The Influence of the Genuine Servant
Message by Chuck Obremski…Delivered by Jack Grogger
Notes from sermon on 10/2/05
Matthew: 5:13-16 – 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 by men.
14″You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither 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. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Biblical Depiction of our world:
Difficult – 2 Timothy 3:1-7 – 1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
Depraved – 2 Timothy 3:8-9 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
Deceived – 2 Timothy 3:13 – 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2. A Biblical description of the genuine servant’s influence:
A. The Salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13)
* Shaken, Sprinkled, not Poured
* Adds flavor, but it’s obscure
* Unlike any other seasoning
B. The Light of the Word (Matthew 5:14-16)
* Give Direction
* Attracts Attention
We live in a difficult time, a difficult world…and things are not getting any better. Today we live in difficult times, a terrible time…people who are depraved…and dead towards God. Men think we don’t need God. A depraved and deceived world. In such a world how can one person make a difference? Do you feel defeated? How can we as Christians make a difference? Are you looking at things from a horizontal perspective or a vertical perspective?
Jack then shared the story about the “Keeper of the Spring”:
The late Peter Marshall, an eloquent speaker and for several years the chaplain of the United States Senate, used to love to tell the story of “The keeper of the spring,” a quiet forest dweller who lived high above an Austrian village along the eastern slopes of the Alps.
The old gentleman had been hired many years ago by a young town council to clear away the debris from the pools of water up in the mountain crevices that fed the lovely spring flowing through their town. With faithful, silent regularity, he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and branches, and wiped away the silt that would otherwise choke and contaminate the fresh flow of water.
By and by, the village became a popular attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated along the crystal clear spring, the millwheels of various businesses located near the water turned day and night, farmlands were naturally irrigated, in the view from restaurants was picturesque beyond description.
Years passed. One evening the town council met for its semi-annual meeting. As they reviewed the budget, one man’s eye caught the salary figure being paid to the obscure keeper of the spring. Said the keeper of the purse, “Who is the old man? Why do we keep him on year after year? No one ever sees him. For all we know the strange ranger of the hills is doing us no good. He isn’t necessary any longer!” By a unanimous vote, they dispensed with the old man’s services.
For several weeks nothing changed. By early autumn the trees began to shed their leaves. Small branches snapped off and fell into the pools, hindering the rushing flow of sparkling water. One afternoon someone noticed a slight yellowish-brown tint in the spring. A couple days later that water was much darker. Within another week, a slimy film covered sections of the water along the banks and a foul odor was soon detected. The mill wheels moved more slowly, some finally ground to a halt. Swans left as did the tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached deeply into the village.
Quickly, the embarrassed council called a special meeting. Realizing their gross error in judgment, they hired back the old keeper of the spring…and within a few weeks the veritable river of life began to clear up. The wheels started to turn, and new life returned to the hamlet in the Alps once again.
The world may think they don’t need Christians…but they are wrong. Christians can be an indispensable influence for God.
We are to be the Salt of the Earth. The world that we live in is rotting. Just as salt can be used as a preservative for meat…so too can a Christian act as a preservative in the world. The world is kind of like a five star restaurant. It looks good from the front…but when you go behind the scenes…things are looking pretty disgusting. The world is perishing…but God have us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ so that we would not perish. Christians are to be the moral disinfectant in a world of changing values.
Salt – Preservative…slows down decay. Healing agent…a healing agent the world. Salt also creates thirst. Question is…do we live Christian lives that make other’s thirst? Do we make people desire more of God?
John 4:14 – 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The world is thirsty…but have they found anything to quench their thirst?
Salt also melts snow and ice….cold, hard hearts. But when we have a bad attitude…we are good for nothing. We are not to be conformed to this world.
Romans 12:2 – 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Salt is to be shaken…and spread around. Christians are like a football team…to be effective and do any good we’ve got to get into the game…not stay in a huddle. Sundays are our day to gather in the huddle…but then we are to go out in to the world.
Hebrews 10:24 – 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Jack shared that while the family was with Chuck as he was dying…they were comforted to know that they will be together for eternity. Until then…we are to come together and spur one another on…encourage one another…then get out into the world. Jesus wants us to go out into the world.
Salt adds flavor but it is obscure. J. Vernon McGee cautioned Christians, “Salt has lost it’s flavor and the pepper it’s pep.” Salt contributes to the meal. It’s unlike any other seasoning.
Christians are to be a light in the world. Jesus compared us to himself…and we are to be like Jesus.
Light…exposes darkness and evil. Light is silent…faithful and consistent. We should be like a lighthouse to the world…nothing that shades a person.
Ask yourself…are you as a Christian attractive to people? A lighthouse gives direction. Are you like a little tiny bulb…or like a big bright shining bulb? “Light it up!”
Light attracts attention. It draws you in…kind of like the sunrise or sunset. Are people attracted to you? We are called to be the light of the world…and attract people. We are to stand as a light before the world and people. When the light is flipped on in a dark room…the bugs scatter. Does your light shine before men? Does it encourage men to come to know the glory of God?