Skip Heitze with a message from the series Kingdom City. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. When you intentionally study Scripture, your faith is stronger and your walk more confident.

That's why we share these messages to help you grow stronger as you connect with the timeless truth of Scripture. And when you give to support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and to so many others around the world so they too can grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip begins a message about how to live as a Kingdom person in a world that's forgotten about God. Jeremiah 29 is about how to live as Kingdom refugees, how to be godly people displaced in a godless world, how to be in the world and not of the world. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-28 05:21:54 / 2024-05-28 05:31:20 / 9

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