Archive for May, 2018

Being Salty

Posted: May 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

Jesus was up on the mountainside one day. His disciples were there, along with a great crowd of people, and he began to teach them. He was telling his disciples that they were the salt of the earth. Salt, you’ll appreciate is ideal in bringing out the taste in food. In other words, Jesus was saying that his followers should be bringing out the best in the society in which they live. Their influence should be like salt that makes everything around them taste better.

But as Jesus was speaking to his follower there on the mountainside, there was a great crowd of people who were listening in. Some of them may have thought of becoming followers of Jesus, in which case they were hearing what would be expected of them. But it was almost as if Jesus was saying to this crowd, see these men here who are going to become my followers, you need to keep them accountable.  I’ve told them they’re to be salty in the way they interact with the rest of their community, you need to know that’s what’s expected of them.

survey

I wonder what would happen if I were to hand out a survey like this one to a group of my friends, and ask them to mark me on my ability to be like Jesus. I wonder how many people would be prepared to give out a survey like this to their colleagues at work and ask them to judge you on how “salty” you are. I wonder how Jesus’ disciples were feeling that day on the mountainside, knowing that their friends were listening to Jesus and may have been thinking, “well, Matthew’s been a thieving so-and-so in his time, I wonder if he’ll change now he’s a follower of Jesus?”

If we say we want to follow Jesus, are we prepared to be accountable to our friends and workmates for our decision?

“Being Salty” was the theme of a message I presented at Maida Vale Baptist Church. Check out the podcast

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Next Steps

Posted: May 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

This morning at Maida Vale Baptist Church I am starting a new series called Next Steps, based on the Sermon on the Mount recorded for us in Matthew’s Gospel of the Bible. Matthew tells us that there was a big crowd of people around Jesus so he called them together, and he sat on the hillside to speak to them.

There were no microphones, sound systems or fancy powerpoint presentations. Just a bloke on a hillside, speaking clearly and making use of the natural acoustics.

Matthew says the purpose of Jesus’ sermon was to teach his disciples, but he was surrounded by this great crowd of people. It struck me that Jesus was able to achieve two things at once. He wanted his disciples to learn some things so that they could go on and teach other people in the future. But there were no secrets, no special messages for the faithful that others weren’t allowed to hear.

His message was open to all, and the different listeners were able to take what they heard and take the next step they needed to take on the basis of what they heard. When we hear the words of Jesus, we can’t just listen and walk away … we need to think about the next step we need to take in response to his words.

Check out this blog each week – I’ll probably update it each Sunday afternoon and let’s consider our next steps.