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Too Close To Count

Unhindered  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Recap

We have been spending time looking at the theme of unhindered
or a church that is unhindered
Jesus want’s his body to be free from the things that the enemy would use to keep them bound and tied up and useless for the business of the kingdom.
John 11:44 NKJV
And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Jesus expects that those whom he gives life to would continue in that life free from the powers of hell and sin.
He told us that we would be whatever we would need at the moment that we have need of it.
To Martha and Mary and Lazarus - the resurrection
To the disciples looking for answers and understanding - the way, the truth and the life
And he expects that his church will be a place and a people devoted to the same things.
Lost people should be found here today because we are following the Way
Dead people should be given life here today because we are walking in the way
Confused people should find their way here because we are living and preaching the truth.
Last week we said that the truth is what gives us the ability to see the un-truth.
It doesn’t change, so we can trust in it
It’s more than facts or moral guidelines - it’s above what we think or feel
It changes life.
It defeats the enemy
It enriches life
It’s that enrichment of life that I want to talk about today.
We all know
John 10:10 NKJV
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
By now, you are figuring out where I’ve been going with this every week. If Jesus came to give abundant life, guess where people should be able to go to experience that abundant life. - The CHURCH.
Now we talked about the life of the church already a couple of weeks ago. So I want to look at it a little differently this morning.
I want to look at it from the point of view of being salt.
Turn with me to
John 5:13 NKJV
But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.
Matthew 5:13 NKJV
“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.

We are Called to be Salt

I spoke that message sometime within the last 2 years.
Salt is a seasoning - makes food taste good
Salt is a healing element - It cleans and disinfects
Salt is a preserver - It keeps things fresh
But apparently, Salt can also be useless

We are Called to be (Effective) Salt

What hinders salt from being effective? - It loses it’s flavor
It loses it’s saltiness
It loses it’s ability to change it’s surroundings.
We are called as a church, as the people of God to have an effect on our surroundings
People act differently around me
They know what I stand for
They know what I say and what I believe
And though they might not believe like me or find it okay to say other things they tend to restrain themselves when I am with them
Now they will say it is because I’m a pastor, but I know that it’s more than that.
I am effecting my surroundings.
The problem that Jesus was talking about was the effects that their surroundings had on us

Effected by Water

Our salt today is pretty stable. There isn’t much that can cause it to lose it’s taste and properties.
Salt back then - a mixture of substances.
When exposed to water - The sodium chloride was the most soluble so it would disappear, leaving the other substances in white material that still looked like salt - except it was no longer salt.
Our world today is very fluid - change comes at us almost every day.
Human beings dislike change very much
It’s easy to get lost in change - we are people of habits and rituals.
Change demands that we change with it - our lifestyles, our schedules, our time
Sometimes when things change so much around us, we can feel like we are drowning.
drowning in lake after taking raft
water was surrounding me treatening to rob me of life.
I believe for us today, in the theme that we are discussing that we cannot allow the fluidness and the sudden and constant change of the world around us to hinder us from being the agents of change that we should be.
I believe that we still can have an effect in our world especially during the changes that are taking place.
Because Jesus doesn’t change
And his Word stays the same as well
Yes, this world will threaten to swallow us up.
Yes, this world will threaten to swallow us up.
Yes, things are changing around us most of the time quicker than we can ever process.
But I want you to know that the Holy Spirit in us is more fluid than anything that will come against us.
He is symbolized by water and fire and air
He can lead us through the change around us
He will empower us to navigate the strong currents that are coming against us
and he will keep us strong in the face of adversity.
He is able to keep this salt from losing it’s savor.
Then there is the effects of dirt

The Effects of the Earth

Because of the way that this salt was mined, it was many times mingled with vegetation and earth.
Over time those things would would overtake the salt and effect it’s properties.
William McClure Thompson - a protestant Missionary through the 1800’s wrote a book about his experiences that tried to illuminate what the Bible had to say about topics such as this
“I have often seen just such salt, and the identical disposition of it that our Lord has mentioned. A merchant of Sidon having farmed of the government the revenue from the importation of salt, brought over an immense quantity from the marshes of Cyprus – enough, in fact, to supply the whole province for at least 20 years. This he had transferred to the mountains, to cheat the government out of some small percentage. Sixty-five houses in June – Lady Stanhope’s village were rented and filled with salt. These houses have merely earthen floors, and the salt next the ground, in a few years, entirely spoiled. I saw large quantities of it literally thrown into the street, to be trodden underfoot by people and beasts. It was ‘good for nothing.’ “
It would seem that Jesus is reminding his disciples that they could be too close to the earth to be of any good to the kingdom of heaven.
We do see this today - the conforming of man
y believers to the idealism's of the world.
In so doing the salt has lost it’s savor.
How close is too close to the world - I think that’s a judgment that only we can make about our own lives.
Look for things like your language and your speech when you are with non-believers
Take notice of what you do when nobody is watching you.
What do you watch on TV
What do you listen to on the radio
What about your reading material and just the things that you think about constantly.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Also in that day, salt was added mixed into the fertilizer.
This is really what Jesus has called his church to do - to mix ourselves into the earth.
Not into the ground so to say, but into the garden of mankind around us.
The church is the original miracle Grow.
But again, the water and the earth would exact it’s toll on the effect that salt would have over time.
This is what Jesus says to be on guard of
And how do we do that?
We really only have to look up to the verses immediately before this.
What have become known as the beatitudes or the BE ATTITUDE
Matthew 5:3–11 NKJV
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
If we would adopt these attitudes of living in the world that we live in it wouldn’t matter how much the world changes around us. - We would maintain our testimony for Jesus Christ.
It wouldn’t matter how deep in the soil of humanity we plant ourselves, it wouldn’t effect us. In fact, God would see fit to plant us deeper, into greater relationships and more dire circumstances because he knows that we would make it.
We would be unhindered by the salt suckers of life and we would be effective for the Kingdom of God.
So I say, church, take off those gravecloths - those things that are binding you to the old you.
And be released into the powerful and effective walk with Jesus Christ that he created you and saved you to know.
Let’s be the Unhindered Salt of the Earth.
PRAY
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