September 22, 2021
Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Prayer is amazing! It has the ability to move the heart of God. It is intimate communion with God, which changes our hearts and draws us closer to Him.
Directly following the first eight beatitudes, Jesus uses two well-known things, salt and light, to speak about having a healthy influence in society. Today we will consider the first of the two.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet” (Matthew 5:13).
This great validation, “You are the salt of the earth,” is worth our consideration. Two standard uses of salt are for flavoring and preserving.
Salt is used to enhance the flavor and improve the taste of food. “Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt” (Job 6:6). If it is a tender filet mignon that you are eating, a little added salt will make it even more delicious.
Just as salt enhances flavor, our lives and our testimonies should have this effect on those around us. As believers, we have the opportunity to bring the flavor of Christ into every situation. The reality, the transparency, the fullness of our lives in Christ have a salt-like effect on our world.
One significant area of influence is our words. Paul says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). The use of our words can cause untold damage or bring great blessing. Speech that is seasoned with salt is speech that is gracious, wholesome, and encouraging.
In ancient times, salt was used for preserving food. Because of the lack of refrigeration, fish or meat could be kept for longer periods if properly salted.
In Labrador when I was a boy, fish was plentiful and often salted. It was gutted, cut, and laid out to dry in the sun. Then it was stacked in the wharf shed with layers of salt spread between the layers. This allowed the fish to keep for months.
When it came time to eat the salt fish, desalting was necessary. It needed to be soaked in water, just to make it edible. I thoroughly enjoyed it; however, some say that it’s an acquired taste. The next time you visit Newfoundland and Labrador ask one of the locals to give you a feed of “fish and brewis.” Yum!
Your life can not only bring the grace of Christ to a situation, but also the truth of Christ. This means, as you live out the reality of the beatitudes, your life will stem the tide of evil around you. Your living in the truth will have a salt-like effect upon the ungodly.
When the church as a whole is taken out of the world at the second coming of Christ, evil will thrive in unlimited proportions (2 Thessalonians 2:7). This is because the Holy Spirit lives within the believer. As we submit to His authority in our lives the effect on our community will be noticeable.
R.V.G. Tasker says that Jesus instructed His disciples “To be a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low, constantly changing, non-existent.”
Some have wondered if it’s even possible for salt to lose its quality of saltiness, saying that it is a stable chemical compound (NaCl) and resistant to nearly every attack. Yet one of the ways in which salt can lose its taste or saltiness is by being diluted or contaminated by mixture.
This is where the warning of Jesus comes in. He stated that once the salt has lost its distinctive quality, it is very difficult to restore, and in fact needs to be discarded.
The daily danger that confronts the believer is that of losing the effectiveness of our testimony through contamination with the world. Instead of living in the world as a preservative for the honor of God, the world gets into us and we become one-in-the-same with it.
Three times before the cross, Jesus told His disciples they were “not of the world” (Jn. 15:19, 17:14, 16). When Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2), he wasn’t so much talking about our outward dress or look, but rather our values, our mindset, our morals. We are kingdom born and kingdom bound, and therefore are called to live with the beliefs and behaviors that exemplify the same.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel