The Sermon on the Mount: Day 3

Believers Are Salt and Light

by

Today's Text: Matthew 5:13-16, Isaiah 49:5-6, Luke 14:25-35, John 9:5, Colossians 4:2-6

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13-16, Isaiah 49:5-6, Luke 14:25-35, John 9:5, Colossians 4:2-6

Salt and light. Some of us have heard these faith metaphors since childhood, maybe even sung them.

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.

Christ followers are salt and light to the world. Jesus says so. So why not “let it shine” like the song says? If light dispels darkness, shouldn’t we hold it up as high and bright as we know how?

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine.

“Let your light shine before others,” Jesus says (Matthew 5:16). But a little while later, in this very same sermon, He instructs believers not to flaunt their faith, as the Pharisees were apt to do. Don’t fast so that other people notice; don’t pray loud so that others will hear, He says (Matthew 6:6, 16-18). How then, are we to understand Jesus’ declaration that we are people who should stand out and lend flavor, simply by nature of following Him?

Tensions like this are not my favorite. I like to know what is expected of me so I can meet those expectations, or at least do my best to fly under the radar when I don’t. But no matter how many times I reread these verses from Matthew 5, I can’t find where Jesus gives a measurement for how much salt is too much, or a guide for how brightly our light should shine. Even worse, I can’t find a list of practical examples of how to be salt and light in my 21st century American life.

It sounds silly, but isn’t that too often how we approach Scripture? I confess that I do. I read it looking for me instead of Him.

The Sermon on the Mount, like all of Jesus’ teaching, offers more than a moral checklist. Jesus addresses the heart behind our action, the motivation behind our direction. His is not a get-it-right gospel of personal achievement, not a formula to memorize. It is relationship. The how-tos are not there because they are not the point: Jesus is the point.

Saltiness and brightness are not qualities that salt and light determine about themselves. They are qualities determined by their Maker. Their purpose is placed within them, not one they muster up. Likewise, being “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” is not something we accomplish by sheer will; it is who we are when we are made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“I will also make you a light for the nations,
to be my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
- Isaiah 49:6

In the same way that salt changes the taste of a meal, or light alters the composition of a room, our redeemed lives in Christ are a way that God, in His good providence, chooses to affect the world around us. We are walking, talking testaments of God’s mercy and grace in a dying world. We are salt and light because He makes us so.

The art of living and loving in a way that stands out in a fallen world is a matter of knowing and following Jesus. When we are in relationship with Him, the light we shine is His light. The flavor we bring to the world around us tastes distinctly like the hope and joy of His gospel.

As we read Christ’s words today, may we be drawn less to grand feats of faith and more to the everyday outflow of a life lived in prayer, Scripture, repentance, and obedience to the Lord. May we embrace “the mystery of Christ” that Paul spoke to the Colossians (4:3), and seek Him out in the tensions of our faith. After all, following Jesus is more art, less science. It’s not about following rules; it’s about following Him.

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  • Karen From Virginia

    Again loving Jesus and letting Him lead is the key. Rules are easier than relationship but the rewards are truly found in the relationship with Jesus ❤️

  • “I read it looking for me instead of him…”
    Won’t forget this!

  • Struggling with keeping an open house. The idea is beautiful and I want to do so, have kids over and people over. But I have 6 kids myself and my husband and I get tired of social stuff in the week. How I need to surrender my perceptions of what it entails and ask God for help!

    • Karen From Virginia

      Cathy,
      You might not see this a week later, I pray for you for wisdom. You have a large family to raise and run. They are your priority. God gives grace to do what she requires. Allow Jesus to show you what is good for you to do. As much as being open has it good place, boundaries are also important. Ps 16 speaks of the boundaries being in pleasant places. Each family is different and there are different seasons. It’s okay to recognize the season you are in and also allow God to show places that you can be reach out without chaos. God bless.

  • Chris Gruhlke

    This study is blessing me in so many ways. Thank you SRT and thank you sisters in Christ. I have always felt so much guilt for not being salty enough, not shining enough. Even as a young woman, that struggle led me to back away from my faith, because it felt like too much to live up to. I am beginning to understand what it means to just be and let God shine and salt where and when He chooses. Love to all and thanks again for sharing your stories and struggles!

  • Stephanie Michelle

    This plan is awesome! Art > Science!

  • Tiffany Prasifka

    “I read Scripture looking for me instead of Him.” Wow.

  • Kyra Dornish

    This really struck me today. I needed to hear this. I am exactly the same way – I want to know my expectations so I can meet them or fly under the radar. Thanks for the reminder that it’s not about following the rules but about knowing and loving Jesus! Amen!

  • How much salt? How much light? Again, what is the motivation? Jesus is the point. It’s about time relationship with Him.

  • sara laverty

    Wow. Such a timely word for my wrestling questions this week. Thank you for this awesome study-already being so challenged and blessed by it. I loved the truth that salt and light’s purpose are within them, not mustered up by them. Yes!

  • Is anyone having a hard time answering what your relationship is with the world? Because I am! Still praying for an answer!

    • Hannah

      I think we (myself included) put too much pressure on ourselves with this question. Be salt and light in your sphere of influence (at work, to your neighbors , at the playground etc). We should try to exude light in everyday situations, and also be ready to give an answer for the hope we have when someone asks us why we behave the way we do.

    • Sophie

      I think that instead of destroying culture on one end and accepting it on the other, we are called to REDEEM it in any way that we can. Praying for God’s guidance as you try to answer this question!

  • I love the phrase the heart behind our action. That speaks to me. Today’s reading so inspires

  • Love this, it is beautifully written and so true!

  • Lori Wat

    My relationship with the world should flow naturally from my relationship with Jesus.

  • Alexandra Bates

    This has been on my heart lately! How much is too much? I want to share all that God does in my life but also be humble! Thank you for the good word.

  • Melanie Bisson

    I needed to see “it’s not about following the rules, it’s about following Him”. Often on my walk with Christ, I beat myself up for what I am NOT doing for him and how I can be better and sticking to a short list of rules each day. This reminds me to relax and seek Him first and the rest will follow.

  • inga borsos

    I needed that words today.its touched my heart till deep.

  • Samantha

    I so needed this read today! And I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the perspectives from you ladies.

  • Michelle

    This is incredible! I needed to hear this message today. When I was walking home from my run the song this little light of mine popped in my head and I began singing. Thinking to myself, how odd and random. God needed me to hear this message, he needed me to know I can let my light shine for him despite my job struggles right now. He has good things coming for me soon because ‘he who has ears, will hear’. I know it! I needed this encouragement, this scripture, devotional and this community today. Thank you SRT team and all the She’s!

  • I’m currently visiting Spain for a month. Today I met a woman from Morocco who spoke very little Spanish but it was the one language that we had in common. She seemed very shy but I decided to try to have a conversation with her. After struggling through both of our broken Spanish and laughing she told me I was the first person in a year to reach out to talk to her. It was such a reminder to me that we never know who God is going to place in our path. It could be the person sitting next to you on the bench. Following Christ is about loving others and following the Holy Spirit’s guidance when He places a person in your life, for no matter how brief a time.

  • Gabriella

    Great perspective!!

  • Heather Neely

    Salt stops decay. Contaminated salt cannot even be used for ferterlizer, it has to be thrown out. If I allow disobedience, carelessness & indifference rule my life, I’ve lost my saltiness. As “salt”, Christians counteract the power of sin’s ability to decay our world. I’m think I’m salty when I love people like Jesus does.

  • Katalina

    A message I absolutely loved and needed! We are their light just as He is ours. Amen!

  • Rachel D

    This is great, Amanda! My first question from Day 1 of this series was “how do I keep my saltiness. there’s no instructions?!?” Like you and other readers have said, I struggle with looking for that checklist to “make a better Christian,” completely missing the point of Jesus. I needed this perspective.

    Stay Salty, my friends.

  • Powerful message today! Thank you

  • More art than science! How freeing this thought is!

  • I have not admitted the pain I’ve been feeling lately, but this hit me right to my core today and I need some prayer. My marriage is wonderful- I love him more than anyone, he makes me laugh, and our communication is great. But about a month ago, we had a conversation about faith where I probably didn’t go about it in the right way and asked him why he wasn’t doing any bible study or prayer. (Oops… it’s so easy to make it about ME rather than Him!) During this conversation, he stated that he felt God didn’t make any difference. It was fine for others to believe if it gives them comfort, but he just didn’t. I can hardly express how much bitter dissapointment and pain that statement brought. When we got married, I thought we were on the same page about God being the priority. So much has changed. Now I’m trying to figure out how to be a Godly wife to a husband who doesn’t believe. How can I be the salt and light to somehow who doesn’t want it? I feel inadequate to carry this challenge. Honestly, there’s so much disappointment it threatens to swallow me. My dad never believed and I saw the pain and strain a lack of shared faith causes, and I was SO concerned about not walking that path. I prayed so hard and asked for so much discernment leading up to our marriage, and now I feel like I must have missed something… looking back won’t do any good, but I just had to get these feelings out. It hurts! Of course, I know I have to pick up the pieces and try to live out a life of loving god. I just did not want to repeat this pattern and walk this life with Christ alone. I just don’t know what to do… I keep praying and it seems to be getting worse, not better. He is severe depression and after a few years of having to be his rock I felt like the clouds were finally lifting, and then this conversation of the worst happens. I am tired, ladies. He has a panic attack when we went to church last week. His father is a pastor, but he has no negative experiences with the church other than being a little sheltered by it. Basically, thank you for giving me space to say all this, and please send me prayers. Encouragement is so needed, I just feel so lonely. I just don’t know what to do, and I don’t know who to talk to. I’m trying to hard not to be angry and sad.

    • Holly

      Praying for you and your husband Liv. I grew up in a home of two different faiths one Christ centered the other not so I understand your fears. My siblings and I are still trying to convince our Dad to embrace Jesus but he shuts down on the subject if we bring it up. I have found peace in asking God to bring him to Jesus and telling God I trust Him to accomplish it. Also, I do talk about how my faith helps me, guides me, and brings me peace every chance I get, I just do not do it in a way that is aimed at him. It has taken lots of years but I can feel he is getting close so please do not give up, keep praying. Your husband at least has a foundation in the Lord having grown up in a Church. Also, this could be part of his depression. I pray that you continue to shine in the faith and that your husband sees your peace and decides to come back. I know with my dad that is what he constantly mentions, that we have so much peace where does it come from and I always tell him “It is Jesus.”

    • Darla

      I’m praying for you and your husband right now, dear one. This isn’t the last chapter in the book. God knows how to be God and how to pursue. He goes to great loving lengths to bring people into the fold. You just love your husband and pray, and God will do the rest. Rest in Him…He’s got this.

    • Bryce

      Hi Liv, just want to encourage you to keep praying, keep believing and do not give up hope! Remember that the storm always comes before the calm. Your prayers will be answered. God hears you. Read the Word and speak His promises out loud and believe!
      Praying for you and your marriage and that any strongholds from the enemy will be broken.

    • Kristy

      Hi Liv, I am walking a similar path. My husband believes but will not go to church or have prayer/quiet time as a family. I will be honest and tell you I have moments of bitterness and anger. But I realize my role is to live my life in a way that will win him over (1 Peter 3:1-6). Praying for you – for strength, peace and grace. *hugs*

      • ERB

        Hi Liv, This is my first time commenting since I joined the SRT community a few months ago. Your story and testimony really hit home. I went through a similar situation a few years back, and also like you grew up in a household where my Mum was the rock in her faith and my Dad was complacent in his. There was nothing my Mum could do to persuade my Dad into an actual living and breathing relationship with Our Father. She was at her wits end when she asked one of the elders of our Home Fellowship what she could do.. The elder answered my Mum with a question: ‘What does an apple tree do to bear fruit?’ ..my Mum confused, didn’t know what to say or how to answer. The elder continued and said, ‘it does NOTHING. It just is.’ This gave my Mum the answers and encouragement she needed. She just needed to be, and that was it. My parents have been married for 37 years and it hasn’t been until the last 5 years or so that my Dad has finally come into a living breathing relationship with Christ. It was by her example, not her prodding (not saying you’re prodding) that he saw his need for Christ as an everyday fixture in his life. My Mum used those years of struggle to DECLARE truth about my Dad and that he would one day, on his own come to a deep personal relationship with God. And, all those declarations did not go unheard. My Dad now has a very deep and living relationship with God, and it is SUCH a BLESSING to see my parents communicate and grow in their relationship with God together. And even though my siblings and I are all in our 30’s our family dynamics have changed dramatically! God is so good!! My Mum is being honored and encouraged not only by God but by my Dad as well! It’s AWESOME to see and witness God’s faithfulness!! I am declaring and believing this for you and your husband. I also believe that it won’t take 30 years for this change to happen. Be encouraged my beautiful and faithful sister. God has big things for you and your family. YOU my love, are NOT alone!! Be encouraged and KNOW that God hears your heart cries and He WILL answer your prayers. Declare and Believe. Never lose Hope.

        • KimN

          Love this ERB!!! Thank you for sharing this.

        • Susan

          This is such a wise commentary on this thread … thank you ERB! My children are the source of my concern, where others’ spouses are. I have just tried to be the example, as best I can. Your words confirm my feelings.

    • Michelle

      Praying for you and your husband Liv. God’s got this!

    • Erin B

      Praying for you and your husband, sweet sister– I’m sorry for the frustration and heartache you must be feeling. :/ I would totally encourage you to invest in some godly lady friendships IRL if you don’t have them, and lean in hard if you already do! Times of trial and loneliness in my own life have been so helped by having solid godly female friends to talk to, meet with and point each other back to truth!

    • KimN

      Dear Liv – I also have a husband who doesn’t live a surrendered life to the Lord so I understand your heartache. Surrender your husband to Jesus and don’t try to “fix” him on your own (b/c that’s what I tried for a long time and it doesn’t work!). Love and accept him where he’s at and pray.
      We went on a cave tour earlier this year and saw amazing stalagmites and stalactites. Our guide told us the fastest growing ones grow 1 cm/ 100 years. Our lives are often moved by traumatic circumstances which can bring about sudden heart changes but God spoke to me that my husband’s heart could be like that cave. God would slowly but consistently drip His love and truth into his heart whether it was through me or others to create something beautiful.
      Praying for you as you partner with the Creator of all good things. Could I encourage you in the meantime to talk to someone in your vicinity? Perhaps a pastor, close friend or even a professional counsellor (sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger). Support is important especially in your spiritual growth. And there is a wonderful community here who loves to talk about all things Jesus!!!! Love to you dear sister! You are not alone. xoxo

    • Janet

      Liv, honestly in some ways I can relate to your husband and his panic attacks in church. I’ve been struggling with my own faith walk. Sometimes well meaning pastors/teachers say things or interpret things from this perspective of you need to do this, you need to follow this path. I’m coming to terms with how we are all created so uniquely and our faith walk is our own faith walk. We seek we watch we try to explain but we cannot compare our walk to others. I have three grown boys who we raised in the church but they are not living a lifestyle of following Christ. There have been times lately when I go to church I feel condemned for failures or not getting it right. What I’m learning is like what others have said continue to love your husband, encourage him but don’t hound him. Allow him to ask questions, even to doubt but don’t ridicule him for that. We grow through doubts as we seek to find answers. A great book I just read by John Ortberg- Know Doubt. It’s a great read and may help you to encourage your husband. My faith is actually growing stronger through doubt as Amanda said and others- seek the scriptures for Jesus not a rule book. Sorry to ramble

      • Holly C

        Praying for you and hope you feel a sense of peace beyond your own understanding. My husband was not a huge believer when we got married and it was a struggle for awhile to be able to share my faith with him. We got in many arguments about me trying to force my beliefs on him and I see now how wrong I was to try to force him. We have come to a much better place and he feels comfortable sharing but we still don’t pray together necessarily and he’ll never be the man who will maybe lead people in prayer but I started noticing that him being faithful to me and our family started to feel like he was being who Jesus wanted him to be and that he was on his own journey. I’m keeping you in my prayers and never give up your own journey- it’s yours to take and God is big enough to bring your husband to him while you continue in steadfast faith. Love and hugs

    • Rebecca

      Dear heart. You ARE salt and light, his struggles do not diminish that. Please know that his opening up to you was an act of courage and trust, of a kind that too many marriages lack. It’s possible that he has felt all his life that he wasn’t good enough, didn’t have the kind of faith that he imagined came so easily to others. What tremendous pressure, to be the son of a pastor while questioning your own faith! Perhaps he is releasing a burden that in time will allow him to acknowledge the Holy Spirit working in him. “Be still and know that I am God.” Just breathe. And shine. And love him.

    • Olivia

      Wow, these responses have me in tears this morning. Thank you so much. These have been healing for my heart, I so appreciate it.

  • Cate Hoepner

    This is so freeing. We don’t have to strive to be salt and light..it’s ingrained in us..as part of our spiritual heritage through Christ.

  • Tochi Heredia

    For the longest time, I saw that being salt and light meant we were different, set apart. I saw it as an excuse to pretend I was better than the people who weren’t.
    But today the Spirit opened my eyes to the truth: it was never about who I was, it’s always about Him. We were never meant to muster enough energy on our own to illuminate around us.
    It’s a huge responsibility to represent He who is the Light, but we’re just reflections. He’s the endless source of Light, He’s the only one that actually puts flavor in our lives. I think the only thing we have to do is “charge” ourselves in Him and His Word.

  • I’m thinking that the more I’m obsessing about how my light and salt are looking and feeling to those around me… the less of Gods intended impact its having. Focusing on Jesus, allowing him to transform me and THEN as a natural overflow…impacting those around me. It’s just so true that we tend to long for rules, how-to’s, validation from others, etc… when they aren’t the point! As you said, “Jesus is the point”. Thank you, Amanda.

  • As a scientist, I am sometimes fascinated with how well God’s Word and science work together.

    Salt doesn’t allow for the growth of bacteria, it is pure and perfect every single time. It starts out as a tiny crystal and forms over time in harsh and dry conditions. As a Christian, I am not to let the ways of the world grow in my heart or home like bacteria. I can expect my walk with Christ to start small and grow over time, I can expect harsh conditions.

    As for light, I find it very intresting that in science there is no darkness, there is only the absence of light. Darkness cannot be measured only light can be measured. Even in science, the light wins!!

    Praise God for creating us and the world so beautifully and so perfectly!

    • Kristen

      Loved your perspective! Thanks Leianna

    • Diane Huntsman

      So awesome!! Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Paige

      Love this! Please don’t hesitate to share more like this as we do this study!

    • Melissa

      As a nurse I can definitely identify with your fascination!! Sometimes I find myself amazed by how God reveals himself in science! ❤️ your post

  • Lord, I pray you shine your light on me and that I may let it shine to others. I know that my good actions but also my failures are what gives me salt. Is failure even a term to you? You expect us to sin so that we may ask forgiveness, and in moments of weakness we may pray for hope and peace through our faith in you. Lord, help me except my failures, because this is what gives me salt and allows me to shine your light. Today, help me to be a kind and happy person.

  • I would add that once we are sprinkled with God’s salt and lit with the light of love that Jesus sparks in us, we are never the same. That change God makes changes us. We must then be to the world a living example of God’s work. It is our responsibility and our life mission. I’ve had some trouble over time with the seeming severity of Jesus’ words in Luke 14: 25-35. I always thought Jesus must have been in a rotten mood when he turned to his followers and let loose that admonishment. Perhaps, though it’s ‘tough love’ message is just that. We will be challenged in our faith and we must come to terms with the choices that we will be called to make if we are to be true to God’s laws, instructions, and expectations. It’s about God and not all the blather and details of our “me- centered life”. Perhaps Jesus was just giving a truthful heads up to who just listen … and think.

  • Not in our own strength, but through living and breathing Jesus. That is how we’re made salty. That is how we’re made bright. So grateful for the countless amount of times the Bible reminds us of this. So grateful for the sense of purpose this brings to life. Looking at this scripture with fresh eyes thanks to the ladies of SRT!

  • I was struggling to read these scriptures today. How to be salt and light. Once again looking for what I’ve done wrong, where I messed up and how to make it right. Amanda, I so appreciate your words this morning. Many times, we read scripture looking for me instead of him. Wow, that hit me in a strong way as I realize that is exactly what I do. It’s not who I am, but who Jesus is. I confess, I’ve spent a lot of my faith walk looking to scripture for myself- how am I suppose to live and many times feeling like I will never measure up to what I read. May I begin to read your word looking for Jesus not obligatory rules I have to live up to. Thank you for this today. I have notes all over my book! I’m thankful for those of you who are vulnerable enough to share your struggles with your own walk of faith. It’s a journey and many times the road is very rocky and strenuous. Each of your words is encouragement.

  • Amanda, this answered all those little questions that I had scribbled out as I read these Scriptures. This was an amazing devotion, that I thankful you listened close enough to hear. I needed to read this today as I go attend my Grandma’s graveside services today and spend time with family that I am not sure knows my Jesus. So thank you. And yes, may I be drawn to the everyday outflow of a life lived in prayer, Scripture, repentance, and obedience to the Lord.

    • KimN

      Praying for you today Emily through your loss and for your reflection to those you love. May the peace of Christ envelop your heart today. xo

  • churchmouse

    I’ve come to dislike the word “witnessing.” As in how’s your witness looking? It’s always made me feel like I must immediately draw up a list of acceptable things I must say and do for the Lord each day. And of course check them off as I go. It’s terribly wearying and a heavy burden to bear. Amanda, your devotion today is a fresh breath of Holy Spirit air. I have fallen into the trap of reading the Scriptures as a source of things to put on my to do list, my witnessing chore list, proving I’m a Christian. I’ve missed Jesus in this crazy hunt. “The how – tos are not there because they are not the point – Jesus is the point.” So.. I’m going to read with fresh eyes, full of faith and not fear of failing. I’m free falling with Jesus and I’m traveling light. I’m just going to sit at His feet and listen. He’ll take it from there.

    • LadyGal4

      Thank you Churchmouse! I love how you said, “I’ve missed Jesus in this crazy hunt.” There’s no proving, accomplishing to do lists, but simply being a Mary (not a Martha) and sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from Him, and allowing His light to shine through me. A clean mirror does not have to work to reflect a bright light, it does it effortlessly!

  • Amen and Amen! It’s water to my parched soul this morning! I can go out confidently today knowing and trusting that as I gaze upon the Lord and trust him with each step, his light and glory is what shines upon me for all to see! Let us bring out the God-flavors and God-colors in the world (MSG) today!

  • Elisabeth7291

    Oh for this to soak into my soul:

    Saltiness and brightness are not qualities that salt and light determine about themselves. They are qualities determined by their Maker. Their purpose is placed within them, not one they muster up. Likewise, being “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” is not something we accomplish by sheer will; it is who we are when we are made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    • Rebecca

      Yes, this jumped out at me as well. I am currently going through a season of change and I have prayed that God will provide me opportunities to “do” salt and light, instead of just “being” salt and light in what I am already doing!

  • Such great words! I feel like reading this allowed me to take a deep breath and relax. A great reminder. If I could highlight it all, I would!

  • Blanca Patricia

    Slayed it, Amanda!

  • Marianne

    I am currently learning the art of fermentation – thus these verses opened quite a new understanding to me. Salt isn´t just an ingredient for better taste. I am sure that during Jesus´time on earth it was already known that salt prevents food from perishing. I am always fascinated how a little salt and time (!) can make such a difference. It not only enhances taste, but turns veggies into something sparkling and new. And it has a healing effect for your guts as well.
    So I take away from Jesus´call to be salt, that living my life as a christian can really make a difference to those around me – it can inhibit decay, invigorate, heal and make a lasting difference – not on demand, not overnight, but if I am patient and submit to his timetable … :)

  • It is very freeing to think that there are not lots of things we have to do to be salt and light but that it’s just about knowing Jesus and letting him shine out of us.

    • Kelly R Smith

      I feel the same way! I really want to see a checklist or a scale to know when I’m not enough or too much. Salt and light is about Jesus, not about me. When I spend time with him and pursue him, my saltiness and brightness takes care of itself!

    • Lana

      Amen!

  • aprilinsydney

    I’ve lost my saltiness and my bulb is flickering… I was doing the reflection questions, came to the last one and had a terrible revelation. I am so very lonely that I am too afraid to be salty and bright because of what others might think. So I become bland and dull in order to try to fit in. Good Lord that’s awful.
    Whilst I’m genuinely pleased some of you are enjoying this study so far, for me it already feels like a punch in the gut and the worst is yet to come. I hope I can persevere — and that it brings some relief and healing from the condemnation.

    • Lesley

      April, thanks for sharing how this study is impacting you. I’m praying for you and wish I could just give you a big hug!
      God often challenges us about areas of our lives but there is also grace, and those feelings of condemnation are not from him.
      “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
      Praying that you know God’s love for you today and his acceptance just as you are, even as he challenges you to move forward.
      I’m also praying about the loneliness you feel- that you know God with you and also that he brings others into your life, people you feel you can be yourself with.
      As I was praying this verse came to mind: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

    • Taylor H.

      Praying and lifting you up this morning, sweet sister. I’ve been where you are and more often than not what I thought was my light flickering out was the Lord readying me for a new season. I pray for you in your loneliness and ask that God would do mighty work in this separation. That he might calm your fears and show you the beauty that lies within. That you might remember this season as gut wrenching, yes, but also beautiful as he prepares you for what’s next and works to restore what’s broken. I’m honored to have the privilege to pray for you this morning!

    • Janet

      April, I can so relate to your words. I’m going through a period of struggle in my faith. Doubt reigns more than faith. I too, struggle to read some of these passages, but I’ve also learned and am learning that by confessing our struggles it helps to discern what is actually happening. He already knows our doubts. I’m reading Ann Voscamps book, the broken way. In one chapter she talks about how we often rely on our faith in Jesus, but His faith in us is so much greater. He created us, he knows us inside out and he knows all our struggles. Each day we wake up is another day he has purposed for us to walk with him. Stick with it even through the hard. I’m going to. Much love sister.

    • Laura

      Hey April, I’ve totally been in that place before. It can be so easy for me to get bogged down by failures, mistakes, and sins. But I have to remember that the Lord’s love for me is not going to change or go away when I mess up. “For God did not send His Son into the world in order to judge the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” John 3:17. After just finishing the study on 1 and 2 Samuel, I think about David–he was far from perfect, yet the Lord used him and his lineage for good. He clung to the Lord during times of loneliness and the Lord showed up. For me, there is so much hope knowing that Jesus is the light of the world. Praying for you!

  • Amen!

  • This little light of mine,
    I’m gonna let it shine….
    My daughter used to sing this at the top of her voice around the house… I can still hear her now… bunches swaying from side to side as she run singing.. Thank you for that beautiful and heart struck memory!

    She indeed was a bright light, a bright light that went out, called Home to be with the Lord, but can I say, she sure did shine in being who she was… good. Faithful to family, friends and those around. She flavoured the world around her with a sprinkling of a perfect show of kindness and love, grace and Hope.. and all this before in her last 2 weeks of life, giving her whole life to the Lord..
    Silent actions, ‘not for any gain’ giving of self, and for sure not boosting, for all to know or see…
    Oh, to be like her in my actions and deeds , my words and responses…
    Thank you Lord God for the sweet reminder of that memory of the wonderful girl you gave me for a little while, through this word today..
    Thank you that to be salt and or light is not of our own doing or being, but by God in His love and grace towards us and in us.. Thank you Lord God that we all have that potential, if we just look to and trust and hope in you… Thank you Lord God.. . Thank you from a heart filled this morning by your grace… Amen.
    Sending love to all this Autumn looking morning here in my neck of the woods called England..xxx

    • Zoe

      What beautiful memories of your precious little girl! Sending you lots of love xx

    • candacejo

      Love to my friend across the Big Pond. Love this wonderful memory you have shared today. Isn’t God good to send us such comfort! ♥

    • Tricia C

      Love right back at you my friend.

    • Kelly R Smith

      Music has the power to usher in beautiful memories! Thank you for sharing yours with us this morning!

    • churchmouse

      I look forward to meeting your daughter in heaven one day. Your words of your wonderful relationship with her are so touching. You are a deep roots mama indeed. From my neck of the woods to yours – hugs!

  • I love this study so far!! I’ve always heard the terms “Salt and Light” and yet never fully understood the meaning in scripture context. This finally helped me put them into perspective. I took a lot away from today’s reading already and haven’t made it to the book portion yet :)

  • Amen to that Alison! Very struck today by the line about reading scripture to find me and not Him. Trying to be salty and all lit up has been this pressure unwittingly put on me by well intentioned youth leaders and I carried this as a burden. But it was like a burst of illumination to read that I just have to live as who I am: a redeemed sinner! The new creation He has made me. Such a relief. (And yes, I know: I “just” have to live… one day at a time and by grace!)

  • Thank you! I needed to read this and I needed to read this tonight. My little one started kindergarten yesterday. She was sleeping so deeply she wet MY bed and I just got her in the shower and cleaned up and in her bed to sleep. I get so anxious about things that don’t mater and I’m so glad this was available up to read now when I needed to remind myself to show Love to my little one.

    • Tina

      I’m sorry SB for the inconvenience of the wet bed…
      Praise God for the deep sleep and rest the little one is getting through a great day of learning and play at kindergarten.
      Praying both lights shine, and that your days are flavoured in just the right amount of grace, joy and peace…
      Sleep well..xxxx

  • Alison MacFarland

    Who else is loving this study?! I sure am!

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