There once was a man who had a typical boss. By typical, I meant that this boss was full of himself, yet took counsel easily, jumped to conclusions quickly and made decisions rashly. That kind of boss.

This man was a good worker; diligent, intelligent and sensible; and without surprise, he rose through the ranks pretty quickly. His peers, as can be expected, were jealous of him and plotted to harm him.

Eventually, rumors started spreading that our protagonist was actually a corporate spy, hell bent on usurping the boss’s position; and what do you know? He got thrown into lion’s den, to be mauled for his ‘sins’.

To make matters worse, this man had friends as well, who refused to bend to popular but sinful pressure; and they too were unceremoniously fired.

Are such stories familiar to you? They are, aren’t they. This is what happens in the office. We get summoned to the board room to get mauled by the den of directors for things we didn’t do. Or we get fired for refusing to bend to populous opinion. Sad to think that nothing much has changed in this world since the time of Daniel, isn’t it?

But what if just like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, your life and all its trials were supposed to be a legacy left behind for future generations to draw strength from? What if all the injustice that you seem to be suffering was to give hope to those who came after? Would that change the way you looked at your situation today?

I know what you’re thinking. Not all of us are leaders of our industry. And there are only that many Steve Jobs and Nick Vujicic. What kind of legacy can our lives be?

Well, beloved child of God, don’t underestimate the importance that our Father has placed on your life; for even though many of us may never become world famous, Jesus did say this.

“You are the salt of the earth. … You are the light of the world. ...” Matthew 5:13-14

You, yes you; you who are sitting there right now reading this on your mobile phone as you travel from place to place; you who are peering over the shoulder of the one reading this; even you who are sitting there reading this in the comfort and privacy of your room; you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. You are called to flavor and season all those around you and be a shining light that draws those in the darkness that you find yourself in.

But how can this be, you ask? Surely Jesus must have been addressing a different demographic when He said this? Well, no. You see, these verses are found in Matthew 5, which begins like this.

“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:” Matthew 5:1-2

Jesus was addressing the multitudes, people like you and me, common folk, with no fame to our name; and yet, amongst many other things, He also said,

“You are the salt of the earth. … You are the light of the world. ...” Matthew 5:13-14

And what is even more amazing about our reality in Christ is, we already ‘are’ salt and light. It’s not a ‘maybe we will be’ salt and light. Nor is it a case of us ‘going to be’ salt and light. We already are.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we are perfect. By no means. We are all ‘work in progress’ but that doesn’t mean that our imperfections cannot be platforms to showcase His love, grace and power. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, isn’t it? Isn’t this so true…

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

When do we experience our Father’s love the most? When is His power most evidently seen? In the good times? Of course not. When things are going well, things are, well, well. Where is there room for us to see His power at work? It is only when the storm comes, when our little boat gets tossed by the waves, and we see him walking on the waves and through the storm, that we see His power manifest the greatest. Now, that is not to say that He is not constantly working for our good during the good times; of course He is. It’s just that we are more sensitized to His provision and protection during the bad times.

But this is not mind blowing, isn’t it? We know all this. So what I want to address today are the times when we feel like we have been left alone; the times when we feel abandoned by Him. Are we still His salt and His light then?

What happened to Daniel when He was in the lions’ den?

“Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”” Daniel 6:21-22

Despite the deliverance, he still had to go through the physical experience of being in the den. That bit didn’t change. But what changed was the fact that when Daniel was in the den, he wasn’t alone, was he? The same thing too happened to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”” Daniel 3:24-25

They weren’t spared the heat either, were they? Yet, they weren’t alone. Why? Because they were, as Jesus described, also the salt of the earth and the light of the world; just like you are. So in the same way, even though like them, you see the lions pacing about you, and you feel the heat of the furnace flames, you too are not alone, for you are still the salt of the earth and the light of the world even in your darkest moments. Your life’s story, no matter how mundane and unappealing you think it is, is still meant to be a legacy to encourage and give hope to those who will come after.

But you know what? What should give us the greatest hope in our times of trial are these words of Jesus;

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13

That doesn’t sound very uplifting, does it? Well, it doesn’t, not unless you start asking yourself how salt gets salty. How does salt become salty? By going to the gym? By praying 5 times a day? By reading the Bible for 10 hours straight? No. It is created salty. And by whom? It think we all know the answer to that, don’t we?

But what good is salty salt that is left at the back of the pack on the top shelf of the supermarket, right? Well, yes. So that is why Jesus also said this.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15

Think about it. God made you to be a shining example of Him for others. That means that He spent time and effort on you. Do you think He’s just going to leave you to suffer the ignominy of obscurity? In fact, this is what He says we should do.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

I like the verb that Jesus used, ‘let’. Not ‘make’ your light shine. Not ‘force’ your light to shine. But just ‘let’ your light shine. Allow it to do its thing, because we all know just Who it is that will make our light shine, don’t we? Just don’t block it.

You know, I started this message asking ‘what if’ our lives were meant to be a legacy. But in all honesty, I don’t for a moment believe that it is a case of ‘what if’. Rather, I am certain that our lives ‘are’ meant to be a legacy, our stories written to be a light that shines in the darkness that surrounds us, the light that draws many to Him, through the work that He is doing in our lives.

We are the Daniels, Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abed-Negos of our time and for our circles. So when opportunity presents itself to be salt and light, what are you going to do? I pray that you will step forth knowing that because you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, there is no way that our Father will ever let you be overcome by your circumstances.

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