Influence

Matthew 5:13 – “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Verse 14) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (Verse 15) “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (Verse 16) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Jesus tells believers that they are salt and light of the world. Salt and light are an influence into other people’s lives. Even in the Old Testament, all the sacrifices were seasoned with salt.

Leviticus 2:13 – ‘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.

Numbers 18:19 – “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons forever; it is a covenant of salt forever before the LORD with you and your descendants with you.”

Salt preserves and salt is symbolic of eternity. It is symbolic of causing something to continue to last. God calls it a covenant of salt, because He’s going to preserve you, the preservation of the saints. In Psalms and in Proverbs, the Lord says, “I preserve the souls of My saints!” It is God who preserves my soul forever. So, salt symbolizes eternity.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the world.” Believers are preserving our world from ending; we are preserving our society from decaying. The more you take Christian faith principles and morality out of society, the quicker that society will die and decay. However, it doesn’t look like we have done a very good job of being that influence in today’s society.

Think about this: We allowed prayer to be taken out of our schools; we allowed the 10 Commandments to be taken down off walls; out of sight, out of mind. The quicker you take the “salt”, influence out of something the sooner it starts to decay. However, there are still Christians in schools; still in court rooms; still on school boards; still in city counsel and the state legislative; they are still in all these different areas. And yes, there are still Christians in Washington DC and it is up to those Christians to preserve God’s principle. But it is up to the rest of us to pray for them to make the influence on others.

Some Christians believe that we should stay out of the government, but I don’t believe that is true. Just listen today at the ones wanting to take over individual’s lives with everything from what we can put our thermostat on in our houses to what we should eat. Do you really want a non-believer running your life? Not me!

Salt also makes things taste good. Bad salt is put on the roads to melt ice, but it will also kill the grass, it is good for nothing. But good salt makes God taste good. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

But how does salt lose its flavor? Some interpretations say “savor.” In the Greek, this word translated means “to become foolish,” moron, a foolish person. We are the salt, but if we become foolish, we lose the influence over anyone. Romans 1:21 – because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Verse 22) Professing to be wise, they became fools.

When a Christian does something foolish, they may lose their influence and witness for someone they have been trying to reach. They can lose their credibility and respect of others. Christians can be very hard on other believers that should know better. One also cannot be a “yo-yo” Christian and expect to be a good witness of Christ. One day they are on fire for the Lord and the next, they are back to their old life-style. Once these people lose their witness for Christ they will be like the “bad salt” that is good for nothing.

John 8:12 – Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 9:5 – “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 

John 12:35 – Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.”

Keep in mind, John 12 is when Jesus begins to prepare His disciples for His departure, crucifixion. John 13, He washes their feet; John 14, 15, and 16, is the conversation at the last supper; John 17 is the prayer in the garden; John 18, He is arrested; John 19, He is crucified; John 20, He rises from the dead; and John 21, He appears to His disciples.

In John 12, He was trying to tell the disciples that He was only going to be with them a little while longer and for them to walk in the “light” while it was still light. John 12:36 – “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of the light.”

In other words: Because He is the light, we walk in Him and then we become sons and daughters of Him. When we are truly born again, because He lives in us and He is the light of the world, we then become the light of the world. We become the “body of Christ.” The only light in a darkened world is “You!”

Do you wonder why God would put Christians in a job where they are the only light in that job? Or maybe its our neighborhood. God will and does move us to dark places in order for us to shine some light in that place. However, if we start to blend in with the darkness, we have become “good for nothing.” We have lost our flavor, witness, and influence. No Christian can put their light under a basket and shine.

Salt is an internal influence and light is an external influence. When we go into a dark room and flip on the light switch, darkness disappears immediately! This world we live in is full of darkness and it seems it is getting darker. We can see this in the evil laws that are being passed concerning abortions “rights.” We also see this in defining what marriage is. If we as believers don’t start standing up for God’s standards and principles, this world will continue to decay. Of course though, non-believers want us to keep our mouths shut and just go away.

Let our light shine with kindness and love everywhere we go and watch what happens to those around you. God loves you so let others know He loves them too! It’s not that hard to tell someone that God loves them and wants them to have a better life.

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