The Currency of Life
The Currency of Life
Words of Faith 10-4-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Jesus told the crowd that discipleship would be costly. There is a cost to be paid in the currency of family. There is a cost in terms of self. There is a cost in terms of our grip on materials things. A final currency in which the cost of discipleship is tendered is the arena of daily living. If we will follow Jesus, we will be different.
Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth. We are called to be a noticeable flavoring in the world and community that we live in. Discipleship is not about religious rituals. We are to be different from the world around us in clear ways.
The image of salt was a powerful and familiar one. Salt was very valuable in the ancient world. It was used for curing, flavoring, medicine and money. Think about some of the qualities that salt has. Salt is sometimes savory, sometimes stings, mixes well, is best when sprinkled, and is usually too strong when in big lumps. These reflect much of the manner in which we are to interact with the world. We must take care not to lose our saltiness.
What did Jesus mean when He suggested that salt might lose its saltiness? If we know anything about chemistry, we know that salt cannot lose its essential nature unless it is diluted, adulterated or chemically transformed. If salt were mixed with other elements, like the salt of the Dead Sea is mixed with heavy metals, then it would be of no use as a preservative or as a flavoring. If salt were mixed by an unscrupulous dealer with some adulterating agent like sand, it would be useless as a preservative or as a flavoring. A slight adulteration renders salt unusable. Just imagine if the salt on your table had just a small percentage sand added to it. You would throw the whole batch out, wouldn't you?
How do we lose our saltiness? We lose our saltiness when we allow ourselves to be diluted, adulterated or fundamentally transformed by the ways of the world.
What do you do with salt that is ruined? What do you do with salt that has lost its saltiness? In the ancient world, salt that had lost its essential nature was good for less than nothing. It was not even good to be thrown onto a manure pile as fertilizer. Goodness.
Jesus suggests that when we lose our saltiness-- our essential quality of Christ's love, spirit, and convicting difference in our lives-- we are not even good to be thrown on the soil. When we lose the qualities that make us different from the world because we have become adulterated by the world, we are not good even for the manure pile.
Surely Jesus was not indicating that we are ever beyond redemption and reformation. But short of the reforming power of His grace, our failed saltiness leaves us in a place of utter uselessness. And how can we know if we are losing our saltiness? Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." It is the Spirit Who gives us ears to hear. We listen to the Spirit.
Lord, help me to be the disciple You want me to be. Help me to be salty in all the ways that You desire. Help me to retain Your saltiness. Restore me. Refresh me. Renew me. In Jesus' name.