Your Worth To God

1 Sep

I like “Peanuts”.

No, I’m not talking about the food. I’m talking about the great cartoon by Charles Schulz.

They tried to revive it a couple of years ago with “The Peanuts Movie”.  I didn’t get to go see it at the theatre but we had HBO free for a while so I taped it. Unfortunately, I taped it on the Spanish channel. Oh, well!

“A Peanuts cartoon, showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. She said, “Guess what, Chuck. The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.” He said, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?” She said, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”

Now, this was nothing more than Peppermint Patty trying to avoid responsibility. But truth is that part of it was right.

We should be the right type of influence on those with whom we hang out.

We have been looking at the Sermon on the Mount which could also be called the greatest sermon ever.  The theme of the entire message was how we as Jesus followers are supposed to live.
Matthew 5:13-16:

“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.” (14) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) 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. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Now, I’m going to do something I don’t do very often. I’m going to read part of this in King James.

“Ye are the salt of the earth.”

So let me explain something.  “Ye” in Texan means “Ya’ll”.

Jesus is saying “ya’ll” are the salt of the earth.

Jesus is looking at his followers, his disciples, and saying

“ya’ll are the salt of the earth.”

What a great compliment!

Salt was a valuable commodity in those days.  It was so important that it was sometimes used as instruments for barter or used as money.

Many Roman soldiers were paid with it.

In fact, our word “salary” comes from the Latin word salarium which referred to the payments to the soldiers with salt.

Haven’t you heard the expression that someone is not “worth their salt.”

We still use the phrase saying that someone either is, or is not, “worth their salt.”

We live in country where there is an abundance of food. We don’t understand teh idea of having to eat the same thing everyday.  In a large part of the world, like in Africa for example, rice is the common staple.

In Job 6:6 the Bible says, “Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?” For this one reason alone salt is indispensable.

Jesus is saying that Christians are like salt of infinite value.

However, he is also saying that Christians, like salt, act as a preservative.

Back then, salt was the only way to preserve meat.  They did not have refrigeration so salt was an absolute necessity.  Salt helped hinder the decaying process.  In the same way, we as Christians should be doing our part to slow down the decay of the world around us.

Believe it or not, Christianity has been impacting the world for a long time.

The Red Cross was started by an evangelical Christian. Almost every one of the first 123 colleges and universities in the United States has Christian origins, founded by Christians for Christian purposes. The same could be said of orphanages, adoption agencies, humane treatment of the insane, the list goes on and on of dramatic impact of Christianity in our world.

Christian’s continue to have a positive benefit on our world. As a moral antiseptic, Christians keep the corruption of society at bay by opposing moral decay by their lives and their words.
But there is an horrifying new trend today.

George Barna says that research shows that

“… the average Christian in the average church is almost indistinguishable from the rest of society. The fundamental moral and ethical difference that Christ can make in how we live, is missing. When our teens we claim to be saved, get pregnant and do drugs at the same rate as the general teenage population – when the marriages of Christians end in divorce at the same rate as the rest of society – when Christians cheat in business, or lie, steal, and cheat on their spouses at the same statistical level as those who say they are not Christians – something is horribly wrong.”
If we as Christian’s lose the qualities of being like Jesus that make us distinct and become like the society around us, we no longer have a positive impact. We become a hindrance and not a preservative.
Christians Like Salt Act As A Preservative and …

Christians Like Salt Can Lose Their Usefulness.
Jesus says that if the salt loses its flavor,

“… It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Technically speaking, salt cannot lose its saltiness; sodium chloride is a stable compound.

But in the part of the world where Jesus lived, salt was collected from around the Dead Sea where the crystals were often contaminated with other minerals.

These crystalized formations were full of impurities, and since the actual salt was more soluble than the impurities, the rain could wash out the salt, which made what was left of little worth since it lost its saltiness.

When this happened, the salt was thrown out, since it was no longer of any value either as a preservative or for flavoring.
When the salt was washed out, it still looked like salt, but it lost its taste. The essential difference can be leached out of a Christian’s life by the constant flow of the world’s values through our lives.
When Mahatma Gandhi was the spiritual leader of India, he was asked by some missionaries, “What is the greatest hindrance to Christianity in India?” His reply was, “Christians.”

Phillip Keller said this:
“The peculiar property of salt is that even though it may have lost its pungency,… it still retains one very devastating potency. This rare and remarkable material can still …. destroy plant life on the land…. the same principle applies in the case of the Christian. Either our lives or counting for good and for God or they are making an impact for evil and the enemy…. The way we live, the things we say the attitudes we entertain, the life style we adopt… are continuously producing either positive or negative results in society…. Our lives, whether we are aware or not either count for God or against Him. There simply is no middle ground.”

Finally, Christians, like salt, must be in contact with something to make a difference.

Fifth, Christians Like Salt Must Have Contact To Have An Influence!

The salt never did any good when it was sitting on a shelf some place and the meat was somewhere else. To be effective, the salt had to be rubbed into the meat. In a similar way Christians are to allow God use them wherever he has placed them.

The church is not supposed to be a salt warehouse. It is supposed to be a place that distributes salt out into the world.  Salt must make contact to have an affect. Christians must be out in the world to have an affect on others.

I want you to notice what Jesus says and does not say, He does not say, “You all can be the salt of the earth.” Nor does he say, “You all should be the salt of the earth.” Jesus says “You are the salt of the earth” and in the Greek it is literally “You and you alone are the salt of the earth.”

patty

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