This time of year causes us to reflect on the past, rest in the present and
look forward to the future. I take this time through the blog to look a
little closer at a passage of Scripture. We spend some time focusing on
getting closer to God. I thought we might take a look at one of Jesus’ first
opportunity to share with his followers; The Sermon on the Mount, from
Matthew’s Gospel. Join with me over the next few weeks as we look at some
excerpts from this passage. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior,
The teaching in this passage are timeless and should be revisited from
time to time. “The Sermon on the Mount” records the time when Jesus sat and
taught some of the most significant lessons we will learn as Christians to
his disciples. Let’s join together as we take a closer look.
How do we perform under the microscope? Will people see our true
character? When they do will that reveal the love of Jesus? Will they see
Jesus in us? All good questions but we don’t find the answer to them until
the pressure is increased.
Many times in life and racing we find ourselves in pressure packed
situations. We need to perform better to retain a sponsor. We need a good
finish to secure our point standings. There are many opportunities to forget
about everything and focus on our on track performance. Crunch Time!
There are times when we put that pressure on ourselves we do not
represent God well. We lose sight of what we have been called to become in
Christ. We revert back to a self-focused and a self-serving attitude. We
forget to look around and be aware of those around us. We fail to see what
others are going through. That is not the way we should live. We should be
looking around for the opportunities that God has for us. When we turn our
focus internally we do not see or hear the voice of God. Jesus encourages us
to remember who we are called to be.
Matthew 5:13-16; "You
are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to
be thrown out and trampled by men.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither
do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the
house. In the same way,
let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and
praise your Father in heaven.
Jesus uses two analogies, salt and light. Let’s take a look at salt
first. Do you use salt? We use it for different things such as to season
food or melting ice. When we use it as a seasoning we do so to enhance the
flavor. Take a look around and see if we are enhancing those around us. Are
we making things better or worse?
We also use salt to change things. When we put salt on ice it melts and
makes it easier to get around. Used in this way salt helps us overcome some
of the obstacles we face. Are we helping others overcome obstacles?
Salt can also be corrosive, when used in the wrong way we can tear things
apart. Too much salt in our diet leads to medical conditions that shorten
our lives. What we have to be aware of is balance, just enough but not too
We are encouraged by Jesus to use the love of Christ that is in our
hearts to improve the situation. We are encouraged not to lose our ability
to influence the situations around us. Jesus cautions that if we lose our
focus and our “salt” is no longer effective we become useless.
Let me stop here and explain. We have the opportunity each moment we live
to affect those around us, either for good or bad. We decide how we will use
our influence. When we choose to be destructive our ability to claim the
love of Christ and help others is gone. Our witness is no longer respected.
When we find ourselves under pressure we need to be aware of how we are
demonstrating our faith. We need to remember who is in control. We need to
avoid losing our saltiness, our credibility, our witness.
Think of it this way. We can be an egg or a carrot or coffee beans. Let
me explain; when we place each one of these in the heat of the moment,
boiling water, they react differently. An egg becomes hard-boiled. Its
insides change from liquid to solid. Our heart gets hard. Carrots on the
other hand get soft and mushy. They start off rigid and strong but end up
all mushy, no backbone, no firm foundation to stand on. Now coffee beans on
the other hand do not change, they remain the same. They do however change
the water. The water becomes aromatic and tasty. The water becomes
desirable. The coffee beans do not change but they improve the water. Which
one are we? When pressure comes do we harden our heart, lose our foundation
or influence the situation in a way that improves it? Don’t lose your
Jesus then goes on to describe us as “the light of the world”. Have you
ever thought of yourself as a light that shines for all to see? Jesus put in
each one of us a light that will dispel the darkness. Don’t hide your light,
let it shine.
Have you ever been in a dark place without any light? You cannot see your
hand in front of your face. Then you light a match, a little flame and you
are amazed at how much light it provides. We can be the same kind of light.
We, as Christians, have the same opportunity to light the darkness others
are experiencing. When all hope is gone the light of one who knows Jesus can
bring hope to the world.
Think of trying to get around the house without the lights on. We think
we know where things are, but we still stub our toe and stumble. When we
hide our light we cause others to stumble around in the darkness. When we
keep the love of God to ourselves and do not share it we leave others to
find their own way in the darkness. Let your light shine! Put it on a lamp
stand and help others find their way.
Jesus used these two analogies to demonstrate two important functions we
have as Christians. We need to improve the lives of others and shine our
light to help them find their way. Have we improved the lives of those
around us or have we been an obstacle? The first lesson Jesus taught us in
this passage is that we have a responsibility to lead others. Whether we
realize it or not we are leading. Make sure you are leading people to what
PREPARING TO HEAD SOUTH – I’ve seen many counting down the days
until the racing season begins in Florida. We have a few venues we hope to
be at, both dirt and asphalt. This opportunity gives us a chance to be with
many of the touring series before they spread out across the country in
pursuit of the championship. We are trying to cover as much as we can with
reduced resources. Please pray for our Chaplains as they minister. Also, if
you would like to partner with us we would welcome your help. Please check
out the options partner with us on our website; rwjm.com/donate.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto
Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue
this ministry. Thank You.
Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and
apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
www.rwjm.com. Send us
your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family
you are in, or give us a call. Remember that God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
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Tolland, CT 06084.
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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