Saturday, February 8, 2014

Epiphany 5

9 February

Epiphany 5
Matthew 5:13-24
You are the salt of the world.

Almighty God, You know we live in the midst of so many dangers that in our frailty we cannot stand upright. Grant strength and protection to support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Jesus warns us, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). The Lord Jesus came not to abolish the Law or the Prophets, “but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17) Since Jesus does and teaches all of God’s commandments, He alone is “called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19).

Jesus teaches His disciples that they are to be the salt of the earth. You. And you alone. You. And none other. You are salt. You are light. This is what you were meant to be. You give light in the midst of darkness. You can’t help but do otherwise. You are in Christ.   

The word “salary” comes from the word salt. The Romans would pay their soldiers not in gold but in salt. A faithful worker was literally “worth his salt.”

Christ says of you, “You are the salt of the world.” That is, a preservative in this corrupt and sinful world. God preserves the world, so that Christians may serve Him here.  Christ is the true light, which enlightens everyone. (John 1:9), Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, Christians reflect the light of the Son of God into a world dark with sin, wickedness, ignorance, and unbelief. Your highest form of service is being a light in this world. Bringing the light of the Gospel of salvation into a sin-darkened world.

You are the salt of the world.

Salt changes nearly everything it touches. Think such as food and ice. You are called to be thermostats not thermometers in this world. By yourself, you can do nothing. But as an instrument, you can be used of God in this world. You are the instrument that the Father can use to implement change in a wicked world. When believers touch and influence this world there will be change. You need not be like the world to win the world. You win the world when you present to them Christ.

Salt creates a thirst for water to those exposed to it. As salt, the Christian has a wonderful opportunity to promote a thirst for Jesus in this world. You point men to Jesus. You share with them Christ, the water of life. As a follower of Jesus, there needs to be a thirst for God in the world around us.
Salt kills some things. Slugs and salt do not mix. Pour salt on a slug and it will die. Salt poured on a lawn will kill the grass. Abimelech took a city and sowed the city with salt to prevent the ground from being used to grow crops. He killed the fields with salt. (Judges 9:45)

When Christ is sown into the lives, homes and communities of the world some things will die. Christ is poison to sin. When Christ enters a life the old nature of drowned and killed. And a new man comes forth to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.    [a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:71

Salt brings out the best. Salt blends and adds flavor to food. The Christian flavor the world around him. All that we do, we do to the glory of God. Only let your manner of life be worthy[a] of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27

Salt has a remarkable cleaning ability. The prophet Elisha cleansed the waters at Jericho with salt. The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.” “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.  -2 Kings 2: 19-22

Often, newborns were washed in salt to cleanse their bodies and give firmness to the skin. (Ezekiel 16:4) Salt in a wound can cleanse it. Christians have a purifying effect on the world around them. You are a purifying force in the world around you. Every meat offering in the Old Testament was to be made with salt. You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. 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. Likewise, you offer your life as an offering to the Lord. You are worth you salt.

Salt penetrates and infiltrates whatever it touches. It is an aggressive substance. You are an active force in this world. A militant army charging the gates of Hell. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, [a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Salt wards off rot and decay. Rubbed into meat in an effort to preserve it. The prayers of “salty” Christians preserve our nation, community and neighborhood. The prayers of the righteous are effective. Continue to intercede for those around you. Continue. Continue in what you have been ordered to do. You are salt. You are light. Reflect the Gospel of Christ in your live.
You are worth your salt.

Words – 1,052
Flesch Reading Ease – 85.5%

Flesch – Kincaid Grade Level – 3.9

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