The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/18

Posted on | January 18, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/18

Scripture reading: I Corinthians 1:26–31

The Problem with Salt

Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. (Luke 14:34–35)

 

Salt gets a lot of bad press. Its over-consumption can bring on hypertension, cardiovascular disease, renal failure, and more. Jesus, however, had another opinion. While few of his recorded words relate directly to our physical diet, he believed that our real problem in society is not too much salt . . . but too little! You are the salt of the earth, he said to his followers (Matthew 5:13). In comparing his disciples to salt, Jesus was underscoring the influence he expected them to have in the world. In Jesus’ day salt was a commodity that had many benefits for daily life. His hearers would have immediately understood some of the reasons why Jesus chose to compare his followers to salt.

,. Salt was part of Temple sacrifices. The Mosaic law was specific and clear: You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt (Leviticus 2:13). In calling his followers to be salt, Jesus was calling them to offer their bodies to God as living  sacrifices (Romans  12:1–2).

,. Salt preserves. In Bible times, salt was often rubbed into meat to prevent decay and corruption and to keep it from spoiling. Jesus is saying that salty Christians are the only antiseptic available to counteract a culture’s constant tendency toward moral decay and disintegration. The presence of Christ’s followers within a nation may be the very thing that preserves its life and maintains its blessings.

,. Salt purifies. Salt acts as a disinfectant. Putting salt on a wound helps to cleanse it and bring healing. But be careful: it stings! Followers of Christ are often experienced by society as painful irritants. But the sting they provoke is indicative of their cleansing power.

,. Salt adds flavor. Christians are to society what seasoning is to food. Without salt, food is bland and tasteless. And without salty Christians intermingled in the warp and woof of human society, culture is insipid, boring and dull. Without the influence of Christians, society begins to experience the banality of evil.

,. Salt makes others thirsty. A salty diet creates a craving for water. God’s people, strategically placed in human society, are intended to cause their neighbors and friends to desire the Living Water that only God can give. Just being around Christians makes them thirsty for God. “Your life is different. Please, tell me the secret.”

America is at a crossroads. Moral decline, the breakdown of the family, disrespect for human life, rampant immorality, homosexuality, governmental gridlock, and clergy scandals are all evidence of the rot and decay threatening the very soul of our nation. Never before has there been a greater need for salty Christians. If you are a follower of Jesus, then you are the salt (not the sugar!) of the earth. If you have no flavor (zip, tang, sting), then you “are of no use.” Repent and rediscover the tang of holy living in an immoral world. If the salt is salty, even a pinch can make a world of difference!

Now, get out of the salt shaker and permeate this culture.

 

To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.

—Madeleine L’ engle (quoting Cardinal Suhard)

 

 

point to ponder Is your place of worship a salty place?

 

prayer focus That God would give you the power today to be a preservative, purifier, and flavor-enhancer.

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