Summary: A reminder for all of us as to how salty we need to be in the world to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Are You a Salty Christian? - Mark 8:38-50
I love salt!!
For as long as I can remember, salt has gone on all sorts of food, morning, noon and night. However, a colleague of mine reminded me just the other day that as Christians, we are supposed to be living as temples of the Holy Spirit.
With a body like this, I thought to myself, I must be a rather large temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in or maybe I am one of the pillars of the temple!!
ILLUS: Hopefully not a pillar like Lot’s wife, who turned into a pillar of salt after disobeying the angels of the Lord and took her eyes off where they should have been…this can be easily done though can’t it, in the busyness of our lives where so many people and circumstances are clamoring for our immediate attention.
Tonight, I believe we are all challenged in the gospel message of Mark to review our focus…review our position…review our lives for Christ.
When we begin to blend in with the moral condition of an ungodly world, we begin losing God’s perspective on life.
It is easy to begin blending in with our culture and to accept what is being modeled by the ungodly. God called us to be salt in a world that needs much salt.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:13: "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men"
Each of us must ask ourselves if we have lost our salt. Are we having an impact on our world? Or is our world having an impact on us? Ask God to give you a vision for how you can be salt to your world today…we can only do that with a Christ-like focus.
Aahh, focus…single-minded focus…let’s see what one of my favorite movie characters has to say about focus?
ILLUS: Show Toy Story 2 DVD…
Well, we have just seen how focused Buzz was but what about us?
ILLUS: Salt symbol
For any budding chemists and students in Church tonight, you would know that sodium is an extremely active element found naturally only in combined form; it always links itself to another element. Chlorine, on the other hand, is the poisonous gas that gives bleach it offensive odor. When sodium and chlorine are combined, the result is sodium chloride…common table salt…the substance we use to preserve meat and bring out its flavor.
However, love and truth can be like sodium and chlorine can’t they?
Love without truth is flighty, fickle, sometimes blind, and willing to combine with various doctrines….no substance.
On the other hand, truth by itself can be offensive, sometimes even poisonous…ever come across any self-righteous or holier-than-thou people in Church or your workplace or in your home lately?
Truth spoken without love can turn people away from the truths of the gospel message of Jesus Christ!
When truth and love are combined in an individual or a church, however, then we have what Jesus called “the salt of the earth,” and we’re able to preserve and bring out the beauty of our faith.
Jesus excelled at this and we should try to do likewise.
Now that’s the challenge for all Christians and is where the rubber hits the road for us tonight!
Jesus had been using salt as a very important illustration of leading an influential Christian life in the world. But very rarely was he describing the essential being and becoming of a salt as a solid element.
But in verses 49 and 50, Jesus speaks about the importance of fire in the becoming process of a salt.
The Message translation puts it this way: “Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or late, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames.”
ILLUS: For the last 7 years, I have been working for a Property development company managing a busy Call Centre for one of the Gold Coast’s wealthiest and most colorful businessmen.
My career-path has been a rocky one where there have been a multitude of challenges and obstacles to overcome, oftentimes on a daily basis, most of which were entirely outside of my circle of control where I needed to trust entirely on God for the outcome.
I have managed up to 240 staff calling into 4 countries over an 18 hour window, managed computer systems and CRM systems, designed training and software programs, employed hundreds of people, worked frequently 18-20 hour days…heck I even traveled to India every month last year just to go to work!!
I have had to close our workplace on 4 occasions and have been made redundant 4 times.
I have questioned and petitioned God on many occasions and had my doubts as to why I have been in this place and always have received the same answer…”Trust in me always John and keep your eyes focused on me alone.”