Being Salt and Light in Allendale

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We all know that reading the Bible to our kids is important, but it sinks in so much more when they can connect what they are learning real life examples. This is the case with me and my kids earlier this year.

Sometime in January, before I started with the Boys & Girls Club in Allendale, but after we were sure that we would be moving down here, I was reading through the Sermon on the Mount (starting in Matthew 5) to Hannah and Elijah.

When we got to verses 13-16, things really started to hit home. Here's what Jesus says,

“You are the salt of the earth. 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.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

We talked about the purpose of salt (to be poured out and used up, to make something taste better). We talked about the purpose of a light (to shine in the darkness). When I asked, "How can we be salt and light to the world?" they responded, "We can be salt and light in Allendale."

Brilliant. Thankful to God for revealing His truth in their hearts.

Notice in this passage that Jesus puts the emphasis on you, the hearers. The emphasis is not on what salt can accomplish, or the effects of the light. The point is that we are to be used by God to make the world a better place. It's the same idea as pouring in good, clear water.

From my perspective, I need to remember that God is more concerned with my heart and my submission to Him, than He is with me doing good deeds. My focus is not to cure rottenness or to dispel all darkness; that's Jesus' job. My role is to say to God, "Yes, I will go. I will be used by You."

I'm thankful that God has called us to this role, and that my kids get to experience Him more in this culture. I am thankful for the two dozen college students that are coming down next week, giving up their spring breaks to serve the people of Allendale County. I am thankful for a church (elders, staff, and members) who have trusted us enough to send us down here.

People have asked me how I can communicate the Gospel in a "spiritually-neutral" organization like the Boys & Girls Club. I think the opportunities will come, not by doing and altar call every Friday, and not by doing Bible memorization with the members here.

Over the long-term, the greatest impact will be how much we love people here. We are called to evangelize by loving others.

We are called to be salt and light.

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