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You yourselves are the salt of the earth”; don’t lose your saltiness (Matt. 5:13. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).  And “you yourselves are the light of the world… Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good (beautiful) works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).

 

Lord Jesus, we’re not just living in a day when individual identity is up for grabs; but also, the identity that comes with knowing you. But you’re not a spiritual add-on to our lives. You are our creator, sustainer, savior, king—our only righteous and very life. We will never think too highly of you, and our greatest peril is to forget the Gospel.

So, this interwoven tapestry of your words should create within us great joy, deep humility and irrepressible hope. Who are we? We’re not simply a bunch of individuals who get to go to heaven one day when we die. First and foremost, we are yours. Bought by your life, death, and resurrection—we are no longer our own (hallelujah), We are your beloved bride, your cherished church, your body in the world. How then shall we live and love?

You’ve made us the “salt of the earth,” (not a “salt shaker” for the church)—sending us into sphere of life to arrest decay, and enhance everything and every place with your truth and grace. Jesus, forgive us and free us from our ingrown-ness.

Because you indwell us and live among us as the light of the world, we too bear that title and calling. We aren’t merely to reflect your light as a warm glow in our church services; we are to be radiant with your beauty, presence, and love everywhere you send and place us. Jesus, again we cry out, forgive us and free us from our ingrown-ness. Bring revival to your Bride, your Church, your World in 2023, starting with us. So Very Amen.

 

 

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