Summary: Christians are to be the salt of the earth. 1. Salt is essential for LIFE 2. Has MEDICINAL properties 3. Is a PRESERVATIVE 4. Was used to promote HEALTH 5. Can kill WEEDS 6. Has the power to MELT ICE 7. Promotes THIRST

The Influence Of One

Have you ever wondered how much influence one person can have? A guard standing on a city wall can sound an alarm and wake a whole city to respond to what otherwise would be certain destruction. One good man may be the means of safety for thousands. A little influence can have a great impact. The influence of one can be enormous.

Christians are called to be “the salt of the earth”. I for one know that by salting my food – putting just a little salt on my food – that I can change the flavor of it drastically. Is it any wonder that Jesus said that we were to be the “salt of the earth”? I cannot imagine what the world would be like without a Christian influence in it.

The book of James touches on the amount of influence one person can have when it says:

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” James 5:17-18 (NKJV)

The prophet Elijah was a servant of God. Holiness was his character – but that was uncommon in his day. Ahab – the king – was a sinner of the blackest dye. His iniquity was glaring and infamous. Ahab made unto himself false gods. The people of Samaria were fallen like their monarch – Ahab’s influence was felt throughout the land. The country had walked away from God. They had forsaken the God of Israel. They had forgotten that the scripture said, “The Lord thy God is one God” and they bowed in wicked idolatry before the idols of the heathens. In the time of Ahab – the scripture of Deuteronomy was coming true:

"If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues--great and prolonged plagues--and serious and prolonged sicknesses.” Deuteronomy 28:58-59 (NKJV)

Darkness and sickness was covering the land. Moral decay – insensitivity to God and His standards – corrupt political power – open perversion and disobedience – had become the norm.

But God did not forget His people. He sent one grain of salt – one ray of light – one warrior of God – one prophet – one watchman who stood in the watchtower to shout a warning – to save the people from utter destruction. Elijah had a divine influence upon history. The people knew him to be the prophet of the Lord. He had divine credentials. All of his prophecies had been fulfilled. They knew that he was a man sent from God and brought God’s message to the people. Yet the scripture tells us: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.”

How much influence can one person have?

Another example of one man who stood in the watchtower – or in this case he was a voice calling in the wilderness - was John the Baptist. A man sent from God to proclaim the coming of God. He was clothed in camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist – surviving on a diet of locusts and wild honey. He shouted for all to hear: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" Matthew 3:2 (NKJV)

He was one grain of salt. He was one shard of light. He was sent to have an influence upon this world. Again I ask: “How much influence can one man have?” The Bible tells us:

“Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.” Matthew 3:5-6 (NKJV)

It is obvious that he had an influence – an impact – on the people he came in contact with.

“A Peanuts cartoon, showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. Peppermint Patty said to Charlie Brown, "Guess what, Chuck. Today was the first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck." Charlie Brown responded, "My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?" Peppermint Patty answered, "You’re my friend, aren’t you Chuck? Friends have an influence on one another. You should have been a better influence on me."

While Peppermint Patty was seeking to pass the buck – she was right in a very real sense. We should be a good influence on our family and friends. We should be a good influence with those on our jobs. We should be a good influence on those we come in contact with. Jesus said it this way:

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