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Salt of the Earth – Matthew 5:13

salt of the earth, salt and light, Matthew 5:13

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 

      Matthew 5:13

Everyone loves salty food! Potato chips, French fries (anything fried, right?), pizza, pretzels, and the list of yummy foods could go on forever… But doctors and dieticians tell us not to eat too many salty foods because they’re bad for our health. And they say we should check the amount of sodium on food labels. But more important than the amount of sodium in our diet is the amount of salt in our spiritual life. Even though we may not sprinkle salt liberally on our food it should be sprinkled on our hearts abundantly. Our spiritual health and the spiritual health of those around us depends on this kind of salt, even if our diet doesn’t.

We’ve all heard that Christians are to be “salt and light”. But what did Jesus mean when He said that we are “the salt of the earth”? And how can we apply that to our day to day lives.

To fully grasp what Jesus meant when He spoke these words, we need to understand the purpose of salt in Bible times and what salt symbolizes to us now in a modern world today. So, let’s look at some of the keys elements of salt together…

#1 Salt is Stable

Salt is a very stable substance. The molecules of sodium chloride form an ionic bond that is very strong. In the same way, salt symbolizes the strength of our stability in Jesus. Our faith is firmly bound together in the tangible, real truth of the Living Christ. This stable foundation we have in Him is as factual as the science of salt molecules.

#2 Salt is Life Sustaining

Salt is essential for life. Our physical bodies need a small amount of salt every day. Without the trace amount of minerals and electrolytes in it we will die. But spiritually, we must have an overflowing amount of salt. For ourselves, so that our spirit will flourish in this life and the next. And to season the lives of the people around us with the salt of God’s wisdom and love, so that they can have this life sustaining nutrient too.

#3 Salt creates Thirst

Each of us is born with a spiritual thirst inside of us. It starts out as a longing or a feeling of being parched but not knowing why. The longer this thirst goes on, the bigger it becomes. Until one day it’s full on dehydration that quickly becomes an undeniable need and must be filled right now.

Movie theatres put a lot of salt on popcorn to make us thirsty so they can upsell us a giant soft drink. As Christians, we don’t want to “sell” anyone our faith. We just want them to know who Jesus really is and to understand that our life is different from theirs because of Him. So our goal is to sprinkle our spiritual salt around in a way that allows the world to see Jesus and become thirsty for what He offers. The “secret” Christians have is simple. We know that Jesus is the only One who has the power to quench the spiritual thirst inside each of us.

Each of us is born with a spiritual thirst inside of us. It starts out as a longing or a feeling of being parched but not knowing why.Click To Tweet

#4 Salt Preserves

God created our bodies with a need to eat. And with that need comes another, preserving food for future consumption. Since God created us, it’s no wonder that He also gave us a natural way to preserve our food with salt. But modern technology has replaced our need to preserve food naturally. Now that we have refrigerators, chemicals and 24 hour grocery stores we’ve conveniently forgotten how to salt meat and can vegetables. But salt has been used as a food preservative for centuries.

This is exactly what Jesus was talking about when He said that we are “the salt of the earth”. As Christians we understand that Jesus is the only One who can truly preserve life. And we know He took our place on the cross and became the life preserving salt that we desperately needed Him to be.

But because of what Jesus has done for us, it is our responsibility to be the salt for others. Not that we can preserve their life, we know we can’t. But we can point the way to Jesus, the Preserver of life!

#5 Salt can lose its flavor

When salt loses its flavor, it also loses its purpose and becomes useless. The common practice in Jesus’s day was to throw tasteless salt out onto the street where it would be trampled on by people and animals.

Sometimes we lose our saltiness as believers. We don’t intend to, it just happens. We get caught up in our mundane daily routines, go through crisis after crisis or get hurt by another church member. Little by little we lose our taste for salvation. The incredible joy we once felt diminishes and we find ourselves just going through the motions. Then, one day we wake up and realize we’ve lost our purpose too. We’ve become ineffective Christians, something we never wanted to be. But unlike salt, that cannot regain its flavor once it is gone, we don’t have to remain stuck in this pattern of joyless, tasteless being. We can turn to Jesus and regain the purpose and zest for salvation we once had! And we can once again be useful and productive for the kingdom of God!

Jesus has called us to be “the salt of the earth”. Because, when we share our faith, we are giving the unsaved world all of the redeeming qualities of salt. We are showing them the stabile foundation we already have in Christ. And the thirst quenching, life sustaining, preserving power that they can have in Jesus too. Together, may we season the life of an unsaved person with the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ each and every day!
God bless!

Artwork from Master’s Hand Collection

artwork titled Jesus No Other Name by Master's Hand Collection

“Jesus No Other Name”

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artwork titled Rock That is Higher by Master's Hand Collection

“Rock That is Higher”

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By | 2018-07-31T15:57:59+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Christian Life|0 Comments

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? – Matthew 5:14-16

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Matthew 5:14-16

This time of year Christian circles are a buzz with one thing, “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?” This question seems to come from the uncertainty of what this holiday actually is and what it means to those who celebrate it. For some people it’s a dark and mysterious day filled with ancient pagan rituals. For others it’s just a day of harmless fun for the kids, playing dress up and trick-or-treating for candy.

The church as a whole remains divided on the issue. Some churches choose to celebrate fall or harvest, while some ignore this holiday altogether. Either way, there is a lot of passion on both sides over what is right or wrong in the eyes of God.

Since Halloween is a secular holiday, it is best to take it with a grain of salt and not lose sight of what really matters. When we find ourselves at odds as the body of Christ, the wise choice is always to turn to the Bible for guidance and understanding.

You are the light of the world. A city on the hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
                                                                              Matthew 5:14-16

The darkness of the world runs deep. And during this dark season it seems to surround us even more. But in the darkness there is a light.

Jesus was very clear…Christians are the light of the world! The city on the hill and a shining beacon of hope for an unsaved world. We stand above the fray pointing the way to Jesus. We are the reflection of a living Christ and His radiant light shines in us for all to see. It cannot be overshadowed or hidden from view. The light of Jesus should burn so bright in us that people can’t help but be amazed by it. But if we don’t let the light shine in the first place, how can they see the glory of the risen Savior?

The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.
                                                                              Luke 11:34-36

Bright and shiny objects have a tendency to distract us from the goal of Jesus. When we see them, we don’t see Him and our body is “full of darkness”. But when we focus our “eye” on Jesus, then we can truly see what is important and be a “shining lamp” that dispels the darkness and leads to the path of salvation.

The world and Christians are opposites in every way, just as darkness and light are also opposites. In sharp contrast to the world’s darkness, we are the bright light that shines for the glory of God.

Whether you choose to celebrate Halloween this year or not, one thing is certain… we as Christians are called to be light in a dark world. May we fix our eyes on Jesus and let our light so shine before men.

I encourage you to seek the radiant light of Christ in your life. And to reflect His light to the rest of the world as the shining beacon of hope that you are. May God bless you this coming holiday season!

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2 Older Comments.

Robin

10/18/2017 07:52:37 am

Thank you for sharing! I’ve always struggled with this holiday. Your words are a bright light to reminds us to be the salt-seasoning of the world!

Connie from Master’s Hand Collection

10/18/2017 09:00:58 am

Hi Robin! Thank you for your kind words today. May God bless you this holiday season!

By | 2018-02-05T13:22:24+00:00 October 18th, 2017|Halloween|0 Comments

Where is God When Bad Things Happen? Part 2

Where is God When Bad Things Happen Part 2

Last week we asked the question “Where is God when bad things happen?” and I shared with you some of the Bible verses that have helped me when life takes a turn for the worst. If you missed it, you can read it here…

Today I would like to continue our discussion by sharing with you the stories of the two hardest days of my life and the answer to prayer I received as a result.

Each and every one of us will be affected by the loss of a loved one at some point in our lives. When it happens, as it surely will, the pain can be devastating. I hope that by sharing my story, in some small way, it will help you to understand how much God truly loves you and wants to give you comfort when bad things happen.

Each and every one of us will be affected by the loss of a loved one at some point in our lives. When it happens, as it surely will, the pain can be devastating.Click To Tweet

My Granny was one of the most influential people in my life. Her immense joy and strength were always a source of encouragement for me. Most people saw Granny as a fun loving lady who lived life to the max. And a handful of people probably would’ve said she was a little intimidating. That always makes me laugh. Because even though Granny was fiercely independent and would always tell it like it was, she was also a big hearted woman who loved her family and friends and would do anything in the world for us.

Growing up, I wanted to be just like Granny in every way. And I think I got my wish, because the older I get, the more I act like her. Some would say that is a good thing and probably others might say I should rethink my life strategy. But either way you looked at it, Granny was a force to be reckoned with because she lived life on her terms.

When we heard the news that she was in the ICU on life support my world stopped turning. It’s as simple as that. It’s the one time in my life when I completely lost it. I fell to the floor crying and screaming. I’ve never been one for hysterics and usually I’m in control of my emotions. But that moment was different. The pain came from so deep down inside, bubbly up and spilling out of me. All I can say is that I felt like life would never be the same again. And to some degree it isn’t.

I remember the drive to Tulsa from our home in Arkansas very well. There had been a huge ice storm the day before. That two hour drive turned into three because the icy roads were so difficult to pass. The time ticked by so slowly and all I wanted was to be by her side. I prayed, for her, for us and I asked God, “Why?” Why did this have to happen and why did it have to happen now?

For a year and a half, my mom had been going through chemo treatments. We wondered if each day would be her last, never really having a grasp of what the future would hold. Our world was already extremely hard. The everyday had become unbearable, and now this. You see, Granny had been fine. It was my mom that we had been worried about. One day Granny was the picture of health, living vibrantly and fully. The next, she was in the hospital dying. It just wasn’t fair. But in the car on the way to see her, knowing it would be the last time, I prayed that prayer. “Why?” And God answered. His words were short and to the point but they have never left me. “I am still on My throne and all is right in the world”. That may not sound like the answer I was looking for but God’s words are always true. And there is comfort in knowing that.

Another year and a half after Granny passed away, my mom passed from the cancer that she so bravely fought for three years. Watching her suffer and die the way she did was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Every day of those three years I prayed that God would heal her. On that final day sitting next to her bed, holding her hand and watching her struggle, my prayer changed. And I begin to pray, “Please God don’t let her suffer anymore. Take her home to be with You.” God heard my prayer, as He always does, and about an hour later she was in the presence of Jesus.

Those two days were the hardest of my life. Losing the two women I was closest too almost killed me. But each time God pulled me out of the pit of my despair. He didn’t leave there to sink all alone. He heard my prayers and answered them.

I will always love and miss these beautiful women who shaped my life in unexplainable ways. They meant more to me than I can ever tell. And my life will never be the same now that they are not in it. But I am so grateful that God let me have them for a little while.
So the question remains, “Where is God when bad things happen?” Simply put, God is still on His throne and all is right in the world.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
                                                                                            Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16Click To Tweet

God is not a faraway being in a gilded cage. He is a loving Father who knows the pain we feel and sees every tear we shed. When our world falls apart and the pain is too deep to comprehend, this is our invitation to bring all of our brokenness directly to Him. It’s an open ended invitation to seek Him in every situation we face. Nothing is too big for Him to fix and nothing is too small for His attention. God wants us to confidently come to Him and lay our burdens at His feet so that we can receive mercy and grace to help us in our need.

My dear friend, if you have lost a loved one and are reeling from the pain it has caused, I pray that you will understand that God is still on His throne and He has you in the palm of His hand. He will not leave you to face this hurt alone. Take your burden to Him and be healed by His mercy and grace. May God bless you always!

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2 Older Comments.

Rebecca L Jones

10/13/2017 08:40:15 am

I am sorry for you loss, may He open our eyes to the fact that healing is ours, and how to believe He has already accomplished it.

Connie from Master’s Hand Collection

10/13/2017 01:57:19 pm

Hi Rebecca! Thank you for your kind and reassuring words. God has healed my broken heart as only He can.

By | 2018-05-16T18:18:00+00:00 October 11th, 2017|Christian Life|0 Comments

Where is God When Bad Things Happen? Part 1

Where is God When Bad Things Happen? Part 1

Every time we turn on the TV there is another terrible tragedy unfolding right before our eyes. Hurricanes, floods, wildfires and terrorist have suddenly become common news stories. But these things aren’t just stories, they are earth shattering events in someone’s life.

We truly feel for the people touched by these tragedies and we want to help any way we can, so we give to charities out of the goodness of our hearts. Yet, somehow the tragedy seems far away and removed from our own lives. And we always think these same things won’t happen to us.

But the truth is, all of us will be affected by a serious tragedy at some point in our lives. Our turn to experience hardship will surely come, whether it’s the death of a loved one, our home destroyed by a natural disaster or another unseen event so bad that we never could have imagined it in our worst nightmare.

When a tragic event strikes, it wreaks havoc on our already chaotic lives, turning everything we know upside down. The little bit of security we’ve worked so hard to create for ourselves is pulled out from underneath us. And the peace of mind that we strive for becomes a distant memory. As the pain wells up in our chest leaving us breathless, we realize just how fragile life really is. Then, we’re left to wonder “Where is God when bad things happen?”

My dear friend, I have felt your pain. I have experienced the torment of watching a loved one suffer and die an agonizing death. I have seen everything I once thought important taken from me. And in my despair, I have searched for an answer to this question. But I want you to know that waiting for you on the other side of the pain is hope. Hope that the situation you’re in won’t last forever and hope that tomorrow will be a better day. I would like to share with you some of the Bible verses that have helped me to get through the pain and see that hope of better days to come.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
                                                                        John 16:33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33Click To Tweet

It stands out in my mind that Jesus didn’t say trouble might come our way, or its possible bad things might happen to us. He said unequivocally you WILL have tribulation. I know that’s not a very comforting thought, but stick with me, I promise it gets better. Jesus backed that up by saying He has overcome the world! That’s a pretty amazing statement when you think about it. Jesus has overcome the pain and suffering we are currently facing. He has overcome every sin that separates us from Him and keeps us from the peace He offers. And He did it by dying in our place so that someday we will be with Him in heaven. Then, instead of sorrow and hardship we will have the unlimited joy and peace that only comes from knowing Jesus as our Savior.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
                                                                        Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18Click To Tweet

When we are grief stricken, words fail us. Nothing anyone can say will ever be enough to set things right again. In this moment, what we need most is to be in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. And that is exactly where we are. God has promised that in the midst of our pain, He is close to us. He understands our pain and all of the reasons we have a broken heart.  And He wants to comfort us and give us a safe place to rest within His care.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
                                                                         Psalm 30:5

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5Click To Tweet

The pain we have today may feel like it goes on and on with no end in sight. But God promises that tomorrow will come and with it, hope for a brighter future. So, whatever you do, don’t give up, because morning is coming.

As you read this verses, I hope they will provide you with the same source of strength and courage to keep going that they have given me over the years. But if you are still wondering “Where is God when bad things happen?” the simple answer is this…He is exactly where He has always been. He hasn’t left and He hasn’t changed. He is still right next to you, ready to lift you up and see you through this tragedy you are facing. So, I pray that you will feel the closeness with God that you are longing for. And that you will know, your hope for a better tomorrow is waiting just around the corner. May God bless you greatly!

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God bless!

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2 Older Comments.

Rebecca L Jones

10/4/2017 03:04:19 pm

Joy comes in the morning. ( Love the handbag. )

Connie from Master’s Hand Collection

10/4/2017 06:38:59 pm

Hi Rebecca! Thanks so much for your kind words. God bless!

By | 2018-05-16T11:36:50+00:00 October 4th, 2017|Christian Life|2 Comments