- JRM Sydney
Devotional _ How to Be Salty and Bright
by Sister Hazel Quodala
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:13-16
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.
OBSERVATIONS: When our Lord Jesus Christ said these words, he was speaking to a crowd of followers and disciples (not just the 12 disciples). He was teaching them that they who are following him, those who consider themselves as his disciples are the salt of the earth and light of the world.
Finding salt in ancient times is not like today, it is quite rare to find this mineral as it takes so much time and land to make it, similar to farming. The process to make salt involves pouring seawater into pits, a long waiting time by drying out under the heat to allow the process called evaporation to take place before the salt is created.
As there are no artificial refrigeration or freezers in ancient times, the main method for preserving food was to treat it with salt by rubbing it into the food as a preservative. It is also said that salt during the time of the Roman empire is a representative of power as it has become an important trade item. Without it, armies will not be able to travel long distances and explorers would not be able to sail to new lands because their food will spoil as it will take weeks or months to reach their destination.
During those times, salt is an important commodity that is said to be interchangeable with gold or money as salt is mostly to bring flavour to foods.
On top of this, salt is an important fertilizer as it is said to improve the hardiness and disease resistance of a variety of crops and it also makes pasture more attractive to animals.
APPLICATION: In the context of the use of salt, Our Lord Jesus is then symbolically saying to all believers/disciples and His true followers whom we belong to, that we are the SALT and LIGHT of the EARTH because of three points
First point, As the Sea Water has to go thru evaporation before it becomes SALT, every believer of Christ needs to go thru a process to becoming a salt. Accepting the Lord Jesus as a Saviour has to go together with accepting Him our Lord as well and submit to the process of sanctification in our lives that will bring out God’s purpose in us.
Second point, As the SALT is much needed for preservation of food, to save it from spoiling, true followers of the Lord Jesus is a person who knows that their life’s purpose is to save many lives from being spoiled, wasted or destroyed. We need to be a people of God that brings the salty flavour of life to a friend, a family, a neighbourhood, a community, a nation and even many nations. This salty flavour of life is a life lived in unshakeable faith (and Trust), anchored on the eternal hope and abounding in love with Jesus EACH DAY.
Third point, As the SALT is used as a fertilizer and make it attractive to animals – our calling is to bring many dry and dead situations to life by continually following or being obedient to Christ. This is linked to verses 14-16 where Jesus says we are the light of this world whose life need to shine not just within ourself or known Christian circles only (under a bowl) but it has to shine high enough to light a house - to shine before other people (Christand or non-Christians alike) to witness the good deeds we do because of our Good Father in Heaven.
Jesus said in John 8 v 12 … “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” As this verse says, we can never achieve to be the Salt and Light of this world on our own , we loose our “saltiness” unless we continue to follow (obey) our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world and in following Him will we have the light of life that will make us shine, display the good deeds we are able to do, not to show-off but to let people see who our God is.
These deeds are not ordinary deeds that can be achieved in human strength only.. these are deeds that is beyond human capacity.. these are miraculous, life transforming, eternity destined deeds..these are deeds that will make us appreciate God’s mercy and grace..these are deeds that will move our hearts to cry out of joy…these are deeds that will make us understand more the depth of God’s love for us and for others…
These deeds are considered good because it will be a light shining before others to experience, see and other witnesses to enable them to declare “Glory to your God Jesus who made this possible!”.
PRAYER: Father, by your grace and through Your Spirit, enable us to live our lives as SALT and LIGHT OF THIS WORLD as we FOLLOW and OBEY our LORD JESUS CHRIST. May we reflect His Light and may we be catalysts and agents of preservation and transformation in this present dark world. Thank you Father for your Word today and I believe and claim it over my life and my family. In Jesus' most precious name, Amen!