Salt & Light: Glorifying God in our Culture

Salt & Light: Glorifying God in our Culture

Matthew 5:12-14 - “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. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. 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.”

This school year, one of the recent privileges God has provided is the opportunity to teach some high school level classes within our local home school co-op. Our group has several hundred participants, and weekly I spend time with approx. 30 teenagers. Last semester the classroom I use was remodeled, and on the wall there are two large pieces of art summarize these verses. “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world”...

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Commending sexual purity to our children.

Commending sexual purity to our children.

Proverb 5:18–20 - “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?”

Last month I read yet another report on how culture is being influenced by pornography. That last sentence is just too vague. It was a report about how our sons’ and daughters’ views about physical intimacy are being hijacked, developed and shaped by the digital content they are consuming at a voracious rate and at an increasingly earlier age. Pornographic content is not only readily accessible on the internet via mobile devices, but is voyeuristically displayed on social media ads, during sporting events, award ceremonies and within mainstream movies. I don’t think I need to list any specific move titles or actors. I assume most people can readily rattle off a number of examples of such spiritually and relationally dangerous content.

As much as the recent report broke my heart as I read the first-person interviews of confused and hurting teenagers, I chose to do something other than bemoan the woes of the culture I find myself in and instead asked myself anew, “What does God call me to do about this?”

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Does God test people?

Does God test people?

James 1:2-4 - Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Recently I attended a Bible study where a brother was wrestling with God’s sovereignty and goodness. Trust me, as a 37-year-old father who has experienced the loss of two children, I am familiar with that struggle! Our brother was wrestling with James’ inspired description of Job as an example of someone who experienced God’s intentional compassion and mercy (James 5:11) and our friend made some pretty strong statements that I think need examining. Let’s think through topic for just a minute.

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Why did God create Satan?

Why did God create Satan?

Psalm 148:1-2, 5 - “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts…Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created.”

This past week a Christian in India reached out to me online because he is studying with a Hindu friend who has a couple of questions about the origin of Satan and evil. I asked our brother if he would let me organize my thoughts in the blog because others might benefit from thinking through those questions also. His friend asked two questions...

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