1. Chick-Fil-A Mission
Several months ago Chick-fil-A's founder, Truett Cathy, made people upset when he claimed:
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'" And said that his company was "very much supportive of the family--the biblical definition of the family unit."
That created a firestorm.
* A Chicago alderman announced he would block a Chick-fil-A location in his ward
* Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago's values."
* On Twitter, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee declared that Chick-fil-A wasn't welcome in San Francisco, even though the restaurant hadn't announced any plans to open a location there
* Washington mayor Vincent Gray called the chain "hate chicken."
Now, we would agree with Mr. Cathy. Our nation IS inviting God's judgment whenever we turn our backs on God. But that's not all Chick-fil-A should be known for.
When a winter storm buried Birmingham, Alabama in snow -- stranding 100s of motorists - the store manager of one of the local Chick-fil-A restaurants said "Our store is about a mile and a half from the interstate and it took me 2 hours to get there. It was a parking lot as far as I could see."
She saw people stranded on both sides of the interstate, many of whom had been there for 7 hours. She went back to the restaurant and she and the other stranded employees cooked several 100 sandwiches and stood out on both sides of Highway 280 handing out the sandwiches to anyone they could get to, AND refused to take a single penny for the sandwiches.
After delivering the food and even helping drivers maneuver along the icy road the owner and staff took it one step further and opened up their dining room to anyone who wanted to sleep on a bench or a booth. Then, in the morning, they fired up their ovens once again and gave stranded motorists another free meal.
Why would they do this?
When asked, the manager Audrey Pitt said this: "This Company is based on taking care of people and loving people before you're worried about money or profit. We were just trying to follow the model that we've all worked under for so long and the model that we've come to love. There was really nothing else we could have done but try to help people any way we could."
The employees of Chick-fil-A eagerly lived their mission to take care of people... to love people ...because their company was built on Christian principles.
In the same way, WE should eagerly live our faith in such a way that people know that we not only stand for purity and good doctrine... but that we LIVE our faith in a mission to love God and others. That is adding salt to a tasteless world.
2. Our Challenge as Disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. Matthew 5.13
50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another. Mark 9.50
3. Elton Trueblood, the influential Quaker teacher and writer, put it this way..."It is hard to exaggerate the degree to which the modern church seems irrelevant to modern man." The number one way for Christians to be salt is for us to show Christ's relevance, to live His relevance in every area of life.
4. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a Passive movement, but a force to be reckoned with -- To shake things up
5. Consider Salt:
I. Salt is Essential to Life
The human body contains about 4oz. of salt. Without enough of it, muscles won't contract, blood won't circulate, food won't digest and the heart won't beat a beat. Without a doubt, salt is the essence of life.
Thousands of Napoleon's troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal--their bodies lacked salt.
A. Salt Aids in Healing and Purifying
1. "Pouring salt in the wound" is painful but healing
2. Used on newborns -- Ezekiel 16.4
3. Application: We are to be used in healing the world for God --
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2.17
B. Salt is Used to Preserve Meat and Fish
1. No refrigeration
2. Application: Preserve God's word; morals; will in the world
3. What would the world be like without Disciples of Jesus?
4. What must Sodom and Gomorrah been like?
C. Salt Creates Thirst
1. You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink. But, you can feed him salt.
2. Our role -- be salt and create thirst -- Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4.6
3. Living Water -- On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. John 7.37
4. Perhaps Leonard da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted "The last Supper." In that painting, an overturned salt cellar is conspicuously placed before Judas; (2 Slides)
5. Application: Talk and live so that people thirst for Jesus
D. Salt is Valuable
1. How valuable is salt? 40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a "substance dear to the gods."
2. . In ancient Greece a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, "...not worth his salt."
3. Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as "Solarium Argentums" the forerunner of the English word "salary."
4. Value of Disciples -- Seen in the Sacrifice of Jesus; seen in our role, entrusted with gospel
5. Danger of losing value -- salt corrupted by other minerals; Christians by sin
E. Salt Symbolizes God's Covenant -- Our Source of Life -- Numbers 18.19 (statement to Aaron)
All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the LORD I give to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. It is a covenant of salt forever before the LORD for you and for your offspring with you.
1. Permanence -- Abraham (Genesis 15); Davidic covenant -- 1 Kings 2.45
2. Persistence of God
3. Part of sacrifices -- Leviticus 2.13; Exodus 30.34-35
4. Application -- As salted, living sacrifices, we symbolize God's New Covenant of life to the world
II. Salt Can be Destructive [Contrast Sea of Galilee with Salt Sea (Two Slides)
A. Salt Sea -- No Life, only minerals
B. Cause of Death and Desolation -- Deuteronomy 29.23
C. Application: As Salt of the Earth we bring
1. End to sin and corruption
2. Reminders of God's Victory over Death -- 1 Corinthians 15.54-57
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"Death is swallowed up in victory."
55 "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Peanuts cartoon, showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. She said, "Guess what, Chuck. The first day of school and I got sent to the principal's office. It was your fault, Chuck."
He said, "My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?"
She said, "You're my friend, aren't you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me."
While Peppermint Patty was seeking to pass the buck, she was in a very real sense right. We should be a positive influence on our friends.
2. Salt cannot stay in the shaker to do its job. The shaker becomes a container until the salt is shaken out.
3. If we do our jobs, we bring a life-giving; life-preserving impact to the world
4. John 10.10