Pastor Dan Eddy
Living the Happy Life
Part 2 - Showing off (in a good way)
THE GOSPEL READING…………………………………Matthew 5:13-20 ESV
P: The Holy Gospel according to Apostle, St. Matthew, the 5th Chapter:
C: Glory to You, O Lord.
Jesus continues with His Sermon on the Mount
13 He said: “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.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 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.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to You, O Christ.
I. Introduction - Showing Happiness by Salt and Light
Today the Lord is using me to teach you how to show off true happiness.
You’re asking yourself, “What is true happiness?” Good question. If you pull out your bulletin insert. (Pull out bulletin insert) Here is a list of traits happy people in Christ exhibit and the benefits that come along with them. It’s a review of last week’s sermon.
So for the next few minute put the troubles of the world behind you and like Bobby McFerrin said in his 1988 #1 hit: “Don’t worry be happy.”
This morning you are going to live true happiness through salt and light.
When I want you to show true happiness through salt I’ll have you take your hand like you are holding a salt shaker and shake some salt out. Go ahead and do that right now. Shake some salt. Good. The cue to do that is “Show off happiness from Christ by shaking your salt.”
When I want you to show true happiness through light, I’ll have you take your cell phone out and flip it open or hit the button to turn on the light. Or you can give me a thumbs up with your thumb representing the light. Go ahead and give that a try. The cue to do that is “Show off happiness from Christ by shining your light.” I figure that was safer than lighting candles.
II. What is the salt and light talked about in this text?
Okay a few things you need to know about how Christ is using salt and light in this passage.
First, only believers in Him are considered salt of the earth and the light of the world. That is the sense from the text. Christ is emphatic on these points. He is the only source of this spiritual salt and spiritual light. And the only way you can shake this salt and shine light is if you have faith in Him.
By ourselves we can not generate spiritual salt or produce light of salvation.
However, if we lose our saltiness or our light grows dim it’s our fault. We are allowing the blandness of our sins or the darkness of the world to rob us of Christ’s salt and light, and therefore destroys our happiness in Him.
III. How do we show off happiness from Christ by shaking our salt?
So how do you “Show off happiness from Christ by shaking your salt?”
First, by living and speaking in a way to create a greater thirst for others to want Jesus or want Him more.
me give you an example. Back in 1998 a good college buddy of mine called me up
and wanted me to go on vacation with him. Joe and I had gone on cruises, camped
together, traveled throughout the
It was one of the best vacations ever… my faith grew because Joe’s shook some salt and got me to thirst more for Christ as we walk the roads He did during His earthly ministry.
“Show off happiness from Christ by shaking your salt.” That was Joe was doing. His flavorful witness spread to me and others…to strengthen faith in the case of me and brought others into faith when he shared his adventures with others.
Second, salt is a preservative against the evil of society. As we shake our salt here in this congregation we protect each other from the greed, guilt, idolatry, adultery, and other sins out there that want to make our witness for Christ bland.
Christ’s salt at the cross was rubbed into the wounds of our sins to take away its everlasting infection with death in Hell. As the Word of God, salt purifies us. That what Christ did for you at your baptism.
And that means we can’t live without the salt of Christ. And when you allow the salt of Christ to be trampled…our faith in Him is thrown out.
And that also means in our everday walk with the Lord sometimes His Word as proclaimed in this sermon, or in a Bible study or by someone’s Christian witness can be like salt being rubbed into the wounds of our unrepentant sins. It may hurt but it’s for our own protection.
IV. How do we show happiness from Christ by shining our light?
So how do you “Show off happiness from Christ by shining your light?”
This one is a bit easier to explain. When light shines it gives direction…like a GPS device in your vehicle. You don’t drive at night without your headlights on…or you will be a danger to yourself and others. Christ’s light keeps us from stumbling in our sins. Light takes away fear of being in the dark. Light shows us where we should be going. Christ’s light is a beacon of hope. As Psalm 119:105 says God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. When we are the light we give glory to God as verse 16 says.
So when our fellow brothers or sisters in Christ’s light gets dim we step up and recharge their batteries of faith and get their light going again.
We don’t hid our light from another….whether it’s believers or unbelievers.
But here’s the problem. Some people love living in darkness. In John 3:19…just a few verses past the famous John 3:16 passage Jesus described Himself as the light and then said, “the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
Have you ever notice those who love the darkness, or have been in it for a while, what do they do when you turn on the light?
They squint. The light hurts their eyes even though it is needed to get them out of trouble.
light looks the brightest when it surrounded by darkness. 90% of people in the
The dimmer the light the more it looks the darkness. The less salty the more it tastes like everything else. Neither, no longer stands out. That’s why Jesus doesn’t want us to relax His commandments. That’s why He didn’t come lessen Scripture’s teachings but came increasing His love.
That’s why God is saying in this text: “Show
off happiness from Christ by shaking your salt.” “Show
off happiness from Christ by shining your light.” The more you do this. The
more you’re considered great in the
I think one of the best ways to shake your salt and show your light is just to be genuine in the way you live. My parents are celebrating 57 years of marriage today. They have given me much salt and light in their walk as believers in Christ. Now their marriage has been far from perfect. There was a lot of financial stress, and arguing growing up, and some very tense moments.
Being salt and light is not sugar and spice and everything nice. If you never experience trials and tribulations in your life how can you show true happiness by shaking your salt and shining your light? My parents taught me that showing happiness from Christ is being committed to each other through thick and thin. It’s forgiving one another when we’ve hurt each other. It’s taking time to celebrate our blessings. It’s being there for family and friends when they need you the most. It’s reaching out to new people to let them in on your happiness in Christ. It’s knowing church plays a bigger and bigger part of your life. That’s what 57 years of marriage from my parents has taught me. True happiness is not always pleasant but its commitment shows real love and joy.
True happiness is found in following God’s commands NOT in ignoring them. This is where salt keep us alive and light keeps us on the right path. It’s in possessing Christ’s salt and light that we can truly experience this happiness. It’s our own faith attitude toward God.
V. Christ is the ultimate in Salt and Light
Christ became incarnate a Jesus, brought here on earth to perfectly fulfill the law. With the law, Christ didn’t come to take away His Salt and Light, but to fill us up completely with His happiness and love….His righteousness. That’s what fulfills means here in this text.
He ultimately did that with His suffering, death, and resurrection. He fulfilled the law by taking its burden, seen in our sinfulness, and destroyed it. So that when we follow the Law we do so in freedom.
Jesus was showing the crowd how to live the spirit of the Law (in happiness) as oppose to the letter of Law (obligation). It’s the difference between doing something because you have to…and because you want to.
Do you know one of the simplest and most powerful ways we can show happiness from Christ by shaking our salt and shining our light as a congregation?
Get a group of people together, go visit some shut-ins and sing praises to the Lord. Say a short prayer. And leave a gift behind. That’s what we are trying to organize with the shut-in caroling event. Michael McWilliams has agreed to oversee that effort and I would like you to join us to shake some salt and shine some light. If you can’t sing…write a pray on a card. If you don’t want to do that…call and organize dates and times with shut-in and nursing care facilities. If you can’t do that…make a gift or buy one that’s appropriate for a shut-in.
I guarantee putting a smile on their face will put a smile on yours.
In verse 20: Jesus said, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Only with Jesus forgiving love in your heart can your righteousness by faith exceed the Scribes and Pharisees. So you can either be better doing good works greater than the Pharisees and Scribes or grab onto Jesus’ righteousness by faith.
Galatians 3:10a (ESV) “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse….”
Philippians 3:9 (ESV) “and be found in him (Jesus), not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—“
John 3:5 (ESV) Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one
is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the
V. Conclusion – Taste and see that the Lord is Good
Remember the salt and light source is faith in Christ that stays with us all of our lives. And I want to prove that point as I share this last story.
when I was back in
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Nothing brought tears of happiness more to me and Berta than when she said those words. She still has Christ’s salt and light.
Show Christ’s true happiness by shaking your salt and shining your light and as Psalm 34:8 says “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Amen.