My friend Mama Hen and I had a conversation last night that brought the following verse to mind:
"Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Luke 14:34)!
We all know the significance of salt for flavor and for preservation. Even today it helps make so many yummy dishes even more tasty. I have a somewhat impaired sense of smell (which often has its benefits :-), which affects my sense of taste, so I tend to give generous dashes of salt to my own plate. How thankful I am for salt! (Much to my sweet husband's surprise, I still have a low-normal blood pressure. ;0)
Of course, what good would it be if it did lose its flavor? Evidently, the salt of Jesus' time would lose its strength. We all know that a salt that has lost its flavor would be useless. It would no longer be fulfilling its purpose in life.
What about you and me? As Believers, what is our purpose in life?
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Friends, it seems quite simple. We are to honor and glorify the Lord with our whole life. Our main goal should be this. Not prosperity, not more programs at church, not even advancement for ourselves or our children. Our main goal should be to glorify the Lord, and He often mentions we will do this through our works.
(O.K., I'm not proposing legalism here. Remember, this is not a discussion on salvation; this is a reminder that Believers are the "salt.")
How do we lose our saltiness? How have you seen factors in your own life affect your own saltiness? What can we do to guard against it?
In my life, I have found staying in the Word to be #1 in helping me to keep my focus on my true purpose. If I keep the Bible as my standard, the wisdom of the world seems more and more foolish.
Guarding against worldly influences has been beneficial. We know the temptations are there ("the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" 1 John 2:16), but with a focus on Jesus, these lures become less appealing.
One verse that helps me remember the point of our focus is 2 Corinthians 4:18:
"while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
This helps explains why many do not understand your choices and may consider some Christians' lives to be radically different from others around us. When some friends and family do not understand why we make certain choices for our lives and family, we are simply focusing on the eternal. The benefits of this world may seem obvious to some, but they are only temporary. The benefits of following Christ and giving Him glory with our whole lives requires a lot of focus on Him and His Word, but the benefits are eternal!
Finally, on the subject of what helps keep my focus on my true purpose, 2 Corinthians 9:8 sums it up!
"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8).
It is Him and His grace and mercy.
More on "saltiness" and our children tomorrow!
In the Heart of our Home,