Monday, June 27, 2011

Are You an Influencer?

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.
~Matthew 5:13


Spreading the Gospel isn't solely the church's job; it's the job of every Christian.

Salt seems little more to us than a cooking spice, flavoring agent, or dinner table accessory. But history tells a different story of salt. Before refrigeration, people had no way of preserving meat they owned. A good day out hunting might provide many hundred pounds of meat, but without a way to preserve the meat, the food was lost in spoil. To help this problem, many people used salt to preserve meat. Barrels of salt were taken on long journeys to keep food from spoiling. In fact, salt became so necessary to every-day life that it became quite expensive. In Roman times, employees were sometimes paid in salt which they could sell or trade for other necessities. Next to the sun, Romans valued nothing more than salt.

Examining the properties and uses of salt is useful not only in the scientific realm, but in the spiritual realm as well. When describing the Christian's duty on earth, Christ refers to us as "salt and light." How are we to be salt? What are we to do as light? Notice a few uses of salt which can be applied to our spiritual lives.

Salt Preserves from Contamination. Salt is commonly used to flavor, but it was also used to preserve, as seen in the above illustration. It keeps foods from spoiling. Christians are to be a preserving influence on the world. We are to hold back complete moral and spiritual spoilage in our culture by living a God-centered life. The unsaved have no moral guide or compass, but as Christians we are to preserve the world around us by living by God's morals.

In what areas should we preserve our lives?

Our Testimonies- How can you influence the world? Start by preserving your personal testimony. James 1:27 says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." You can't have a good influence on others if you aren't different from them. Make sure your Life-Testimony is Christ-honoring.

Our Families- Just as Jesus commanded His disciples to begin their ministry in their own circle of influence then spread out, so you should focus on your family first. As Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then] You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Influence those closest to you first.

Our Communities- Contrary to popular belief, man is not "evolving upward." Spiritually, morally, and even physically, man is getting worse. But as Christians, Christ tells us we are made new, clean, whole. “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Too often, our influence in our communities extends (or is limited) to church programs, outreach events, or weekly services. While those things can help present the Gospel, God desires for us to personally be influences on the world around us. Spreading the Gospel isn't solely the church's job; it's the job of every Christian. Our greatest influence comes through our testimony, our families, and our life around our community. Are you influencing those around you today by being a preserving agent?

Deb & I are trying to “Be” Salty

Shake it Up! & Shake it Out!

See You IN Church…..


Kathy Muniz said...

Great blog Pastor Mark! The starting at home part is a great lesson of this study. Before we go trying to change the world, we should make sure that our world at home is being influenced and encouraged by our presence. It's especially important for our kids to see us "walking the talk" so that we remain a strong positive influence in their life.

Going to work at being extra salty at home and at work! :)

Have a great weekend!

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Anonymous said...

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