Wednesday, July 10, 2013

YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD


Dave raises both his hands in triumph! In the quietness of his office, he lets out a soft, “Yes!” After many years of research, finally a breakthrough appears imminent. Now, no one can stop him from creating a powerful vaccine to protect human lungs from tuberculosis. It can even cure it much quicker than normal medicine can. As he still celebrating in his heart, Becky, his assistant comes in for a usual discussion. This gives Dave a fright that he almost falls down from his chair. “Sorry, Dave, I should have knocked,” Becky speaks with a grin. “It’s okay. I was being careless just now,” Dave replies quickly.


“You were asking for some virus samples so urgently yesterday. Is there any improvement on the vaccine yet?” his able assistant asks casually. “Not really. Still working on it. As you know how any research is,” Dave explains sheepishly.

Becky leaves him alone again. The scientist quickly dials for the Director of Potent Drugs Co., the largest pharmaceutical company in the state. An appointment is hastily arranged.

“Dr. David, this is quite a news,” James, CEO of PDC leans over and speaks softly to him.


“This is gigantic news, one that can create waves around the world,” Dave proclaims excitedly. “I know that it is the government’s project but if you patent this, your PDC can own this first. You do know about the ramifications on the P and L, don’t you?” he adds.


“So, cut the chase. What’s in it for you?” James speaks sternly.

“100 million ”

“How do you plan to settle with our government on this before we give you the money?”

“You give me 100 million and bank into my Swiss account and I give the entire research to your scientists. I want money not name or fame. You can do what you want with the whole research”

“Can I trust you on this?”

“Bring a scientist that you can trust and I will show the person the real stuff.”


Later at Home

“Hello baby, I am home,” Dave greets Donna, his wife. “Hi! How’s work?” Donna asks with concern as it is late. “As usual,” he bluffs.

“You know what, Dave. Just now, our daughter came home crying and said how come your research on tuberculosis took so long. Her friend’s mother is diagnosed with that and has been coughing super badly,” his wife speaks enthusiastically about their 8-year old daughter’s compassion.

“Oh..that is sad. Our girl is really growing up well,” he answers and turns away. His conscience takes a sharp jab.


The Next Morning

“Who are these people, Becky?” Dave asks, visibly upset. “Oh.. these are the family members of people they love who suffer severe tuberculosis. They are touring our facilities and wanted to know the latest happenings in our experiments,” Becky replies. “Can you do a short briefing and just encourage them a bit?” she adds with compassion.

“I have been hearing of tuberculosis sufferers lately. Is God telling me something?” Dave thought to himself. Although he attended church only a few times while he was younger, some verses flash back to his mind. "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" (Matthew 5:13-16).

Suddenly, he realises that his research project is bigger than him. It is absolutely priceless. This 'light' will bring hope for tuberculosis sufferers (or even later, lung cancer patients) all over the world. Dave decided not to hide his research anymore. He makes up his mind too not to let greed mix into this 'salt' and loses its effectiveness to impact the world! If he hands over this research to a company, they may make the vaccine unreachable to poor people.


The Sermon on the Mount continues with salt and light analogies. God is so bent on blessing the world that He  even sent His Son, Jesus to die for the sins of mankind. In others words, God gives His all. His 'light' is never once hidden. His 'salt' never loses its saltiness!


Jesus challenges all of us to be like God. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).


Be a blessing! Don't 'hide' our kingdom-living lives or 'shine' only for a select few. During Jesus' days, there were towns built on a hill. Still they are today in Israel. Those towns are plain for everyone to see. In the same way, let us shine Jesus for all to see! There are so many today trapped in darkness, groping along dark alleyways of worldly philosophies in a uncaring world. They need to be set free from all kinds of bondage! Jesus calls us 'light of the world' and if we are not shining, it is so 'oxymoronic'.


Salt is used mainly to add flavour to food and to preserve food for a longer period of time. Many people ask, 'can salt actually loses its saltiness?" The answer is yes. Salt loses its saltiness when it mixes with water or perhaps some kind of substance that dilutes its influence. Believers in Jesus are salt of the earth, influencers in the stinking world! If we lose the salt 'value', then it is good for nothing*. 


All of us have been gifted in one way or another. Use whatever God has given us to influence lives for Jesus! We are saved to serve. We are purposefully created to accomplish God's purposes. And we do it for His glory! 

*When Jesus says, 'thrown out and trampled underfoot' when salt loses its influence, He is NOT talking about Christians being thrown into hell when they do not produce results. Our Master Communicator just uses common things to illustrates His teachings. He is plainly saying that it is useless when salt has lost its saltiness, that's all.

Next: The Fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 5:17-20)

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