Good for Something

Charlie Chim
Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

One of the worst things that could be said of a person was that they were “good for nothing.”  This negative phrase is used to label something or someone as “entirely without value; of no use whatsoever.” Consider a pair of scissors that could not cut properly, a car that would not start, or a computer that is running far too slow to get anything done.  We would consider these items, under these circumstances, as “good for nothing.”

This demeaning label signifies that a “good for nothing” item or person is an item or person that is nowhere close to living up to its true intended purpose.  As a person, the reason why this phrase can be so offensive is because all of us have built deep within our hearts the sincere desire to be something significant; something special.  

More specifically, I imagine that as a child of God, we would strive to avoid being “good for nothing” at all cost, but rather GOOD FOR SOMETHING in the eyes of God!  

I’d like to share two keys from our text that will help us achieve this goal of being GOOD FOR SOMETHING.

I. THERE IS AN IDENTITY TO EMBRACE

It is quite apparent that there is an identity crisis in this world.  Everyone is trying to find where they “fit-in”.  There are yoga groups, workout gyms, health forums, and even weekly sporting functions that people are flooding to week-in and week-out.  There wouldn’t be anything wrong with some of these except for the fact that not enough people are running to the church house!  

Thank God that for the Christian, He gives us the identity that we should embrace while living on this earth, so we don’t have to deal with an identity crisis.

First, we see that God commands us to be SALT.  

Matthew 5:13a Ye are the salt of the earth…

Consider with me for a moment the purpose of salt.  Salt enhances flavor.  Imagining having a nicely marbled USDA Prime Ribeye steak.  To get this wonderful piece of meat prepped to eat, you’ll need a pan, fire, a little oil, and you’ll definitely need salt.  Salt brings out the wonderful natural flavors of whatever it is used with.  

Job 6:6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

The same applies to Christians.  Salty Christians make things better.  We can have a high stress work environment, but if we place a salty Christian in there they will make that work environment better for everyone.  Salty Christians have a way of cheering people up, giving people hope, and helping others to be salty themselves.

In addition to enhancing flavor, salt preserves.  In some cultures, they can salt up large pieces of meat and leave it hanging for months on end.  The salt not only cures that piece of meat, but it also preserves it from spoiling.  

Genesis 18:26 And the Lord said, if I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

In a similar way, salty Christians potentially can stay the judgment of God.  Salty Christians often bring with them the blessings of God that has the ability to preserve the longevity of a marriage, a church, or a ministry.  The saltier we are, the less problems we will have in our relationships.

Secondly, we see that God commands us to be LIGHT.  

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Consider with me for a moment what the purpose of light is.  I think we can all agree that one of the main purposes of light is to remove darkness.  This is why a flashlight is especially helpful when the electricity goes out in our home.  Without the light, there would be an overwhelming darkness that would cause us to lose our visibility completely.  Light has a way of giving clarity to an object or a surrounding when darkness is present.  Light also gives direction when we are going for a walk or hike in the dark.  

Spiritually speaking, we can see the same purposes established in the light that God expects us to be.  As a bright Christian, we can help to remove darkness (that comes with sin) from our surrounding by being a godly example.  As a bright Christian, we can help give clarity to others in how they should live by our testimony and leadership.  The Bible even tells us that being a bright light allows us to have the right fellowship with God and His people.

I John 1:7a But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.

II.THERE IS A RESPONSIBILITY TO FULFILL

Along with embracing our God-given identity of being salt and light, we must also embrace the responsibilities that come along with it.

First, we must be an example of good works.  

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

I Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

As a Christian, we do not have the right to live however we please.  Our life is very powerful and it can either help the cause of Christ or hurt it.  Oftentimes, a Christian will think that their lack of zeal for the Lord, or minimal involvement in God’s ministries only affects them.  This is very far from the truth.  Each Christian that decides to neglect their responsibilities as salt and light is one less Christian that God can use.  One less Christian that God can use means that there will be people that are not helped or reached with the Gospel.

Ezekiel 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing…

Remember, if we are not effective salt and a bright light, God considers us to be “good for nothing.”

Secondly, we must be the reason for people to glorify God.

The greatest goal that a Christian should have is to live a life that honors and glorifies God.  We can foolishly debate which occupation or ministry position is most honorable to God, but the bottom line is wherever God has placed us, we should do the best we can to glorify Him where we are at!

Glorifying God should not just be a part of our daily schedule, but it should dictate and consume our schedule entirely.  The Bible makes it clear that everything we do should be done for the glory of God!

I Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

This goes hand in hand with being a good testimony for the Lord.  As we live as the salt and light God expects us to be, people will naturally glorify God as a result of our testimony.  Perhaps we have seen some really well behaved kids while we were out and about.  Maybe the way they carried themselves surprised us in a good way.  The way they obeyed their parents and were under control.  Naturally speaking, we would think in our minds about how great their parents must be.  We would conclude that the reason why the children are so well behaved is a result of the training their parents have given them.

This is the same mindset people have when we are living a godly life.  They can’t help but give God the credit for how we have blessed them.  Whether if it’s blessings they receive from our ministry to them or the blessings they receive just by looking up to our families.  The end result is that God gets the credit, and we get the joy of knowing that we directing people to glorify our Heavenly Father!

How about it?  Are embracing our God-given identities of being salt and light?  Are we fulfilling the responsibilities that God has laid out for us?  Remember, if we aren’t we are considered as “good for nothing”, but if we are by God’s grace, we are GOOD FOR SOMETHING.

May we strive to be GOOD FOR SOMETHING in the eyes of God!

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY

I Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Charlie Chim

Bro Chim and his wife joyfully serve the Lord together as he teaches the Foundations Adult Bible Class. They have five amazing children. Bro Chim serves the Lord full-time as the principal of Pacific Baptist School.

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