Summary: What does a successful Christian life look like? My desire as your pastor is that all of you experience success in your Christian life. I would define ‘success’ in the Christian life as being whole-heartedly strong and knowledgeable in the faith, steady
8 RULES FOR LIVING A SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN LIFE:
SHAKE YOUR SHAKER
Salt is one of those common everyday items we use without thought. We grab the shaker and shake. According to the Salt Institute (www.saltinstitute.org), over a billion dollars were spent on salt in the United States alone using about 24 ½ million tons of salt. 2002 was actually a lighter year. The physiological need of salt by the human body is immediate and life sustaining. Without salt, any animal including the human beings would die. There are many things that we can live without; salt is not one of them! The importance of salt to many civilizations throughout history cannot be underestimated. In comparison, salt today is taken for granted. In ancient times, before any chemical analysis was possible, experience and wisdom was necessary to discern the purity of the salt for use with the many every day specific applications. Salt, is shown in Scripture, to be very useful. It was used for seasoning food (Job 6:6), seasoning sacrifices (Leviticus 2:13, Ezekiel 43:24), ratifying covenants (Numbers 18:19, 2 Chronicles 13:5), and strengthening new-born infants (Ezekiel 16:4).
Perhaps the most noted use of salt is found in Matthew 5:13-16. Jesus says, “13You 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. 14You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Why is Jesus talking about salt?
What is Jesus saying to us?
What does this passage mean for our Christian lives and its success?
What does a successful Christian life look like? My desire as your pastor is that all of you experience success in your Christian life. I would define ‘success’ in the Christian life as being whole-heartedly strong and knowledgeable in the faith, steady in prayer, and capable of sharing the Gospel with others. I want your relationship with Christ to be deep and meaningful. Sometimes we might wonder, how do we get there? Is there a process? Are there things we can do or cultivate to produce good fruit in our lives? One very important endeavor we can make in our Christian lives is to put forth the effort to win others to Christ.
I. WHAT DOES MATTHEW 5:13-16 SAY TO US?
Jesus is making a very significant point when He teaches about salt and light in this passage. Jesus says to us that we are the ‘light of the world.’ I do not have to tell you that our world is a dark and dismal place. John 1 describes Jesus as a light coming into a dark world… so it seems that our world has been a dark place for longer than any of us can remember. Jesus first describes us as the ‘light of the world.’ I am not going to make this more complicated than it needs to be… the light that we are to have and shine is the teaching and message of Jesus Christ in word and in action. Jesus brings light into dark lives. He shows the way we need to go. He sheds light on what needs to change. Jesus is the beacon for us to head for in the midst of all our storms of life.
Jesus then makes another metaphor about this same idea in this passage. Jesus calls us ‘salt.’ Again, I am not going to make this more complicated than it needs to be… the spiritual salt, which will preserve lives on the day of destruction, is the teaching and message of Jesus Christ. Please note that Jesus says ‘you’ are the salt of the earth. We possess the teaching and message of Jesus and we are to season the lives of the people around us with it.
Jesus tells us in this passage, by using two different metaphors, that we are to share the message about Him to those around us. You know, this is not a suggestion. This is not something you can do in your spare time. It is to be your life. Jesus commands us to “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:16-20). That’s not a suggestion it is a command! As Christians, we are to be people who do not keep the Truth about God to ourselves. If we do, we’ll lose our saltiness and then we are no good to anyone.
II. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SHAKE YOUR SHAKER?