Editor’s note: Welcome to the new “Reflections” column, written by Glenn Swanson, our Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) president. We’ve given him an opportunity to share words of encouragement with pastors and churches throughout Maryland/Delaware.
Hello, fellow servants of the BCM/D,
I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you are staying healthy – both physically and spiritually. My wife, Sherri, and I are praying for you and the individuals and families that make up the approximately 500 churches of the BCM/D. I am excited about what the Lord has done and will continue to do through our convention as we come together as the body of Christ.
Now, more than ever, the world needs to hear about the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. My prayer for our convention and Christ-followers everywhere is that we will be faithful in our witness and that we will always show the love of Christ through both our words and actions. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us that we need to be “salt and light” in this world. Matthew 5:13-16 says,
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (ESV).
In this passage, Jesus is calling us to action. The keyword is the first word in verse 13. YOU! As followers of Christ, YOU and I are personally called to this mission. Jesus does not call us to be undercover, secret agent Christians who never share and live out our faith. Jesus is calling us to make a difference in this world. We are called to be “salt shakers” and “light makers.”
When I think of salt, I think of something that makes our food taste better. In the old days, before refrigeration, it was also used as a preservative that helped stop decay. As we look around us, we can see that this world is spiritually decaying right before our very eyes. This culture is turning further and further away from God. Our job as salt shakers is to preserve the holiness of God and share the goodness of Jesus Christ as much as we can. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (ESV).
Jesus also calls us to be light makers in a dark, sin-filled world. When He says that a “city on a hill cannot be hidden,” we are reminded that a person who has the true light of Christ inside is going to naturally shine that light in the world. A light in a dark room can guide someone to safety. As Christians, we are to guide people to the safe arms of Jesus. Ephesians 5:8 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (NKJV).
When it comes to “salt shaking” and “light making,” we need to be leaders and not followers. Remember, Jesus is calling YOU to go out and make a difference for him. This is not an optional assignment. Jesus did not say that you have the potential to be salt and light. He says that everyone who has trusted Christ for salvation and born again IS salt of this earth and IS light of the world.
In 2022 and beyond, let’s shake out the salt of a godly life and shine out the truth of Jesus Christ in this decaying, dark, sin-filled world. My prayer is that people will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior because of our testimony. When that happens, our Father in heaven will be glorified.
Please know that I love you all, and I am praying for you. If you have any specific prayer requests or anything that I can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
Glenn Swanson is the president of the BCM/D and serves as the senior pastor of Bayside Baptist Church in Chesapeake Beach.
Feature photo: Adobe images