When we enter into a new season, be it a new position or a new year in our natural lives or a new level in our walk with God. The first thing that we should evaluate is how to be more obedient in fulfilling the call to work out the Great Commission in our lives.
I believe one of the first questions we should ask ourselves comes out of the Book of Matthew. In chapter 5, Jesus is giving us an outline of living and one section in particular will answer whether you are walking out the Great Commission in your life.
[Matthew 5:13 NKJV]
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.
Why are we the “salt of the earth”? What is the significance of being salt? The Greek word used here for salt is:
217 ἅλα, ἅλας [halas /hal·as/] n n. From 251; TDNT 1:228; TDNTA 36; GK 221 and 229; Eight occurrences; AV translates as “salt” eight times. 1 salt with which food is seasoned and sacrifices are sprinkled. 2 those kinds of saline matter used to fertilize arable land. 3 salt is a symbol of lasting concord, because it protects food from putrefaction and preserves it unchanged. Accordingly, in the solemn ratification of compacts, the orientals were, and are to this day, accustomed to partake of salt together. 4 wisdom and grace exhibited in speech.
So we are seasoning, we are to fertilize arable or “land ready for cultivation and capable of producing crops”, we are a tool of preservation, protecting the earth from putrefaction (decay).
We can look back to Elisha in 2 Kings:
[2 Kings 2:19-22 NKJV]
19Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.”
20And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.
21Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’ ”
22So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.
The salt healed the water, which remains healed. Imagine if today that we recognized that we are God’s New Testament salt that can heal the waters today, the lives today, society today.
I want you to listen to this story of discussion about being the salt of the earth.
Salt Creates Thirst
At a meeting some young people were discussing the text, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” One suggestion after another was made as to the meaning of “salt” in this verse.
“Salt imparts a desirable flavor,” said one.
“Salt preserves from decay,” another suggested.
Then a Chinese Christian girl spoke out of an experience none of the others had. “Salt creates thirst,” she said, and there was a sudden hush in the room. Everyone was thinking: Have I ever made anyone thirsty for the Lord Jesus Christ?
Can we ask ourselves this question today? Have I ever made anyone thirsty for the Lord Jesus Christ?
Here are 3 “Do’s” that will answer if you have the seasoning of a believer:
1. Do I have a desirable flavor, do I attract unbelievers with my attitude and lifestyle.
Or am I a different person outside of church or away from my Christian friends?
2. Do I prevent decay in my world, among my peers, my fellow believers?
Or do I play the role of the hypocrite saying I’m against things like abortion, sexual immorality, gossip, slander and perversion in church and around my Christian friends, but away from church and fellow believers I partake in some or all of them.
3. Do I make people thirst for a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?
Or do I turn people off to the One who saved me, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by claiming to be Christian but living the life of an unbeliever?
Salt is so useful in many ways yet if we separate it into the two components that make it up, sodium and chlorine, each separately taken are deadly. In the same way we should not try to live separate lives as a believer and as an unbeliever to fit in or be accepted. If we live separate lives we will have an adverse effect on our own lives both naturally and spiritually. We will also have an adverse effect on those who are living in a sinful way, a way to death.
So we have to remember that to truly be salt in the earth we have to stay united with Christ and not separated for convenience, popularity or for any reason at all. Unity with Christ allows us to be good salt. Separation for any reason makes us salt without flavor, salt that is worthless except to be trampled on.
[Matthew 5:14 NKJV]
14“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
How many have flown at night and see complete darkness everywhere you look on the ground, until you come over a city with all the lights glowing. In natural darkness from the view, this city stands out amazingly. The same can be said of driving from a dark unpopulated stretch of highway coming up to the outskirts of a major city or the way that a stadium lit up at night stands out above the rest of the scene.
In the same way we should stand out as the light of Jesus Christ in a world darkened by sin and its curse.
If we live our lives exhibiting the nature, traits and teachings of Jesus Christ we cannot be hidden!
[Matthew 5:15 NKJV]
15Nor 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.
When Christ lit us as His lamps, his intention was not to have us hoard His teachings, His blessings and His glory in our own little basket or bowl (NIV). His purpose for us was not to get saved and experience His presence then hide our gifts under a basket or bowl.
His purpose is that when we get lit through salvation and grow through His teachings that we get up on the lampstand wherever we are, shining His light in that place for all to see.
Be it walking down the street, through the store, in our schools, our workplaces or our homes. We should enlighten those around us the same way that a light illuminates a room.
Look at it this way as well, if we light a candle and put a basket or bowl over the top of it, eventually the flame will weaken and within time exhaust. The same can be said for a believer that wants to remain disconnected or under his bowl. They will either fall away and have their flame go out if they are not connected to other believers or if they are connected and not doing anything but hiding under the bowl, they will become frustrated and always struggle with giving up, because they are not operating in the way they were created to operate.
[Matthew 5:16 NKJV]
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
By letting our light shine we bring glory to God, we exhibit the traits and lifestyle of Christ. When our light imparted into us by Christ shines forth, people can’t help but take notice, our light is not our own, it is His light for His purpose, for His mandate, for His Glory.
“Light The Night” Campaign
The mayor of Toronto launched a “Light the Night” campaign. The idea was for residents to leave their lights burning overnight in order to discourage crime. A similar campaign was carried out in the Oakland, California, area, and reports show that crime was greatly reduced—in fact, reduced fantastically.
If believers today would all shine the light of Christ in their lives, could you imagine how it would reduce the stronghold of darkness in the world today?
To Reach The Light
M. Grinard mentions a plant which germinated in the bottom of a mine and raised itself to the height of one hundred and twenty feet in order to reach the light, though the usual height of the plant is only six inches.
People are hungry for the light and will search for it, that is, if it truly is the unobstructed light of Christ.
Do you have the “Illumination of a Believer”?
1. Do you stand out like a city on a hill wherever you go due to people seeing the light of Christ in or life?
Or do you turn all the lights off when you are around those seeking the light?
2. Do you stand tall and bright on the lampstand?
Or do you hide under a basket or a bowl in hopes that you will not be judged or embarrassed by you beliefs?
3. Do others glorify God because of the light of Christ glowing through you?
Or do others get turned off because you are a hypocrite, either denying Christ around them or claiming Christ but denying Him by your perverse lifestyle?
No one ever said being a Christian was easy. No one ever said it would be comfortable. However if you say that Christ has saved you, healed you, delivered you and is your Lord, how can you not be Salt and Light.
Maybe you have struggled with being Salt, you may feel you have lost your flavor….
Well Christ is ready to give you back your flavor!
Maybe you have struggled with being the city on a hill, feeling that there has been a power outage in your life.
Well Christ is here to turn the power back on!
Maybe you’ve been hiding under the basket or the bowl.
Well Christ is here to consume the basket with fire and shatter the bowl with a wave of His glory!
Are you willing to regain the seasoning of a believer?
Are you willing to regain the illumination of a believer?
If you are ready to walk in the authority of Christ with the Seasoning and Illumination of a Believer, the altar is open for you.