Summary: Jesus, using Salt and Light as an illustration, taught his disciples that we must be a different influence to others. Not as the world has seen, but a difference!
ILLUSTRATION: A Peanuts cartoon showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown in which she said, “Guess what, Chuck? The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.” Charlie Brown responds, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?” P/Patty responds, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”
1. P/P trying to pass the buck – yet there was some truth.
2. We are always some type of influence
ILLUSTRATION: Like the preach who was building the wooden trellis
… to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed that a little boy was watching him. The youngster didn’t say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the boy would leave. But he didn’t. Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, “Are you trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?” “No,” he replied. “I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.”
We are always influencing others – either positively or negatively.
A. SERMON TODAY
1. Part 1 – “Understanding Real Happiness” – the Beatitudes – 5:1-12
a. Surrounding One’s Inner Character –Humility
2. Part 2 – That Inner Character should Influence Others – Mt. 5:13-16
a. Uses 2 Illustrations of “Salt” & “Light”
b. “Salt” is no good when it is visible and “Light” is no good when it is invisible!
3 THEME: “We are the ‘SALT’ – the silent work of influence AND the ‘LIGHT’ – the visible manifestation of God in people’s lives”.
4. Key Thought = “INFLUENCE” - the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.
I. “SALT” - A HIDDEN INFLUENCE – VERSE 13
Richard Halverson said "As long as salt retains its identity, it is useless. It must penetrate to benefit, and when it does, it disappears Salt is doing its work only when it is invisible."
A. THE ‘HIDDEN’ INFLUENCES OF ‘SALT’
1. Salt Gives Taste
Just like us, the disciples understood the meaning behind adding just the right amount of salt to one’s food. They were to the world what salt is to everyday life.
2. Salt is a Preservative
It doesn’t make the meat good, but keeps it from going bad.
a. Rev. Ray Pritchard says “we who follow Christ are to be a ‘moral disinfectant’ stopping the spread of evil. We are to be the conscience of the community, speaking out for what is true and right.”
b. Whether our society, church, workplace, or our home, our hidden influence should offer a Positive Influence on those we come into contact
3. Salt Creates Thirst
The reason popcorn is advertised so hard in a movie theatre is because it makes you thirsty. A restaurant serves p-nuts, chips, and other salty appetizers is because it makes you thirsty. If they can get you to drink a lot you will be full before your food arrives!
*** Are We salty-enough to make another thirsty for Jesus?
B. SALT Must Be In CONTACT To be Effective