Summary: A call to being Salt & Light to the world
TAKING THE SWEET TO THE STREET
Any of you who have been to my house know that I live in a sandbox. There is sand everywhere. It’s kinda tough growing grass in sand sometimes. Several years ago, my dad and I thought we stumbled upon the solution for his pasture and the yards at my house. We went to the sewer treatment plant in Sanford, and got, probably 10 to 15 tons of treated sewage or sludge, truckloads of the stuff. We took that and spread it across my parents’ pastures and across my yard. Then we plowed it into the ground the best we could. Now, may I tell you what that smelt like? The lady who lives next door to my mom sent her husband outside after a couple of days of that to make sure their septic tank wasn’t backing up. The sun would hit that stuff and dry it up so it wouldn’t smell, and just about the time you couldn’t smell it anymore, it would rain and you’d start all over again.
My friends, I want you to know that there is a stench in this world, a stench in our neighborhoods, and a stench in many of our homes that is worse than anything I ever spread in my yard. It is a stench that smells to high heaven, a stench so strong that it brings tears to our Father’s eyes. It is a stench that many of us have become accustomed to. It is the smell of death. It the smell of a sick and dying world and I want you to know my friends that God is sick to death of it and that He has sent you and me to stem that flow and in it’s place to share a holy, heavenly perfume.
If you remember, just a while back, we studied together the beginning part of the Sermon on the Mount. In the beginning portion, chapter 5 verses 1-12 of Matthew, we find the Beatitudes. 10 attitudes Christ’s followers are to have that are different for the attitudes of the world.
OK, Jesus has said that when He becomes our Lord, we become citizens of a new kingdom. We have new hearts and new attitudes. Notice here, in the verses we just read, what Jesus says we are to do with these new hearts and attitudes.
First, in verse 13, you and I as salt in the world are stemming the bad.
I. WHAT WE’RE CALLED TO DO
1. Stem the bad – Bernice, Mr. Leon and some of you may remember the days before refrigeration was all that common. In the old days, often people would have to salt their meat in order to preserve it. They still do that to this day with hams. Why? because salt helps prevent the spread of decay. It helps stem the bad.
My friends, that is what you and I are called to do. We are called to help stem the bad. It often appears these days that our country is heading to hell in a hand basket. I am afraid that it is too often because Christians are not taking a stand and refusing to go along with the nastiness.
When you hear people gossiping, or when you hear them putting others down at work or school and you say something good about that person or walk away, refusing to listen or repeat that kind of stuff, you are stemming the bad. When you refuse to listen to off-color jokes; when you refuse to go along with racism and injustice; when you teach your children that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong; when you return a kind word for an angry one; you are playing the part of salt. When you take a stand for right, even if it costs you; when you refuse to compromise when your friends are doing wrong; when you refuse to listen to what the world listens to and watch what the world watches, and buy what the world buys, and say what the world says, when you shine the light of Jesus Christ on the deeds of darkness around you, you are helping to stem the bad.