Saturday, August 13, 2016

Craving Something Salty...

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I love food. My three most favorite times of the day are breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m not picky. Whatever makes its way onto my plate will inevitably find its way to my stomach. I really enjoy sharing a meal with people – my husband, family, or dear friends. When I share a meal with my family, my grandmother never fails to cover her food in salt and pepper. Most of the time she won’t taste the food before smothering it in seasoning. She adores the flavor of salt and pepper, especially salt. In her opinion, it makes everything better. Her meal is not nearly as satisfying without salt.

Salt has been important throughout history. You can go on Amazon right now and purchase a book on salt and the influence it has had on mankind for centuries. Salt often symbolized wealth since it was a frivolous extra. Then it became a necessity for preservation.  Meats were salted and vegetables stored in a brine so that their shelf life would extend through barren winter months. Now it has returned as a delicious extra on our tables; used to add pop and zing to certain items like corn on the cob in the summer time.

Have you noticed that after you ingest salt you crave liquid? This is true for me. After I enjoy a box full of hot Chick-Fil-A waffle fries that have been perfectly salted, I can’t help but take a long sip of my half-sweet/ half-unsweet iced tea. Salt makes us thirsty.

This is why Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth…” in Matthew 5:13. You, as a follower of Jesus, have been placed here to make people thirsty.

Thirsty for what?

Thirsty for living water – a supply that never runs dry.

It is the water Jesus told the Samaritan woman about in John 4: 13-14. “Jesus said to her, ‘“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’”

Thirsty for Jesus.

We are called to be the salt that causes people to want a drink of everlasting life.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Jesus knew that. That is why He continues in Matthew 5:13 saying, “…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.”

What do you do with salt that has gone stale while sitting in your seasoning cabinet? You know the kind, you finally need to use it but it has developed a salt rock inside the container that refuses to separate. You attempt to use it but upon tasting it you realize it is bland. 
Regretfully, because you hate to waste, you dispose of this salt. It cannot be used on the meat as a rub, or in the soup as part of the broth; it is purposeless. Why? It has lost its flavor. And what is salt without flavor?

That’s what Jesus is communicating in Matthew 5. Salt without flavor has no purpose. Salt without flavor is not going to lead anyone to drink the living water.

So let’s take away the example for a moment. As a Christian, your purpose is to lead other people to Jesus Christ. The problem is that our salt has lost its flavor.

How did that happen?

Well, are we any different than the rest of the world? What about you is unusual to someone who doesn’t claim Jesus as their Savior and Lord?

Are you just as negative?

Are you just as worried about the state of our world?

Are you angry? Do you lose control and fly off the handle at work?

Do you gossip with the girls during mani/pedis?

Do you accept sin because you don’t want to be alienated for believing in Scripture? Have you accepted sin in your own life by excusing it as a personality trait?

When we do these things, our salt becomes less flavorful. It becomes useless.

Why? Well, who would want more of what you have if it is exactly like what they have?

People look for something different – something salty.

I may sound like a broken record to those who read this blog often, but this is the truth. We must strive to look more like Jesus every day. We do not have time to be flavorless. We must become salty again so that men and women in this world will want to take a drink from the water that brings everlasting life – Jesus Christ!

So what can one do to become more flavorful?

First, you ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart. Ask Him to reveal what does not belong; what is causing your salt to be flavorless.

Second, through the power of the Holy Spirit, commit to removing those things that do not belong in your life. Disengage from sinful behavior and thinking. Allow Him to form you in a way that reflects the image of Christ daily. This will revive your salt and bring back its usefulness.

Third, you must share your relationship with Jesus with everyone you know. If salt is not being sprinkled, it does not transform what is around it. By sharing your story, the Gospel, with others around you, through word and deed, a thirst develops in this world for what you have – Jesus Christ.

So, remember my friends, “You are the salt of the earth…”

Be flavorful today.

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