Being “Salty Saints”

13“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.Matthew 5:13-16

Happy Friday, friends! I know that I talk a lot about being salt and light in this dark world. I can’t help it. I feel like this portion of Scripture has become our anthem, our mission. This is another good song I found today (by the same guy from the song I shared yesterday) that moved me to write today’s message. I love the Gospel of Matthew, especially starting in chapter 5 where Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount and tells what it takes to come into the Kingdom of God–what kind of people and condition we must find ourselves in before we can truly enter in.

After telling us who will be blessed and inherit the Kingdom, Jesus warns us about how we will be treated for following Him. Sometimes it’s a hard pill for us to swallow, knowing that we will be mocked, persecuted, lied about, and have all sorts of evil things said about us just because we are His followers. But Jesus says to be happy about it and to rejoice in it, because a great reward awaits us in Heaven and that even the prophets (and Jesus Himself!) were persecuted in the same way (verse 11-12). I think that many people who profess to follow Jesus turn back (or will turn back) when the going gets tough. Well, I don’t think this, I know this…Scripture predicts it so we can be certain it will come to pass. Matthew 24:9-14 (Jesus still speaking) has more to say about persecution that will come to true believers in the last days. He tells us that the love of many will grow cold and that only those who endure to the end will be saved. So this portion ties back to Matthew 5 where Jesus starts warning us what to expect for following Him.

9“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.b 10And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nationsc will hear it; and then the end will come.

And verse 14 here goes along with Matthew 13-16 (which are at the top) and also the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20):

19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,b baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

My point in tying all of these Scriptures together is simply to say that, as children of God, we have been called and commissioned to a great purpose. We are called to GO. Go and preach the Good News (to the whole world). Go and make disciples (of all nations). Go and baptize new believers into the family of God. Go and teach these new disciples to obey all that Jesus commanded. Lots of going and doing commanded by our King! And the best thing of all…He assures us that He is with us through it all, even until the end of the age! We don’t have to do any of this in our own power. In fact, we can’t. We are powerless to do what only HE can do. But He commissioned us to be the ones who GO. He will work in and through us when we are obedient to His call. It’s a beautiful, amazing thing to be a useful vessel for the King of Glory!

And back to the verses at the top, to wrap it all up…He tells us how and why we are called to be “salty saints.” He gave us a place in the Kingdom and in return, we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. That means we are needed out there. If salt loses its flavor, He says it’s worthless and will be trampled on and thrown out. So we need to bring the flavor and aroma of Christ out to those around us. And He says we are to be the light out there, shining brightly-not hidden, but out on a stand for all to see. This means we aren’t to shrink back or be timid, scared, or weak-kneed. We literally have the Lion of the Tribe of Judah inside of us! We are mighty in HIS power…the same power that raised Him from the dead! We have no need to fear, for He is our strength. He is the One Who equipped and enabled David to defeat Goliath and He works through each one of us when we are surrendered to His will, His plans for us, His call on our life.

I wanted to share a quick story of an encounter that Will had yesterday. He is coming into his slow season at work, so he usually will go somewhere to sit and read his Bible or witness to people as time allows for it during some of his days now. So he went to Chick-Fil-A and got a coffee and was reading the Word for a bit when a man came and sat down near him and proceeded to take a phone call where he told the person on the other end of the call that he was just diagnosed with cancer. He got off the phone and Will said the Holy Spirit kept prompting him to talk to the man. So he mustered up the courage (because let’s be real…it isn’t easy to talk to strangers, especially when it’s a witnessing encounter or you feel led to pray for them or anything like this…and we don’t claim that it’s easy. But it’s always worth it!) and told the man that he’d overheard him say on the phone that he has cancer and he felt like the Lord wanted him to pray for him. The man was so grateful and humbled that Will was obedient to the Lord in this, because he turned out to be a believer too and they were able to pray together (for each other) right there in the middle of the restaurant for all to see, and then sit together and have fellowship for about 45 more minutes. Will said he needed this encounter just as much as the man did, and that it was a real blessing for both of them. We have so many stories like this where God directs us to step outside our comfort zones and it always ends up being a divine appointment.

So my encouragement to all of us today is this: Listen to His still small voice. See where He wants to take you. Obey when He gives you direction. Small steps of obedience in your faith will grow into greater acts, and as the end of that portion of Matthew 5 says above, others will see your good deeds and give praise to Your heavenly Father. It’s all for His glory. You are just the vessel. My prayer for us all today is that we would be willing. Willing to obey. Willing to say yes, Lord. Willing to GO. As I always love to say and will leave you with today…let’s GO and be about the Father’s business. Peace and love to you all. Have a wonderful weekend serving the King.

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