Week Thirty-Two, 2019
By retired Florida Senator John Grant
“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” (Matthew 5:13).
We stood in awe a thousand feet below the surface in the salt mines of Krakow Poland. Dating back before the thirteenth century, these mines were of valuable importance economically and militarily. At one time, salt the greatest preservative had a value equal to that of gold.
In ancient times Salt was of crucial importance economically. The expression “not worth his salt” stems from the practice of trading slaves for salt in ancient Greece. Special salt rations given to early Roman soldiers were known as “salarium argentum,” the forerunner of the English word “salary.”
Salt is a necessity of life and was a mineral that was used since ancient times in many cultures as a seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a unit of exchange.
The Bible contains more than forty verses about salt. The symbolism of salt is that It purifies. The Bible mentions that Sodom and Gomorrah were purified with salt. Sinners are changed into pillars of salt, and we can ward off evil and deter unwanted strangers by spreading salt. However, salt can also kill. It kills weeds, corrodes, dries up and can make water undrinkable.
Although salt is powerful in historical and metaphorical terms, its spiritual power often goes unnoticed. Jesus said that we are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”. Being salt and light is not optional. Jesus did not say you can be…or you have the potential to be…He said you are.
Everyone who has trusted Christ for salvation and is born again is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Jesus told His followers they were the salt of the earth. This was an obvious metaphor for how they should impact the world around them.
Jesus uses those who love and follow Him to help preserve this fallen world that has turned its back on Him. Jesus also uses you to spread the Word in a way that is easier for others to understand, easier for them to hear and digest, by adding flavor and depth to your words as you share the gospel. Salt brings out distinct flavors in food, just as believers can bring out the words of God to impact listeners in a positive way. Those who know Jesus, radiate His joy, and share His love add flavor to the world.
Are you spreading salt in this fallen world?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
When David found himself confronted by enemies (Psalm 139:19–22), here was his prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (vv. 23–24).
What hard place is your address today?
Would you make David’s prayer yours right now?
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This ‘n That about Bats
• The bat is the only mammal that can fly. Bats are crucial for a healthy environment. Bats disperse seeds, eat loads of harmful insects and help pollinate plants.
• There are more than 1,300 bat species distributed across six continents; about 50 bat species live in national parks across the United States, and Indonesia hosts 219 bat species—more than any other country.
• According to Bat Conservation International, bats make up one-fifth of the mammal population on Earth.
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Chris Seiple is a graduate of Stanford and the Naval Postgraduate School with a PhD from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. He is a former Marine infantry officer and a founding member of the Pentagon’s Strategic Initiatives Group. He is also living with stage 4 cancer and a brain tumor.
Writing in the Washington Post, Dr. Seiple focuses on living today while trusting Jesus for tomorrow. He testifies: “I am grateful for the blessing of living in the present, between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’ In the Bible, Jesus asks his followers: ‘If he made and cares for the ‘lilies of the field’ in all of their finite beauty, how much more will he care for us?’”
Dr. Seiple concludes: “I believe death is but the doorway to the rest of life, but until it is time to step through, I want to live like the lilies, expectantly, with enough for today.”
So should we. —Jim Denisen
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
“Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.” —Benjamin Rush (1783)
Some have more degrees than a thermometer but without Christ are still lost.
“We cannot be forgiven unless we are willing to forgive.” —John Morgan
“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). God’s word adds, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9).
Sin always costs more than it pays. The time to repent and make restitution is now. —Jim Denison