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Summary: A simple sermon on what it means to be "salt" and "light" in our world.

Salt & Light

Lake Bronson 8 Feb. 98

Scripture: Matthew 5:13-16

A recent secular survey, where 1300 senior executives across America were asked to list, in order of priority, what they thought was the most important characteristic within an organization.

- 90% listed integrity as # 1

- 90% - mostly unbelievers - thing most desired in any corporation = integrity

In Matthew 5 - Jesus has just finished the beatitudes and in verse 13 he says “You are the salt of the earth.”

- open Bibles - underline “you” YOU are the salt of the earth, but if salt no longer tastes like salt, how can it make food salty? All it is good for is to be thrown out and walked on.”

- vs 14 = You are like light for the whole world. - underline the word YOU, again. YOU are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lamp stand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. Make your light shine so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your father in heaven.”

- today want to talk to you about salt and light

- about being people of integrity and influence in our community

- those of you who read my philosophy of ministry when you were considering whether or not to call me as your pastor - will have read a quote

- “A Christians convictions are never a private matter.”

- in short - that’s what Jesus is telling us here. Salt must keep its flavor, the light must not be hidden.

- talks to us here about penetrating our society with integrity and influence

- if we have integrity, we will be influential in our society

- the goal of integrity is influence. That’s why Peter said in 1 Peter 2:9

- chosen and special people, group of royal priests, a holy nation; that God has brought us out of darkness into marvelous light. Then he says, “Now you must tell all the wonderful things God has done in your life.”

What does it mean to be salt and light. Well, first of all, what does salt do?

1. Salt adds flavor. Spices things up. Puts a little zip in your doda!

- high blood pressure - have to cut out salt - have to get used to the dull, bland taste of food

- Jesus is saying we’re the spice of life! We’re to add flavor to the dull, empty lives of the people around us

- only way to do that is to remain pure - Jesus says if the salt has lost its savor, its spiciness - it’s not good for anything but being walked on

- big message in there somewhere! (Do you ever feel like you’re being walked all over?)

- the only way to keep from being thrown out and walked on, is to keep your flavor, keep in touch with the master, learn from him, grow in his goodness and grace. How do you do that? Pray, read your Bible - talk to Him. Keep in touch.

- students at Prov. - Teri to visit me - come and go, have to keep in touch - know some better than others

- if you don’t spend time with the Lord, if you don’t nurture the relationship, he won’t force himself on you. And if you’re going to maintain a pure, healthy relationship, you have to, just like with your friends, live your life so that you don’t deliberately hurt them.

- alcoholic friend - “come on, let’s go to the bar...

- friendship won’t last very long, I’m hurting that friend

- when you watch the things you watch and read the things you read, you’re hurting your best friend.

Have to remain pure to keep our flavor - so the flavor doesn’t become distorted, mixed and eventually lost and thrown out.

So, we add flavor.

2. Salt creates thirst

- that’s why bars serve pretzels and peanuts - to get people to drink more! We want our lives to be so salty that people will want to drink at the spring of living water.

- interact with people, rub shoulders with every day. There ought to be enough flavor there from our presence that people get thirsty for what we’ve got

3. Something else salt does is preserve life

It holds back decay. - don’t think of that much anymore these days, just put it in the fridge. But it’s still true that meat packed carefully in salt will preserve it for long periods of time.

Do you ever feel like you’re not making a difference in the world? Jesus said we’re the salt of the earth. It’s followers of Christ, that keep this world from total moral decay.

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