Monday, May 30, 2016

How salty are you?

A few days ago I was listening to the Christian radio station and a speaker came on and gave a message about being salt and light. I can't remember his name because I was paying more attention to trying to remember his message than bothering to remember his name.

He spoke about how Jesus told his followers that they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Jesus didn't tell his followers that they were the gold of the earth or the silver, those were rare and precious commodities that were owned by only the richest and most powerful among them. Salt, however, was and is something that even the poorest among us has access to. And it's something that infuses the food it's added to. It also preserves what it's added to. Salt, during Jesus' time, was vital to preserve meat and fish, to add flavor to food. It was a necessary ingredient that was abundant and common. Jesus wants us to be salt.

Jesus also warned, though, that we can lose our saltiness and that salt without saltiness is worthless. The speaker went on to explain that back in Jesus' day, the people would sometimes have a large block of salt that they would set on the ground and chip away at as they used it. Some of the salt would get mixed in with the dirt that the block was sitting on. The dirt represents the junk in the world- the worldliness that Christians are not supposed to get mixed up in. Once we do, we're no longer useful in God's plan. We're still saved, but we're not doing God's work effectively because we've gotten too mixed up in the dirt to be salty. What good is salt that's not salty? Imagine you're filling up your salt shaker at home and you dropped it. Salt goes everywhere! You grab the broom and sweep it up. But instead of just salt you find bits of sand, soil, maybe some pet hair or food crumbs that were also on the floor. You scoop that mess up into your dustpan and dump it in the trash because that salt is no longer good for anything. Surely you wouldn't dump it into your salt shaker and sprinkle it on your food.

So my question to you is this...How salty are you? Are you good pure clean salt that is seasoning the world around you with God's love? Are you preserving His word in your heart to share it with others? Or are you so mixed up in the mess of the world that your witness is no longer effective?

Search your heart and ask the Lord to show you how salty you are.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Raging Storm

As I sit in my office working, I can hear the storm raging outside. Pouring rain, flashing lightening, crashing thunder and howling winds. The potential for harm is there in the hail that's predicted to come, wind causing trees to fall, flash flooding from the rain, lightening strikes. It's a storm that only God can calm if He's so inclined.

But there's another storm raging in our nation that we, the children of  God could calm if we would only take the time and make the effort. There's a storm of godlessness sweeping over our country, covering up all the good that dares cross it's path. And we sit in our church houses on Sunday mornings and maybe- maybe- hear a sermon about sin. We take to facebook and whine about what we're seeing...and that's the extent of our movement. We've let our nation go and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Society is doing exactly what is foretold in the Bible- Calling evil good. Celebrating things that God has said are wrong. For example, calling Bruce Jenner a hero for deciding that he's really a woman. Celebrating professional athletes who come out of the closet.

And Calling good evil. Condemning Christians, suing them for holding fast to their beliefs. Calling them names- bigots, homophobes, islamophobes, etc, for simply holding a different view or belief of things. Making fun of Christian actors and actresses and sports figures who dare to express their faith. Demanding that Christians accept PC beliefs while trying to remove every piece of Christianity from public view.

Yes, the Bible foretells this happening but Christians should not sit idly by while it happens. We should still fight for what we know to be true and right and good. We MUST love those we disagree with. We MUST show them the love of Jesus but we MUST NOT accept or condone the sin. Tell them the truth...IN LOVE, WITH LOVE, BECAUSE OF LOVE! Don't be hateful to someone who is gay or transgendered. Love them, because God does. Show them that there's another way. Tell them that you feel differently about their lifestyle but that you still love them and want to see them come to a saving grace in Jesus Christ.

Make a stand in the voting booths. Make a stand by encouraging others to get out and vote and to be informed when they vote. Make a stand by writing letters to our elected officials. Go to town hall meetings. Go to public gatherings and make your voices heard...but do it in love. God doesn't want us to be hateful to sinners because ALL of us are sinners. Every single one of us has messed up and will continue to do so until we die. We must treat sinners the same way Jesus did when He walked upon this earth....He loved them and told them, Go and sin no more. He didn't condemn them. He didn't hate them or call them names or treat them badly. He ate a meal with them and explained to them their sins. He loved them! And we should do no less. Parents love their children but we don't agree with everything they do. We see them make mistakes and we discipline them accordingly. But just because we don't agree with what they've done and we call them on it, doesn't mean we don't love them. It means we love them more because we care enough to want them to know the truth of their actions/words. If we didn't love them we wouldn't care that they were making bad choices that are going to hurt them. It's the same for people in the world- we love them enough to tell them the truth...even if it hurts.

Some will call you hateful for disagreeing with them or calling their life choices sinful. But we must stand firm. It isn't man's approval we should be longing for, but God's. Will God say to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." when at last you meet face to face? Or will He tell you that you could have done better? That you could have been more bold, more loving, more truthful?