Salt and light – by Samuel Clark. – pdf
translated by Elías German into English
Dear friends of the Way:
When Jesus told Peter and Andrew “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people,” we should feel ourselves included in this invitation. Some will say, “Oh, but that invitation was for those who would become apostles. I’m just a housewife… an employee… a secretary… laborer… etc.” Friends, these were two fishermen, the simplest people in those days. Yes, it’s true that they became Apostles, but they weren’t at that moment, and they wouldn’t be until later. The important point that we should see and believe is that they were fishermen of men before and after being named Apostles. They were disciples first and a disciple does what he sees his master do.
What did they see their Lord do? He spoke with individuals (Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, etc.), with small groups (in Matthew’s home; Lazarus, Mary and Martha, etc.) and with crowds (by the sea and on the mount). The disciples did the same. Peter is an example: he for sure spoke to individuals, groups and crowds, but he started with a single person. That’s where we have to start. Not with groups and much less with crowds.
How do we earn the opportunity, the open door to share the Gospel and fish for people? That is the question many try to answer by teaching a method or providing attractive and impressive materials. I believe it is a mistake to start this way.
We need to start by living the life of a Christian. If this life is not nurtured daily by the Word of God and strengthened by prayer, there will be no method or material that will work. If we are not full of God, if we are not soaked in His message, there will be nothing good or revitalizing in us. The daily devotional time is the first step in the divine work. There are no shortcuts. The Lord says “This is the Way, walk in it…”
Then it is the life that we live as disciples of Christ that attracts people to Jesus. If He can change my life, if He can transform my tough character, if He can live in me that abundant life, then people can see the Gospel personified again.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
But first we have to be light in a dark world and salt in a tasteless earth so we can shine and give flavor. Your lives, there where you are, are the key for testimony: in the store, the office, the neighborhood or at work. How attractive is our life, my friends? Who would wish to have what they see in our life? We need to show our “product” to have clients. I guess it was St. Francis of Assis who told his monks: “We have to testify of Christ to every man and, if necessary, with words.”
That is the core of this matter. We can’t learn to testify with words only but with deeds of love, giving our life for others as Christ did (John 3:16-18). We need to understand the importance of our own life as a platform for the verbal testimony. When people see something so real and true, as the Christian discipleship should be, they will be attracted to Him as bees to flowers.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
How do you smell, my friend? Spiritual fragrance is the aroma of Christ, his similarity, his victory, his love. Our flesh “stinks” as something dead and rotten (Galatians 5:18-21). The fruit of the Spirit is the aroma of Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:22-23). Only the cross of Jesus can kill the deeds of the flesh and release the fragrance of the Lord by His Spirit that dwells inside us (Romans 8.13).
It would be great if everything we are talking about were automatic when we accept Christ as our Savior, but it is a personal decision based on the devotion nurtured in us when we spend time with Him, learning who He is and what He wants us to do. After that, by putting all this in practice, we walk in light and no longer in darkness. We walk in the light with Him, and our life is transformed.
Some “fish” are ready to be fished by someone with courage and faith. Others require a patient fisherman who is willing to live and then talk as a friend. God guides the appropriate fisherman to each individual fish.
This is what we need to learn if we want to be good fishermen of people. Some will fish with a fishing rod, others with nets, others with different methods according to their gifts and capacities… but everyone who follows our Lord Jesus should be a “fisherman”.
Who is in the kingdom of God because you have lived close to them, made a friendship, sometimes served them, always loved them and told them about Christ? It is relatively easy to learn to talk the Gospel. Jesus wants to teach us to live it and share it the same way that the Apostle John did: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” (1 John 1:3-4)
In His love,