Summary: The type of lives we live dictate the impact we have on the unchurched.
FOCAL POINT: A VIBRANT CHURCH
ME: So, I am really not a fan of bland food. When I eat food, I want it to taste good. I want it to wake up my senses, I want to be like, yeah this is awesome. And there are just some foods that need to be seasoned so that they wake up your senses. You know, like a baked potato. I mean, have you ever eaten a baked potato without anything on it? It tastes bad doesn’t it? But if you add butter, some sour cream and most importantly some salt, it is like a party going on in your mouth. Salt makes a huge difference in the flavor of a lot of things. I mean, fresh tomatoes taste great, but have you ever added salt to one? Or cottage cheese, have you ever added salt to cottage cheese, doing that really makes the flavor of cottage cheese pop.
Have you ever thought about how important salt is for our daily lives? I mean right now, we use salt to help melt ice and snow on the sidewalks, and the streets to keep people safe, and to give us traction. Salt is also used as a preservative and purifier in canned food, and in the past salt was used to cleanse wounds and heal infections. And in Jesus’ day did you know salt was so important that it was sometimes used for money. The Roman soldiers of Jesus’ day were at times paid with it. In fact, our word “salary” comes from the Latin word salarium, which referred to the payments of the soldiers with salt. We still use the phrase saying that someone either is, or is not, “worth their salt.” We don’t think much about salt because we can get as much of it in pure form as we want. But when you are completely dependent on salt to preserve your food, and when it is so valuable that it is used in the place of money, you get a completely different perspective on salt.
WE: Take a look at our memory verse for this week. It is from Matthew 5:13. It says, “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” Would you underline the words, you’re here to be salt seasoning that brings out the God flavors? As Christians, that is what we are here to do. We are here to be salt. We are here to be flavorful, exciting, and lively, we are to be a preservative by helping come to know Jesus Christ, to help people find healing from their wounds and pains of life, and to be compassionate, merciful and loving of all people, including our enemies so that we can help to melt the hardness of people’s hearts to the words of God.
We should be living such full flavored lives that people are drawn to God because of our saltiness—People should be drawn to God because of our joy, our peace, our patience, our kindness, our faithfulness, our gentleness, our loving attitude and our self-control. How salty, how flavorful is your life? Does your life bring out the God flavors of the earth? Do you want to live a more salty life? Well, that is what we are going to look at today. We are going to discover how to live a more salty life.
SO, TO BE SALTIER CHRISTIANS WE MUST…
GOD: LIVE EXEMPLARY LIVES
Take a look at 1 Peter 2:12. It says, “Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” Let me ask you a question. If you were to ask the people you work with, the cashier’s at the store’s you shop at, your next door neighbors, your children, your spouse, your friends or anyone else that you spend time with, if by your life they see Christ through you, what would they say? I mean, how do you handle conflict? Do you get angry and lash out, gossip about people, or yell at the cashier? Does your speech glorify God? Do you get in on the dirty jokes at work? Do you complain about everything that you don’t like? Would your kids say that what you watch on TV reinforces your values as a Christian?
George Barna, the church statistician, says that research shows, “… the average Christian in the average church is almost indistinguishable from the rest of society. The fundamental moral and ethical difference that Christ can make in how we live, is missing. When our teens we claim to be saved, get pregnant and do drugs at the same rate as the general teenage population - when the marriages of Christians end in divorce at the same rate as the rest of society - when Christians cheat in business, or lie, steal, and cheat on their spouses at the same statistical level as those who say they are not Christians - something is horribly wrong.”