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The Right Ingredient

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. Matthew 5:13 NIV

I enjoy cooking because it allows me the freedom to get creative. Like writing, I enjoy the process of creating new dishes. In the mid 90’s I used to have a cooking show on local tv in Elizabeth, NJ. Every week I would research different recipes to create unique dishes for my viewers to try. Eventually, I stopped the cooking show for a variety of reasons, but I still find cooking very satisfying and love to create new dishes.

To create tasty dishes, one needs the right ingredients. These ingredients must be combined in the right proportions so they do not overwhelm the taste of the dish individually. Salt has always been the most important ingredient in any meal. But too much salt can make a dish uneatable and unhealthy, and too little salt can make it taste blend.

In today’s text, Jesus compares believers to salt. Jesus knew the significance of salt throughout human history. For example, “the word salary comes from an ancient word meaning “salt-money,” referring to a Roman soldier’s allowance for the purchase of salt. Someone who works hard to earn his pay is still said to be “worth his salt.” Salt has even been used to express promises and friendship between people. It was even considered by the Greeks to be divine. In biblical times and, even today in many Arab cultures, salt was used as a symbol for “salt covenant”, antiseptic, preservative, and binding agreements.”

Indeed, salt was not simply used for cooking, it was used for medicinal purposes as well as an important ingredient in sacrificial offerings to the Lord in the Old Testament. By telling his audience they were the salt of the earth, Jesus was reminding them of their call to help preserve the truth of His teaching as they go back into their communities to live out their Christian faith. Jesus commanded His followers to live as spiritual antiseptics for a sin-sick world. He warned them not to lose their saltiness by following the dictates of the world and allowing their faith conviction to become watered-down by the cares of this world.

Believers must be careful in the way that they live. We can easily lose our spiritual saltiness by getting too immersed in the things of this world. The challenge, indeed, is for us to resist the temptation to live like the world. Many of us will be invited to events, places, activities, or gatherings that are ungodly. We must pray for the wisdom to know whether to attend because we should be careful not to water down the saltiness of our testimony.

The enemy is using a variety of tools to cause believers to lose their saltiness. He wants to diminish our spiritual footprint and our influence in this sin-sick world. Our faith and spiritual conviction are the right ingredients for winning souls for Christ. We must pray for the Holy Spirit to help us remain focused on our God-given assignment to make disciples and proclaim the salvation of the Lord. The world does not need us to act and live as they do. They want our Jesus’ light to shine so the darkness of their hearts can be revealed, and they want our spiritual saltiness to help sterilize their spiritual wounds so they can have a relationship of loving union with God through faith in Jesus Christ. We must do the great commission work so diligently as to prove we are “worth our salt” as kingdom workers.

Questions for Personal Reflection

What does it mean to be the spiritual salt of the earth?

How are you safeguarding your spiritual saltiness?

Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help me to maintain my spiritual saltiness when the temptations of this world are trying to overwhelm my spiritual sensibilities. May your Holy Spirit empower and inspire me to pursue righteousness and holiness in this sin-sick world so I can demonstrate what it means to be God’s special possession.

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