Two brief thoughts to start the week from yesterday’s texts of Scripture:
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus informs His followers that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Bear in mind that this was not a suggestion of what they ought to be, but rather a statement of what they are. This applies to all believers. A disciple of Christ does not have the option to decide whether or not to be salt and light. The fact is that Christians are salt and light. So the question is not so much about what we are, but more about how well we are doing at it. An appropriate way to understand the function of the Christian is to consider the relationship between the sun and the moon. The moon does not produce any light on its own. It simply reflects the light of the sun and, therefore, appears to shine. The volume of light seen in the moon is proportional to the moon’s relationship to the sun. In the same way, the Christian does not produce any light on his own. He simply reflects the light of the Son of God and, therefore, appears to shine. The volume of light seen in the Christian is proportional to the Christian’s relationship to the Son of God. Selah.
In Zephaniah 1:1 – 2:3, the prophet of God speaks to the people of God concerning the wrath and judgment of God that is headed their way. The description he gives of imminent destruction is quite graphic and all-encompassing. In 1:7, Zephaniah warns the people to “Be silent before the Lord Yahweh! For the day of the LORD is near.” This is not a time to offer to God excuses for your behavior. In 1:14, Zephaniah warns the people, “Near is the great day of the LORD, near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD!” He continues in his description of that day with words like “wrath,” “trouble,” “distress,” destruction,” “desolation,” “darkness,” and “gloom.” As a final reminder, the prophet tells the people, “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the LORD’s wrath.” You cannot buy your way out of trouble. The only remedy for their impending doom (and ours) is found in 2:3 when Zephaniah implores the people, “Seek the LORD…seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.” We must seek the LORD in the only place that He may be found: in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Selah.