SCRIPTURE:MATTHEW 5:13-16, MATTHEW 28:18-20
Today, I want to talk to you about not getting stale, spoiling, and ultimately going bad! It’s not always just what is in your refrigerator! It’s the canned goods in the pantry, too. You can’t forget about them. Either in the fridge or pantry, it’s always the stuff in the back that you don’t see. You can’t leave your faith on the back shelf where it could be forgotten.
A church does not cease to exist when the benediction is pronounced on Sunday morning and the congregation leaves the sanctuary for home to resume a life of activities and work. A church is just as real when people are scattered as when they are gathered. Though some of us remain scattered, some of us are fortunate enough to worship together today. In our “scatter”, we may return here this morning better Christians. More thankful! When the church is scattered, even when it seems “invisible”, the church is still doing the work which Christ asked it to do.
This is implicit in Christ’s analogy of his disciples as salt.
Matthew 5:13 “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 under foot.”
Translation: When we leave here, we can’t lose our saltiness. We want to be good for something. It’s also like the analogy of the seed.
He answered , “The one who sowed the good seed is the son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one…”
Main: Salt and seeds are useless alone or in their “gathered” form. Salt on food tastes better. Seeds in soil grow plants. We can be the seed for others.
We can be like the wife of a CEO! The book, Love Beyond Reason talks about the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who pulled into a service station to get gas. He went inside to pay and when he came out, he noticed that his wife was engaged in a deep discussion with the service station attendant. It turns out that she knew him. In fact, back in high school, before she met her husband, she used to date this man. The CEO got in the car and the two drove in silence. He was feeling pretty good about himself when he finally spoke. “I bet I know what you were thinking. I bet that you were thinking that you’re glad that you married me, a Fortune 500 CEO, and not him, a service station attendant.” “No, I was thinking that if I had married him, he would be a Fortune 500 CEO and you would be the service station attendant.” We can make others a CEO for Christ! Like Mrs. CEO, we can be the seed that helps others grow.
The SEED-Matthew 18:20-23
“The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
To keep on only teaching, thinking, or planning a service within the gathered body would be to fail in the mission to share the word of God.
MAIN: So what is he asking us to do? GO!! Let’s go to Matthew 28:19.”Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Here you will see the emphasis, the challenge, the mandate has been and it is on the word GO! GO and take your prayer outside of church, even if no one sees it or hears it. GO is not a big word but it is probably the most powerful word in the Bible. GO and make disciples.
MAIN: So, how can I make my spiritual start be put to good use? How can my seeds be planted in others? You can live your life in a sermon. You may think, I am not a preacher. What does this have to do with me? How do I do this? As a believer in Christ, your life is a living sermon. What kind of a life makes a good sermon? It’s the kind of life that reflects the fact that you are a child of God. That alone will stand out in this world. Our lives should reflect our faith in that truth. That kind of living is what makes you “holy” or “set apart” from the world. To do this, you don’t have to get all “religious”. All you need to do is let your light shine, plant your seeds, and take the salt out of the jar to add seasoning to your life and that of others.!