The following is adapted by permission from “Stronger Salt, Brighter Light,” a seminar with Lee Strobel, held at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Aug. 25-27, 2021.
“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” (Matthew 5:13-16).
What did Jesus mean by those metaphors of salt and light? I think He was saying, “If you’re a follower of Mine, I want you to live a life that’s like salt—one that makes people thirst for God. And I want you to live a life like light—one that shines My message of hope and grace and love and redemption and justice and eternal life. A life that shines that message into dark areas of despair.”
What does that look like in the 21st century? How can you and I be stronger salt and brighter lights in our culture, which needs Jesus so desperately?
In thinking about this, I wondered, what if Jesus physically lived in my house? What if He lived with Leslie and me for a while? What would I learn from the Master as He interacted with the neighbors?
And as I studied the life of the Master, I learned so much. The first thing is that I believe if Jesus lived in my house, before He talked to His neighbor about His heavenly Father, He would talk to His heavenly Father about His neighbor. He would pray.
Before Jesus embarked on anything, He brought it to the Father in prayer. Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus’ prayers for lost people continued right up until His final gasps on the cross?
Are we praying? Is there someone in your life you used to pray for? You used to lift them up to the throne of Christ, but then it’s almost like you make the decision for them. You don’t say it, but your attitude is “They’re never going to come to faith.” And you kind of give up on them.
Here’s a convicting question: What would happen if, tonight, you were to go back to your room, and Jesus appeared to you and said, “I am going to grant you everything you asked for in your prayers last week”?
If He said that tonight, would there be anyone new in the Kingdom of God tomorrow?
Are we praying? Are we praying consistently, expectantly, fervently? I think if Jesus lived in my house, that’s the first thing I’d learn from Him. ©2021 Lee Strobel
The Scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.
Lee Strobel is a former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune, the author of more than 40 books and the founding director of the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University.
The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove offers a variety of events with sound Bible teaching and soul-stirring worship. For information or to register for an upcoming event, visit TheCove.org or call 828-771-4800.