Earlier this year, my father in law told us he was experiencing tightness in his chest and pain in his arm every time he went up the stairs. We immediately took him to the hospital where they discovered he had blocked arteries. They put in some stents and then handed us a list for a new diet he needed to abide by. One of the things he was no longer allowed to have was salt, so I bought some sodium free salt. When we got home and tried to cook with it, we noticed a huge flavor difference. Not only did it not taste like salt, it tasted horrible to us. We threw it away with the rest of the salt.
It reminded me of Matthew 5:13 where Jesus said, “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage” (MSG). I finally understood that scripture. Salt without its flavor was repulsive and we wanted nothing to do with it. Now translate that to our lives. If we claim to be salt, but our lives lack the flavor that points people to God, we’re no different than sodium free salt. Right label, wrong taste.
One of the things salt does besides give food flavor is that it makes you thirsty. Our lives should make people thirsty for God. When we live and love the way we’re supposed to, it will make people want more of what you have. We can’t keep our salt put away in the cabinet either. We must learn to share God’s love into all the bland places we go. Keeping God’s love away from the people who need it most is like keeping the salt in the cabinet but never using it. We’re not here to just enhance seasoned food. We’re to bring out God’s flavoring where ever we go.
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I read a news article about a 92 year old woman who was driving the wrong direction down the highway. A man noticed it and started trying to stop her. He drove past her on the right side of the highway to the next cross street. He then jumped out and tried to wave her down. He tried it again, but with no success. He then drove through the median grass until he was beside her and was able to stop her. She said she knew she was on the wrong side and was trying to get to the other side, but didn’t know how. The man who saved her said, “I knew something wasn’t right. If there was any way I could stop that, I was willing to do anything I could.”
As I saw that story, I couldn’t help but think of Jude 1:22 that says, “Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way” (MSG). This man reminded me of what God called us to do. We are to be on a Rescue Mission going after those going the wrong way towards Hell. The arrival mentioned how most people would have noticed the lady going the wrong way, but wouldn’t have done anything about it. This man stood out because he was willing to risk his life to save hers and others.
Saving others from going the wrong way isn’t just for pastors and missionaries. It’s all of our responsibility. We have to go through life understanding that we are God’s rescue plan for helping people who are going the wrong way. Are we willing to speak up? Are we willing to try to get their attention to let them know? Or are we content to let them drive down the wrong way? You don’t have to act crazy and flag people down, but you do have to love them. They may know they’re going the wrong way, but don’t know how to turn around or get to the other side. That’s where we come in, rescue them and point them to Jesus. Ask God to help you see those going the wrong way and to use you to rescue them.
Here’s a link to the article.
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I used to love listening to talk radio. There was a local guy that I enjoyed listening to, but one day he switched his format. Instead of merely discussing news events, he decided to bring divisive topics each day and just let people argue. His show began to be about stirring up a hornets nest where no one could win, and it caused people to dig their heels into their position. It was no longer a place for dialogue and the show became something I no longer wanted to listen to. I’m guessing I wasn’t alone because it was canceled not long after that.
As Christians, we need to be careful that we don’t fall into that same trap. We don’t want to be known as people who argue over every little thing, especially to the point where we refuse to listen. At times, it feels like our goal is to win the argument rather than to win the lost. It’s one thing to have a dialogue with someone about why you believe what you believe, but another thing entirely to look for divisive arguments with others. We’re to be known for our love rather than our debating skills.
Paul warned Timothy about this in 2 Timothy 2:23-24. He said, “Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people” (NLT). That’s a challenge for you and me in today’s world. Everyone seems to be divided on everything, even in the Church. We’re not to go around and start fights, but to find a way to teach people the truth in a way that they’ll listen. What good is it if we win the argument, but lose the war for their soul? When we start from a place of love rather than trying to be right, we’ll find more open doors to share our faith.
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