Lessons Of A Lifetime

GOOD FOR NOTHING
OR
GLORIFYING GOD
SUNDAY MAY 5, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“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.”

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men [women and young people], that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5.13-16

Something To Consider:
In bible times salt was considered an essential element in seasoning and most importantly for its preserving impact on food. Without refrigeration salt was used as a saving influence to slow down the putrefying process of meat and food due to the constant heat of that climate. Jesus likens true Christians, born again present tense believers in Jesus who follow Him in observing all His teachings, to salt by stating, “You are the salt of the earth.”

As true Christians we should have a saving influence on the secular and sinful society that encircles us. It is sad to say that many times the opposite is true. If we are being deceived into thinking that it does not matter how we live after becoming Christians, we cannot be a saving influence on anyone. In actuality, we then become detrimental and eternally damning by our lack of salt-like holy living. As true Christians we should be a preserving influence to all we come into contact with, or else we are deceiving them and ourselves.

As true Christians we should have a positive spiritual flavoring influence toward righteousness on others in this wicked and decaying world. But, is that the case in our lives? Does the day to day lifestyle impression we project create a saving influence in the lives of others within our family, co-workers, or fellow students? If the truth be known, I have to answer no, not always! I do not always project a blessed Christian attitude, and yet, that should be my aim and goal.

Thank the Lord we have access to His forgiveness and new every morning mercy. Therefore, let us be aware of whether our words, our actions, and our attitudes have a preserving influence in the lives of those we rub shoulders with on a daily basis. It is the righteous thing to do! Or, God forbid we continue to fall short of our being salt in the earth only to be found good for nothing and thrown out and trampled underfoot. How are we, imperfect but forgiven human beings doing in our journey to remain the salt of the earth, according to Jesus?

Something Else To Consider:
According to Jesus, “But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out…” I can think of no worse verdict than to be considered by God as good for nothing! To even be considered being thrown out, discarded, or simply set aside because of becoming of no saving or seasoning value, strikes me as the ultimate failing of one’s faith. Every leader in training should take to heart the seriousness of what Jesus was and still is suggesting in this mountain top teaching.

Not everything Jesus teaches is easy to swallow. Not everything Jesus reveals to those listening with spiritual ears is easy to hear or to digest. But that does not make it any less true! Jesus gives us, as the salt of the earth, more than enough revealed biblical truth to examine as evidence and therefore to render our own honest verdict as to whether we are being obedient to His teaching. Either we will become good for nothing, or we will become those who effectively glorify God as the true salt of the earth.

Of course, the choice as always remains our choice. Will we remain the salt of the earth by our abiding in Christ and by our studying the Word of God to show ourselves approved and a preserving influence on others? The alternative is not a pleasant picture according to Jesus in our Scripture to consider. As for me, yesterday was not a day I exemplified a saving and preserving influence. And I paid dearly for my less than true Christian attitude. But, this morning, in writing this lesson of a lifetime I was greatly confronted by God’s Holy Spirit.

Our coming to God’s Word on a daily basis is our spiritual lifeline to God being able to graciously convict, correct, and to comfort us as His children. And without the personal interaction that is created by our reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God, especially the Word of Jesus, we will lose touch with the reality of true personal Christianity. And if we lose our salty influence in the earth according to Jesus, we risk being thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Now, I know this is not a message easily accepted by most of Christendom, but how can we discard, alter, or neglect this gospel teaching of Jesus? How can we ignore this truth filled warning and end time instruction of Jesus without realizing there are eternal consequences to reap, according to Jesus? Therefore, why would anyone choose to be thrown out and to be found by Jesus as good for nothing? We must be reminded that according to Jesus, “But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?”

If we, as true born-again Christians, not perfect, but forgiven; if we are the salt of the earth, and according to Jesus we are, then we are responsible for losing our saltiness or not. That is an important responsibility. Just as I could have resisted the conviction of the Holy Spirit this morning and could have allowed myself to move one step closer to losing my preserving effect on others in my sphere of influence, I surrendered to the better judgement of My heavenly Father. For me, this is indeed something else to consider!

Something More To Consider:
Also, according to Jesus, “You are the light of the world.” The bible associates light with God, therefore the ancients held light to be holy. Jesus instructs us as Christians to so let our lights shine before the world so that the world sees our good works, our good deeds, our acts of righteousness, and then glorify God, not ourselves. For many, at times, have perfected the selfish form of letting our lights shine in such a way that wrongfully brings glory to ourselves.

Many also have excelled in the art of attracting undue attention to themselves, but that is contrary to the true Christian’s command set forth by Jesus. Good spiritual leadership which is led by God’s Spirit, should always seek to be a saving influence, a seasoning influence, and a bright light shining in the darkness of this rebellious world. The light of Christ we should shine forth should unashamedly shine in such a way that leads others and ourselves to a place of glorifying God, our Father. Therefore, let us be found giving glory to God, not being found good for nothing.

A Few Final Words:
What did Jesus mean when He said, “You are the light of the world.” We are told elsewhere in the gospels that Jesus is the light of the world. We are also told in Psalm 119.105, “Your Word [the Word of God] is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” The Word of God is portrayed as light as is Jesus. Jesus, the Word of God who has come in the flesh, is portrayed as the light of the world. Therefore, as we portray an image of Jesus and the Word of God in our lives, we become the light of the world in His place here on earth!

On the other hand, if we neglect the study of God’s Word, which produces God’s light in our lives, the possibility of our lives becoming more darkened is a real threat with real eternal consequences. If we lose our saltiness and saving and preserving influence in the earth, according to Jesus we become good for nothing. And those are His words not mine!

Healthy spiritual leadership is like a bright light shining in the darkness of night, able to be seen from a great distance in order to guide others safely to God’s saving shore. Therefore, also according to Jesus, “Let your lights so shine before men [women and young people], that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, keep our lights shining bright and our hearts fixed upon being a saving salt-like preserving influence this day and every day. In Him Always, Amen!

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