"You are the salt of the earth." (Matt. 5:13)
Consideration & Compassion Bring Out the Essence of the Gospel of Love
"God so loved the world that He gave." "God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Love motivated Him to make a way for the salvation of the world. Love compelled Him to actively pursue lost sinners. When Christians sprinkle some love on those who do not know Him, they make the message seem tastier.
Salt tends to bring out the flavor in food. We are the salt of the earth so when we extend a helping hand to those in need, the love of God, at the core of the Gospel message, becomes rather palatable. Our actions say "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8).
Consideration & Compassion Create Thirst
Once people have had a taste, they will thirst for the Living Water. The gentle and quiet spirit of a wife can win over an unbelieving husband (1 Pet. 3:1-4). Considerate behavior, not condemning words, makes a difference, creating a thirst for God.
"You are the light of the world. . . . let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:14-16)
Consideration & Compassion Attract Attention
A lit candle in a dark room becomes the focal point. So, in a dark world with so much violence, immorality, terrorism, and hatred, the light of God's goodness through one of His children draws attention.
Consideration & Compassion Warm the Heart
Light reveals or exposes what is in the darkness but it also warms. Let's not forget this part of being a light. Sin must be exposed. People must be shown the way. However, the warmth of His light expressed through benevolent deeds softens the heart and readies it for God's truth.
How to be Salt and Light in Your Community and World:
- Give financially to your church's benevolence fund, directly to unsaved individuals in need, and/or to a relief organization that has a good balance between meeting physical needs and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. (Samaritan's Purse is one example.) If you give directly to people in need, usually it is best to give a gift card to a grocery store or pay the actual bill rather than give the money. Unfortunately, money sometimes gets used differently than the expressed need.
- Use vacation time to go to a devastated area due to war or natural disaster to help rebuild. Pray that in the process you are a witness of God's grace.
- Get involved in community projects with non-Christians. As you work side-by-side, helping to meet needs, pray that God would open doors for you to share about Jesus with not only those you serve but those with whom you serve.
- If you can work in a clothing or food bank, use it as an opportunity to distribute tracts and/or Bibles along with the goods the people need.
- Help an unsaved neighbor who is elderly, sick or shut-in to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, pick up groceries or medicine, drive them to the doctor's office, etc.
- Send a sympathy card with comfort verses from Scripture to an unsaved co-worker who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Offer to bring a meal or dessert or to watch their children. Attend the viewing or funeral service to communicate your support.
- Help families of prisoners in practical ways. Your kindness to their families could also touch the hearts of the prisoners.
- Help those in your community who have special needs, such as physical or mental disabilities, in practical ways.
- Volunteer time at a rescue mission to serve meals to the homeless or do other tasks to help.
Before, during, and after helping in any of these or other ways, pray. Permeate all you do with intercessory prayer for the people that their greatest need, the spiritual, is also met. Pray for opportunities to share about Jesus with them, not just in deed but verbally as well.
Be realistic. The world does have many scammers who are only out to take advantage of the goodness of people. Be wise. Check out the need. Most importantly, pray for God's will. If you truly believe God wanted you to help and you seem to have been taken advantage of, trust God to work it for the good (Rom. 8:28). Pray for the person and forgive them. Your reaction to their evil intent could soften their heart to the Gospel.
Click Below to Read More on Compassion:
The Outreach Ministry Manual includes this content and some Scripture and questions to help you further think through each of the above points in light of your own practices.