Read: Matthew 5:13-16 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon.
Intro: Those who have heard the gospel have been transformed by it are compared to salt and to light. What use is salt if it is not salty? What use is light if it does not shine? These two metaphors have a lot of meaning! In the first metaphor, God’s people/followers are the salt and the rest of the people are the earth. Salt is useful for preserving what is good and preventing decay. In the second metaphor, God’s people are the light (or reflectors of Jesus who is the true light) and the rest of the earth is in darkness. A light cannot be hidden amongst darkness. It is impossible! And to go further, why would you ever try to hide it?
- If God’s people are salt and everyone else is the earth, then what is our purpose?
- If we are light, and the earth is in darkness then what should we do with this light?
- Thinking back to the metaphor of the light: is the purpose of being a follower of Jesus just to receive Him for ourselves?
Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise
Spiritual Practice: We are currently practicing the spiritual discipline of prayer. Read Exodus 32:11-14, and Jonah 3:10. Often times if we are honest with ourselves when we think about prayer, we don’t truly believe that our prayers can create real change. We are very hesitant to believe that the prayers we pray could actually change God’s mind. But here are two clear examples where God does change his mind. In exodus, Moses prays boldly! He believed that his prayers could change things. Do we believe that we can still pray and change things today? Or do we for some reason believe that God has changed between now and then? We know the answer to this. God hasn’t changed and never will.
Also read 1 Corinthians 3:9. Paul refers to us as co-workers in God’s service, or co-laborers WITH God. Here is new testament evidence that we are actually working WITH God in order to make change and effect outcomes. If the bible pray-ers prayed as if their prayers would make a real difference then so should we! Our prayers shouldn’t be limited to “help me be patient,” or “thank you for today.” Think back to these ideas and refer back to these passages this week as you continue to incorporate prayer into your day.
Closing verse: James 5:16 (ESV) “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”