Who We Are- the Taste and the Shine!

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There are approximately 7 billion people presently residing on planet Earth according to the statistics. That’s 7 billion individuals living on an area which only covers 30% of the Earth’s surface, seeking, searching, competing, trying to make a living. It is estimated that everyday, over 250,000 babies are born the world over, making it seem as if we should conduct population censuses more often than every decade. So just take a moment, envision all these people, searching, trying to hope, feeling hopeless, seeking answers. Now imagine yourself. Think about who you are, why you are here, what must you accomplish amidst the chaos. The truth is we frequently ask ourselves these and many more questions. Whether you are a Christian or not a Christian, at some point in your life, your knees would tremble and every nerve would send impulses which spark curiosity, wonder and sometimes confusion, causing the mouth to utter the seemingly most haunting questions; “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”.

As a university student, I am exposed to various cultures, thought processes and personalities on a day to day basis. Such a blend may seem as a positive in that cultural integration is promoted. However, it leads one to ponder on the issue of true human identity. It is important that we know who we are and what we are called to do. Our cultures may be different, but we must remember one thing- our creator is the same. Therefore, what exactly is our purpose?

I remember a cool afternoon, sitting in my dorm room by my desk at school, thinking about certain aspects of my life. I had recently taken up the position of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Leader on my Hall of Residence, so therefore the genesis of such a task caused a deep-digging introspection. While sitting at my desk, my eyes were drawn to a small poster which spoke about the fruits of the spirit. When I read what was said for the fruit called “Self Control” I saw that a scripture was quoted. The quote haunted me and I had to turn immediately to the passage. The scripture that was quoted was Titus 2:14. However, I read beyond just that verse and it was amazing to see how the Holy Spirit revealed something phenomenal to me. My attention was focused on verses 11 to 14 which, when I read them, were a summary depicting our whole Christianity, particularly our duty, our purpose, our reason for existance. The scripture says:

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldy lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”- Titus 2:11-14 (KJV)

Upon reading the passage over and over…and over again, and after praying to God to help me to understand it, it became clear that it spoke to all dimensions of Christian and even human existence. Many may see this as a message only for Christians, but the 1st verse clearly stated that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to everybody. That grace has taught us the value of living soberly, righteously and godly in this world where such things a apparently in low distribution. Since Salvation has appeared to all men, it shows that God wants all to be saved. He wants all human beings to be redeemed and forsake the things of this world. This world is filled with darkness and the dull taste of sin. That is why in Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus admonishes us to be the Salt and Light of the Earth. We must be the Taste that the world needs and the Shine for men to see Jesus. The scripture (Titus 2) also points out that we must be constantly looking forward to the hope and glorious appearing of Jesus, the one who gave his life so that we could live, and live lives in abundance too! Firstly, consider the fact that Jesus came and died for our sins. He came to pay a humongous price, one the mind would be boggled when it tries to comprehend. However, he did it so that we would be redeemed, cleansed from all iniquity, and purified to become his people, to do great and might works for him. Sometimes one would question his/her reason of existance, but it is clear that we were made and fashioned to reflect God’s glory, to do great works for Him, to be the Taste and the Shine.

King Solomon was the richest man that ever touched the soil of planet Earth. Not only was he rich, having royal blood flowing through his veins, but he was wise, the wisest man who ever lived. Yet Solomon, in all his wisdom, still made stupid choices. In 1 Kings 11, it is revealed that Solomon slept with many foreign women, women who certainly did not revere Jehovah God as the one true God. It even came to the point where Solomon constructed altars in reverence of the gods that those women served. In all, Solomon had over 700 wives and princesses and 300 concubines (see 1 Kings 11:3). However, Solomon repented and this is seen in Ecclesiastes 12, particularly in verse 13 where Solomon made one of the simplest and most powerful statements uttered in the Bible. He said:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man”- Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)

The whole duty of man is to serve God and keep His commandments. This is coming from a man who had it all, riches, women and even wisdom; he had the fullness of both the tangible and the intangible. Yet, at the end of it all, He made such a statement.

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Beacons of Flavor was created to help people realize their true identity. Your identity must be in Christ Jesus. Its not about religion, its about relationship with Him, its about running and holding on to the one who fashioned you. He is calling us to be zealous, doing great works for Him. The Commission has been given, lets work together, realize who we are, and lets Be the Taste, and Be the Shine!

Blessed Love Every time,

Chad Greaves

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