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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Church sign in Lancaster County, PA
We are blessed as we pass church signs with a message!

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"Extra Salty"

"You are the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" (Colossians 4:6).

Today we want to consider "extra salty" people. Now we are certainly not using "salty" in the sense of having a foul mouth (there's plenty of that kind) but rather those who by their commitment to Christ, spiritual outlook, energy, interest in others and so forth convey a strong testimony for the Lord to others. I also refer to people like this as "energy givers". Being around them is strengthening to my faith and sometimes it may be just a brief encounter. As I consider the people the Lord has placed in my life I consider many of these "extra salty" people.

The church of Jesus Christ has a great mandate directly from Christ for all who choose to follow Him. They are to be "the salt of the earth."  Hundreds of thousands of small units known as local churches dot the globe. (Even the largest local church is a relatively small unit.) Hundreds of millions of individual believers meet in these churches to receive encouragement and exhortation to go forth as the salt of the earth.

We especially consider the "underground church" in closed countries such as China and all throughout the Muslim-dominated Middle East and north Africa that meet regularly in secret places to encourage, challenge and inspire the saints to live for Jesus Christ. A stunning reality is that there may actually be more of God’s people meeting under these conditions than in “church” settings readers in the West are more familiar with.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus used two common items to illustrate the impact His followers were to have on the world around them; salt and light.  Although there are many usages of salt there are likely two purposes that Christ's initial hearers could identify with; salt used as a flavoring and as a preservative. In both cases it is vitally important that the salt be evenly distributed over that which is to be salted.

In a physical sense our bodies need salt but we can ingest too much and that is not healthy. However in a spiritual sense it is impossible to be too salty!  In fact the opposite is true; believers
aren't salty enough!

Our dominant culture has become so Biblically illiterate that for the majority of people spiritual salt has become distasteful and even objectionable. This will continue to happen as the restraining salty influence of older believers is diminished as they pass on to their reward. An increasing number have no knowledge of God or His law; having been raised on the Simpsons, MTV and an often godless public education system.  Most have no idea what Sunday School is and very few parents, particularly fathers, take their Scriptural mandate seriously (Ephesians 6:4).  I recall years ago an official of a Paducah, KY school where several students were slain, noted that schools are allowed to post everything but the one document they need, namely the Ten Commandments!

Today we spread out like grains of salt through the culture that surrounds us.  You may see your work as just a necessary but unrelated part of your Christian ministry. But I believe God uses our work to evenly distribute our presence throughout the culture around us. How salty are you?

You may look around and see but a few grains of salt where you work. In a few cases you may be the only grain.  You may feel, "What difference am I making?"  At times the difference we make is recognizable.  What a blessing it is to experience the joy of ministry for Christ in leading someone to faith or in bringing encouragement to a fellow believer. But at other times we must practice a steady obedience in being salty and wait to see the impact of our saltiness.

Each of us is like a tiny grain of salt today.  Brooksyne and I so enjoy the feedback we receive in this ministry. You come from all over the globe with various backgrounds and you present various ways of serving. You may feel your contribution is insignificant, but it's not.  In concert with millions of other believers you are presenting, flavoring, and preserving the truth, righteousness and order in this increasingly chaotic world.  Stay faithful and seek to be extra salty!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing to You this day.  I pray that my conversation is uplifting so that I build others up rather than tear them down. Just as salt is tasty to food making it more pleasant to eat, I pray that my dialogue is wholesome making conversation pleasant and beneficial to those who listen. Because of Your redemptive work in my life I am blessed and highly flavored with the preserving salt of Your holy Word.  I want to spread the message of Your salvation to others so that they are snatched from the evil one and their lives are preserved for this life and the next.  We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Mums along Main Street Mount Joy, PA 10/23/11
We pass these large mums along Main Street in Mount Joy. They're the size of shrubs!  Somehow the fire hydrant just doesn't fit in with the fall color theme.  But then we do want the hydrant to be visible don't we!  (Much like Jesus wants the believer not to join the crowd but to stand out among them as they hold out the truth and witness of the Holy Bible.)

Autumn wedding in Lancaster PA
Yesterday we took a long walk along a farm trail and came upon a wedding taking place in a meadow below a spring house. The horse was coming to greet us and see if we had anything to eat.

Yellow lab pups (9/1/11)
Early last month we shared this photo from our visit with friends, Mike and Michelle, whose dog only days earlier had her first litter of eleven Yellow Lab pups!  

Yellow lab pup
Now they only have a couple left and they are, as they say, "cute as a button".
(Click here and then on the video to see them in action.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Make Me A Servant"  Video  Maranatha Singers

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Ministry Update  (Revised 10/21/11)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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