Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:49-50, Luke 9:25-34 "Being Salt"

Prayer for Today
Father, I worship you and give YOUR Name the praise. For you alone are worthy of all the praise. I invite you to step in this place and take control. I submit to Your will, Your Word and Way. Holy Spirit direct my steps and guide me on my way. What is it that I can do for You, the Body of Christ and the Kingdom today.

Father teach us to know our worth. We are the salt because you called us to be the salt. Help us not lose our saltiness for it is our acceptable service to You and the discipleship You have appointed to every one of us who are called by Your Name.

Today's Key to Walking in the Spirit 

Questions: Are you salted? Have you prepared to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God?

One of the greatest things about walking in the spirit is the level of revelation that is availed. Revelation of who you are and what you are created to do. The things of spirit cannot be handled or understood unless you will put the flesh on the altar daily. You cannot bring the mere mind to the table of God and expect to sup with Him. We are going have to learn how to present our body as living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God this our true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1 NIV) The key to walking in the spirit is to avail oneself to the covenant of salt (Christ), be holy (separated for the Master's use) and please God (read Proverbs 16). Be salted. 

Thought for Today

Here in this blog, Jasmin's Praying and Walking in the Spirit, I don't want to be just blogging, writing and speaking willy nilly. If God's not speaking than I really have nothing to say here. I have others blogs where I express myself on a variety of intellectual levels. The previous blog post I spoke regarding Matthew 5:13-16 as Jesus told us we are the salt and the light. But, do we know why he said it and what it means? Today's walking in the spirit key is "Be Salted." Let me explain how to be salted and why we who follow Christ need to do this. 

I tell you salt is needed and it is valuable. There are thirty-odd references to salt in the English translation of the Bible. Those references are found in the Books of the Law (Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), the Books of Judges, Joshua, and Ezra, the Books of Wisdom (Psalm, Prayer of Manasseh, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Wisdom of Solomon, and Wisdom of Sirach, the Books of Prophet (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel) and the New Testament Matthew, Mark, Luke, Colossian and James.

There are 14,000 uses for salt known to man. These are a few of the basic characteristics of salt:
  • needed mineral, 
  • essential element of diet (human, animal and plants), 
  • it is the most effective and widely used (food) preservative [even used in Egyptian mummy preserving], 
  • it used industrially, and medicinally, it is a taste enhancer, 
  • it is used as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge in many cultures, 
  • salt was used as a currency in many cultures (Ezra 4:14), 
  • salt was used in sacrifices (Leviticus 2:13)
  • Salt spiritually represents an unbreakable bond between us and God.
Though salt has natural properties it also has spiritual properties that are important to the believer and non believer. 

For the believer, we are called the salt (the seasoning, preserver, and cure) of the earth (the realm we are to subdue and have dominion). As we offer our bodies a living sacrifice the offering must be salted.Christ is covenant of salt [2 Chronicles 13:5] (Kingdom established forever), He is an everlasting covenant, and bond that cannot be broken. If we. who are called by His name, have not been crucified, and raised with Him we are speaking lies. If we who are called by His name do not pick up our cross and follow Him we are not His disciples. Because we have been made heirs we are part of the covenant of salt that God gave David. So were are the salt by virtue of salvation. 

Leviticus 2:13 reads: "And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.

2 Chronicles 13:5 reads: "Don’t you know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?" 

Salt cannot be ingest alone. You cannot eat salt without measure. If you use too little, it has no effect. Likewise if you use too much it is useless. As we are the salt of the earth it is important to know how much we need to use. It is also vitally important we know where to use it. Salt is not meant for everything. In some instances salt brings about desolation and barrenness.

Ezekiel 47:3-12 reads:
"As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits[ and then led me through water that was ankle-deep.  He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

"Then he led me back to the bank of the river.  When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.  He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.  Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.  Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.  But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.  Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

There was point in water Ezekiel could not go. As matter of fact Ezekiel says, "no one could cross." The salt according to scripture went to specific part and then it salty water became fresh water. Note: the fresh (living) produced more life and healing.  Christ, the covenant salt, became fresh (living) water for us.

John 4:7-15 NIV reads

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans). Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

It was not by happenstance that Jesus demonstrated how salt became living water in Samaria (among a people Jews did not associate). It is no coincidence that her impurities are washed out and she stands convicted by the Word of Truth. Her deliverance, the clarity of spirit and worship begin to show up as she receive the Living Water. What follows after is produce (life and healing). Life produce life.

When the Samaritan Woman, evangelizes, she is salt. She became the salt of the earth. She brings the cure, and  the preservative. The woman's life was evident as was her transformation. The entire region believed and followed her to Jesus because of her testimony. But, at point they said, they believe because they experience the living water for themselves. 

John 4:39-42 NIV reads:

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

This is discipleship. It is not enough that we are saved, go to church and hear the Word. We are called to be the salt. We must bring the cure, be the preservative and in order to do that we have to become a living sacrifice that has been salted by the Christ, the covenant of salt and we must drink from the well that does not run dry.

My final thought regarding the salt is our speech must be seasoned. Colossians 4:6 NIV reads, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."  The key word is everyone. We need to know how to answer EVERYONE.

Grace & Peace.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Matthew 5:13-16 Are You the Salt and the Light?

Prayer for Today
Father, I worship you and give YOUR Name the praise. For you alone are worthy of all the praise. I invite you to step in this place and take control. I submit to Your will, Your Word and Way. Holy Spirit direct my steps and guide me on my way. What is it that I can do for You, the Body of Christ and the Kingdom today.

Father, help me stay in my lane. You called me to be the salt and set me apart as a light. Don't let me lose my saltiness or allow my light go dim. Led me to the places YOU have prepared for me to enter, set my feet on that path, fix my eyes and ears to see and hear as I submit my entire body as a living sacrifice for Your use.

Today's Key to Walking in the Spirit

Questions: Who have you salted or brought light to today? Are you the salt and the light?

After Jesus taught the beatitudes to the multitudes He immediately preached to them about squandering their blessings. Apparently the mass mentality of the day was much like the masses today in that we are unaware of the power we have in being the salt and light. The key for today is simple, become aware you are the salt and the light. Act like it. (Note: if you are the salt and the light it goes without saying. It simply apparent.)

Thought for Today

As I studied this Word, I experienced an ah ha moment. Literally, my brain went ding-ding!!! Salt and light have a specific purpose to be salt and light. If you were to get a box of Morton Salt and season your food, then taste that same food only to discover it had no flavor--you would throw box away. For salt without favor is useless. Likewise, you without God's purpose would be useless. We all have a God purpose. I do mean all. Good, bad, or indifferent there is a God purpose for your life.  It is up to you to be aware of what it is.  Similarly, light that doesn't shed light is useless. Imagine flipping the on switch for a lamp that did not illuminate the room. How quickly would get another bulb that worked?Why then do we stay in lifestyles that don't work and add nothing to God's purpose? Why, do we toil when the Father created us to tend? We missed the purpose of being so blessed just like the multitudes Jesus strategically positioned in that day to see how blessed they were   You must understand God's uses your situations to align you His plan and purpose. However, if you remain unaware it is because you have not bothered to study to show yourself a workman that can rightly divide the Truth, so you continue without.

For demonstration sake let's look at the message in Beatitude Sermon (Matthew 5:2-12 NIV), I boldfaced text to emphasize. If, you truly believed the Word of God, you would never doubt you have a purpose, reason for being and something to do. That is to be the salt and the light to bless others. That's not complicated.

The Beatitudes
    He said:
   3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
   for they will be comforted. 
5 Blessed are the meek,
   for they will inherit the earth. 
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
   for they will be filled. 
7 Blessed are the merciful,
   for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
   for they will see God. 
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
   for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
   11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

When circumstances and troubles arise they position for blessings. You must be aware of  the power and strength in knowing you obtain the rewards: the kingdom of heaven, called the children of God, great reward, mercy, comfort, and filling etc. So when, they who are struggling without God and  have not experienced the blessings of God get exposed to your saltiness and the light radiating from you, they come, seek, knock and ask and they obtain. 
I Dare You to be the salt and the light.

Today's Scripture Reading (Matthew 5: 13-16 NIV)

  13 “You 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 underfoot.
   14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.