The One Year Salt and Light Devotional
365 Inspirations to Equip and Encourage You to Live Out Your Calling in the World by Chris Tiegreen
We live in an age when some people believe religion in general or Christianity in particular is one of the most corrosive elements of society, while others believe it is one of the most constructive.
We hear absurdly indefensible claims like, “Religion is the cause of almost all wars,” as well as overly confident claims that virtually all hospitals, homeless shelters, educational norms, traditional values, work ethics, democratic principles, and economic successes spring from Christian ideals.
The reality is somewhere in between, but of course we as believers want to make the most of our influence and increase it.
Scripture calls us to be the salt of the earth and lights in the world—preserving, flavoring, brightening, and warming both society as a whole and the lives of those around us. The Kingdom of God is exceedingly good, and we are to personify it and offer glimpses of it everywhere we go.
Some Christians seem to know how to do that naturally, winsomely, and effectively, while others act out of past wounds, get triggered by conflict, fight fire with fire, and try to win people to the Kingdom by vilifying them.
In between, most Christians treasure their beliefs on Sunday but have no idea how to translate their private spirituality into their public interactions. And with good reason: Secular society constantly tries to marginalize faith.
People want to cross this divide and make a difference but don’t know how. This devotional will suggest creative, nonthreatening, unembarrassing, and (most importantly) effective ways to make a difference.
In our efforts to be a positive force for the Kingdom, we may notice a frequent tension. On the one hand, God has set his people apart to be dedicated to him and conformed to his image. On the other hand, he sends us into the world to be involved and influential.
We are “in the world but not of the world,” and emphasizing one of those truths at the expense of the other leads to imbalance and irrelevance.
If we are only set apart to God, we are in no position to make a difference; if we just blend in, we have nothing distinctive about us to make a difference with.
Much of this devotional is about maintaining that balance—keeping our “saltiness” flavorful and our light bright. This is much more than a matter of sharing our faith. Our goal is a lifestyle that begins deep inside and works its way out. The message of God’s Kingdom flourishes best in a climate in which Kingdom truths and values are present.
The environment surrounding it matters. On many occasions, we as believers in Jesus will have to take the lead in establishing that environment. We will never establish the Kingdom in its fullness before Jesus returns—Kingdom fullness comes with the King—but we are nevertheless called to work toward it, to expand it, to partner with him to help it grow.
Throughout this devotional, you will see some of the same themes coming up again and again: the long view versus a short-term approach; a lifestyle that goes well beyond words; the need to embody the truths of God’s Kingdom and the character of the King; what it means to live in the true image of God; and how to serve as an agent or catalyst for God’s blessings.
You will also find a prayer at the end of each day’s reading. These are simple prayers, and some of them may not seem very profound.
But they don’t need to be profound for God to answer them; they just need to be prayed. If you will express them consistently or use them as prompts to pray deeper, longer prayers, you will find him answering them, sometimes in surprising ways.
That’s my prayer for you as you go through these readings— that God will encourage you, move you, and use you in surprising ways to bless this world with his wisdom, power, and love. You carry those blessings with you already, and your world is desperately longing to see them. May they overflow in your life in increasing measure each day.