If we follow Christ’s examples and obey his voice, we Christians will have a positive effect on this lost and dying world. We have been commissioned by the Almighty to not only witness about God, but to also make disciples of those we come in contact with. We ought not ever lose our saltiness or influence.
With these thoughts in mind, the following message is humbly submitted for you to consider. I had the privilege of preaching this to my congregation, and challenged them to “be salt” to those they come in contact with, and those whose lives they influence.
Are you salty?
The Question Is – Are You Salty?
Sunday, January 11, 2009 pm Service
Matthew 5:10-13 (ESV)
Salt and Light
13 “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.14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Many people like salt on the foods they eat. Some like a little and some like a lot. For thousands of years, cooks have used salt to season what they prepared for the table. Salt has many uses and comes from a variety of places.
Let’s examine some interesting properties of salt. It:
- Preserves. One of the interesting qualitees of salt is its ability to preserve what it comes in contact with. Some of you have eaten those hams that come from great southern smoke houses where hams are cured with salt. It has been used as a preservative for thousands of years, and will continue to be used that way.
- Stings. Have you ever gotten a cut of some kind and felt the pain if salt gets in the wound? You know it doesn’t feel good.
- Heals. Salt is a healing agent. For some reason, if you have sinus problems and go swimming in salt water, you get some relief – your sinuses clear up and you’re able to breathe again. One of the most amazing things I’ve seen deals with canker sores. I used to get them all the time as I had a bad reaction to eating citrus fruit and tomatoes. I would put some table salt on the sore, and it would be gone almost overnight. Have you ever gotten a sore throat? One of the best remedies in the world is to gargle with warm salt water. Salt heals.
- Seasons. As has already been mentioned, many people use salt to season their food. Cooks by the score have used salt to season their meals for thousands of years. It can be used to make some foods taste even sweeter than they are already. Does watermelon and cantaloupe ring a bell with you?
- Induces thirst. How many of you have ever eaten a bag of salty peanuts or popcorn and then felt a strong thirst come on you? Eating something salty makes you want to drain the glass, doesn’t it?
Jesus said something about salt in Luke’s gospel that we should take heed to. Look at chapter 14 verses 34 & 35:
Salt Without Taste Is Worthless (ESV)
34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Notice what Jesus said, and put it way down in your spirit. Jesus told the people if they had lost their influence, their taste, they were fit for nothing but the manure pile. That’s strong meat, and if you no longer effect the world around you with your saltiness, you are not fit for anything but the same pile.
Here’s an interesting tidbit of information you need to get down into your spirits today. In order for salt to help the ham, it must be in direct contact with it. Salt cannot stay in the shaker if it is going to be effective. Jest being on the table or by the stove isn’t enough to change the flavor of the ham. The salt must come out of the shaker and contact the ham if there is going to be a difference.
You and I cannot stay within the four walls of the local church if we are going to minister to and affect the lives of people around us. Too many Christians have gotten comfortable staying in the “shaker”, the local church, and not pouring themselves into the harvest field.
THREE STEPS TO TRUE SUCCESS
Let’s examine 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
- Desire You have to want it. Our desires drive what we’re doing. What you want the most is usually what you set your energy and give your time to accomplish. It’s not bad to want to do what we want, but we must look at our priorities. By all means, we should do what God wants first and foremost in our lives. God has given us room to do what we want with our gifts and talents. You will notice that God isn’t controlling our lives with a whip; He has given us tools to work with – it’s up to us to work with them. We must have a holy passion to do God’s will in our lives.We talk about church growth, but we need to examine ourelves to see whether we really want it or not. Are we willing to get on our knees and pray for wisdom and a fresh move of the Holy Ghost? Are we willing to dig down deep in pockets in order to hire a music minister? Are we willing to knock on doors and make phone calls? How badly do we want to see a genuine move of God in this church?
- Discipline. That word means strict training in the Greek, and it depicts someone who is getting ready for battle. No athlete has ever won a gold medal without having trained for long hours and with great discipline. The Apostle Paul declared he wouldn’t allow his own body to wreck his efforts in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.We must be disciplined in many areas of our Christian walk, including: prayer, Bible reading, meditating on good things, attendance on the house of God, tithing and giving offerings. It’s so easy to let some of these things slip away from us, but we must keep our discipline if we are to please God with our lives. It’s easy to quit or be a half-hearted Christian, but it takes discipline to work for Christ in the face of the enemy.Make no mistake, we are training for battle. The enemy of our souls wants to destroy us, so we must train to win the war. Let us never forget the promise of God that He would never leave us or forsake us.
The Whole Armor of God (ESV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
- Determination. We must finish the race that is set before us. How many people have started out in Christ only to drop out of the race when expectations didn’t meet up with reality? Every one of us must count the cost of our journey. Look at the example of Christ in Luke 9:51 (ESV) When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.It would have been easy to quit on God many times, but you must be determined to go on in spite of the opposition. Look at Ezra and Nehemiah in the face of strong opposition – they would not be hindered by any means. What do you think would have happened to the three Hebrew men who walked in the flames of a fiery furnace had they not been determined to live for God?
2 Timothy 4:7-8 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
How Salty Are You?