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Salt and Light November 11, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 5:13-16.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus exhorts His disciples to:

  • arrest the spread of corruption in the world
  • dispel the darkness in the world.

In this way, others will see that God has set them apart from the world.

Thoughts: This passage spurred me to ponder the difficulties that believers encounter when engaging with unbelievers. While we may desire to be “salt” and “light,” our words and deeds may not have the desired effect on unbelievers. For example, if your non-Christian friend has had a rough day at the office, it is unlikely that they will respond enthusiastically to your attempts to share the Gospel with them over dinner that evening. This example reinforces the importance of being sensitive to the feelings of others; in this way, we can determine when it is appropriate to discuss our worldview with them. When the timing is right, one can use current events as an entry point to a discussion along those lines. For example, your non-Christian friend may assert the futility of offering up thoughts and prayers in the wake of a mass shooting. This comment may allow you to discuss the meaning of prayer and why believers still view it as a critical part of their daily lives.

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Further Instructions October 24, 2012

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Colossians 4:2-6.

Summary: Paul begins by exhorting the Colossians to continue steadfast in prayer – with their hearts being awake and with a spirit of thankfulness. He also exhorts them to pray for the apostles and preachers of the Gospel, especially Timothy and Epaphras, that God would grant them opportunities to preach the Gospel – including their teaching regarding the free admission of the Gentiles, which accounts for his imprisonment. They should pray that he would be able to preach the Gospel boldly. In addition, he exhorts them to act wisely towards unbelievers and buy up every opportunity to advance the kingdom of God. Paul concludes by exhorting the Colossians to let their discourse be pleasing and preserving – so that they would be a blessing to all people and save some of them.

Thoughts: The analogous passage in Ephesians is Ephesians 6:10-20, which I’ve blogged about. Now in this passage, we see that believers need to “make the most of every opportunity” to interact with nonbelievers. Lightfoot offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verse 5:

“Buying up the opportunity for yourselves,” letting no opportunity slip away to say and do what may further God’s cause. Compare Ephesians 5:16, where the reason for the injunction is added: “because the days are evil.” The prevailing evil of the times makes the opportunities for good more precious.

This is a valuable reminder that we need to have a sense of urgency when dealing with the world on a daily basis. Indeed, the opportunities for advancing God’s kingdom that He gives us are so precious – stemming from the limited time that we have before the return of Christ – that we must consider them as priceless treasures to be obtained at all costs. I must admit that reading this passage made me more conscious of my words and actions when interacting with nonbelievers – as they should be aimed at bringing them closer to salvation. Of course, maintaining this sense of urgency is difficult, and so believers need to keep each other accountable.