Tag Archives: witnessing

Spreading Salt

One of the things I enjoy doing is cooking. Whether it’s on the stove, in the oven, on a grill or over a campfire, I love making food that tastes good. Life is too short to eat bland food. No matter what I’m cooking though, one seasoning is almost always present. I store it in the cabinet, but when I’m preparing a meal, I have to take the salt out and put it on the meat. I can’t just set it on the counter and expect the food to absorb it. For it to season the food, i must apply it to the unseasoned meat. That is the only way it will work. Coincidentally, that’s the only way our witness works as well. If we don’t come into contact with people who aren’t seasoned with Jesus, how else are they supposed to know Him?

In Matthew 9, Jesus was walking through Capernaum when He came upon a tax collector named Matthew. The Jews thought he was a traitor because he was taking taxes from the Jews and giving them to the Romans. Jesus walked up to him and said, “Come, follow me.” Later, Jesus went to have dinner at Matthew’s house and Matthew invited all of his tax collecting friends who were society’s outcasts. The religious people lost their minds and questioned how Jesus could dine with such people if He was holy. Jesus responded in verse 13, “Now you should go and study the meaning of the verse: I want you to show mercy, not just offer me a sacrifice. For I have come to invite the outcasts of society and sinners, not those who think they are already on the right path” (TPT).

Jesus didn’t come so Christians could insulate ourselves from the world. He came so that the whole world would be reconciled to Him. If you’re not engaging with people who don’t know Jesus, you’re doing it wrong. Jesus didn’t preach at this dinner either. He simply hung out with them and His flavors rubbed off on them so much so that at least Matthew gave up his way of living to follow Jesus. Jesus looked at people as people first and not by the label of their sin. It’s easy to be religious and look at how someone sins differently than we do. It’s Christ like to look beyond their sin and to see the person He died for. If we’re going to spread His salt throughout the earth to all nations, we’ve got to look at people through His eyes rather than our religious ones. Jesus made it a habit to hang out with society’s outcasts and sinners. When is the last time you or I did that?

Photo by Brandless on Unsplash

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Doing God’s Will


Too often we think it’s hard to know God’s will. We say we want to find it for our lives, but I wonder if that’s just an excuse we use to keep us from doing something. We don’t like change. We like things that are comfortable for us. We rationalize that if God opened the heavens, gave us a clear sign, and spoke to us in an audible voice then we could do the things that are uncomfortable. We put parameters like that on how to know God’s will so that we can remain inert.

The truth is that we know what God’s will is if we’ve read any of the Bible. We know His will for how we should live, we know His will for how we should treat the least among us, and we know His will for what we should do with our knowledge of Him. What we don’t know is how to do it. So the real question isn’t, “What’s God’s will”, it’s, “How do I do God’s will?” That’s the real problem most of us have, but we just can’t admit it because if we know what His will is, we are responsible for doing it.

I do an exercise with managers at work to illustrate the difference in telling someone to do something and teaching them how to do it. I create a long tube out of easel paper, tell them to hold out their fingers, put it on top of them, and tell them to take it to the ground. The problem is they can’t do it. They know what I want them to do, but they can’t. I keep telling them my will, but they don’t know how to do it so they get frustrated. Many walk away from the exercise frustrated because they aren’t successful. They give up because something that seems so easy is do hard to do.

After letting them struggle for about 10 minutes, I finally teach them how to do it. They then are able to do it with some struggles. I think it’s similar to doing God’s will. It should be easy to love our neighbor, defend the orphan, or tell others about Jesus, but it isn’t. I think David struggled with doing God’s will too. That’s why I think he prayed this prayer in Psalm 143:10. He prayed, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing” (NLT).

I can relate with David. I know God’s will and I want to do it, but I struggle with doing it. Maybe you’re in that boat too. You want to do what He’s called you to, but you just don’t know how. Let David’s prayer be your prayer. Change your question from, “What’s your will” to “Can you teach you how to do it?” We still might struggle with doing it, but I’d rather fail at trying to accomplish His will than to fail God by doing nothing. Pray today to ask God how to do His will, then look for opportunities to do it. God will teach us and give us opportunities too.

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The Cycle Of Change

One of the things I firmly believe is that changed lives change lives. The greater work that God does in someone’s life, the greater the desire is to tell others. In Luke 7, Jesus was eating at the house of a religious leader. A woman in town, who had lived a sinful life, heard that Jesus was there. She grabbed an alabaster jar of oil and went to see Him. When she came into the house, she began to weep. She then bowed at His feet and wiped the tears off of them with her hair. She then poured the perfume on them as everyone in the house just watched.

The religious leader began to doubt who Jesus was. Luke 7:39 says, “When the Pharisee saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man really were a prophet, he would know who this woman is who is touching him; he would know what kind of sinful life she lives!’” (GNB). Jesus spoke up and offered a situation to him. He told of two men who owed the same person money. One person owed 500 and the other 50. Neither had the ability to pay off their debt. The debtor forgave both debts. Then Jesus asked, “Which one, then, will love him more?”

Jesus’ point was that those who are forgiven of more sins, love Him more. Those who experience a greater change in their lives show more gratitude. They had a bigger debt that was canceled than those who were raised in church and never lived a life full of sin. Both types of lives are changed when they receive Jesus as their savior and both have an obligation from that point on to help lead others to the One who can change lives. He more change we experience at salvation, the more we are compelled by love to help others.

To demonstrate this, Jesus then showed a comparison between this woman’s actions and the religious leader’s actions. He told how the religious leader hasn’t provided water to wash Jesus’ feet, but this woman hasn’t stopped washing them with her tears. He also didn’t greet Jesus with a kiss, and this woman hasn’t stopped kissing Him. Then in Luke 7:47, Jesus said, “I tell you, then, the great love she has shown proves that her many sins have been forgiven. But whoever has been forgiven little shows only a little love.”

The greater the change God makes in your life, the more natural it is for you to want to change other’s lives. The great news is that if you’re a Christian, God has changed your life and you have the ability to now tell others what God has done for you. When you share your story of redemption with others, you open the door for their life to be changed. The more lives that are changed by God’s love, the more people we will have out there changing other people lives. The cycle of change starts with you and me.

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