We are joining the disciples on the Mount of Beatitudes to be taught by Jesus.
I’m loving the conversations throughout our congregations regarding this exceptionally important revelation from Jesus.
- Why so much talk about heaven?
- What about abundant life here and now?
The Gospel authors show the laser-like focus of Jesus’ ministry regarding heaven.
- Seventeen times Jesus teaches about heaven in this one sermon.
- Four additional times, in this sermon, Jesus speaks of our “heavenly Father.”
Jesus wants it to be very clear – citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is the highest priority.
Disciples of Jesus live all of life as subjects to King Jesus and as citizens of His heavenly kingdom.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” Matthew 6:33
“But our citizenship is in heaven.” Philippians 3:20
God’s abundant life is the life of the kingdom of heaven in Jesus’ disciples here and now, and there and then (heaven).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
The abundant life, full life, and meaningful life is life as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus’ beatitudes are benchmarks for evaluating our citizenship in the kingdom of heaven.
There is no doubt, citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is by being “born again” by the grace of God through faith in Jesus.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8,9
The greatest place on earth is Jesus’ Church living in every way the Sermon on the Mount.
In today’s text, Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus reveals His citizens are useful.
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 underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
It is the beatitudinal Christian who is the salt of the earth. R. T. Kendall says it beautifully, “Just being a church member or professing to be a Christian does not make you the salt of the earth. It is when you are broken, pure in heart, hungering for righteousness, full of mercy and persecuted because of righteousness that you qualify to be the salt of the earth.”
You, a beatitudinal Christian, are the salt of the earth and the light of the world and…
- Are useful
- With purpose
- Know your why.
By God’s grace and our commitment to live the values of our King and His heavenly kingdom (Righteousness) we avoid the curse of tasteless salt (no longer good for anything) and light that is covered by a bowl.
By God’s grace and our commitment to live the values of our King and His heavenly kingdom (Righteousness) we are useful salt and light for our King and to the world.
Flavorless salt and covered light are useless to our King and His kingdom.
As a beatitudinal Christian you are called by God out of the salt shaker and out from under the bowl “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Everywhere you go and in everything you do you are useful to the King and His kingdom. You are there with purpose. You know your why.
- I am useful by adding the flavor of the kingdom of heaven.
- I am useful by radiating the light of the kingdom of heaven.
We don’t isolate or hide our citizenship from people. We take the King’s salt and light everywhere we go and in everything we do.
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20, 21