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Monday, November 25, 2013
Schenck's Mill Covered Bridge in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
"Seasoned With Salt"
Listen to this message on your audio player. Note: Due to a very hoarse voice and Brooksyne being at the hospital a Podcast will not be prepared for today's message.
"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person" (Colossians 4:6).
This morning I received a call from Paul Coran, a college friend who lives in New York, who has been keeping up with Ester's illness. I have had a chest cold several days and practically have no voice but was blessed to hear his words of encouragement and a prayer. However it's very frustrating not to be able to reciprocate in the conversation!
Paul's message was encouraging and edifying, "with grace, as though seasoned with salt", prompting a consideration of a brief verse from Colossians dealing with our speech or conversation.
"Let your speech always be with grace." The Amplified Bible takes this to mean "gracious (pleasant and winsome)" In this passage the apostle Paul turns from the believer’s walk to his talk. Our talk should match our walk and should be spiritual, winningly pure and apt. One version (NIV) states our conversation is to be "always full of grace" conveying a steady, ongoing abundance.
"As though seasoned with salt." Today if we speak of someone having a salty speech it has come to mean laced with profanity. But that is certainly not the case here! One informal translation renders the original Greek idiom here “in good taste.” Indeed one common use of salt in the New Testament period as today was salt as a flavoring (to enhance good taste). Another common use was as a preservative. In both cases it is vitally important that the salt be evenly distributed over that which is to be salted.
Today we are most familiar with the use of salt as a flavoring. We don't place a gob of salt on our plates to eat separately in high concentration. We use a salt shaker to evenly distribute it over the food we want flavored. Likewise a single grain of salt may not even be discernible to the taste buds. But sprinkled with other grains of salt on top of the food it makes a real difference.
On the Lord's Day, followers of Christ (salt) gather in concentration to be encouraged, edified and equipped for ministry. Then we spread out through the culture that surrounds us. I believe God uses our work and daily lives to evenly distribute us.
You may look around and see but a few grains of salt where you work or where you interface with others. In a few cases you may be the only grain. You may feel very lonely in your stand for Christ and think, "What difference am I making?" Sometimes the difference we make is recognizable such as leading someone to faith or bringing encouragement to a fellow believer. But at other times we see no observable results of our witness. We must practice a steady obedience in letting our speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt" and wait to see the impact of our saltiness. We may not see this till the other side.
"So that you will know how you should respond to each person." May God give each of us wisdom today as we seek to be as Christ called us, "the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13).
Be encouraged today!
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily 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. May I walk and talk with Your grace so that I impart grace to others showing respect, courtesy, and interest in their lives. 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. Amen.
Update on Ester: Ester is still in the hospital due to her chest congestion and low oxygen saturation. (This was similar to the last time she had major surgery in Boston in 2006). Brooksyne stayed with her last night and most recent update is that she is now on room air (no supplemental oxygen) but her oxygen saturation is only in the low eighties. (A healthy heart keeps us saturated at 95% and above.) However Brooksyne does feel they may discharge her at that level and hope it will increase as she continues to clear her lungs. Her normal level is in the high 80's. Apart from the pacing issue the oxygen saturation matter has been a concern for some time and the next procedure will be an attempt to place stents in to increase her blood circulation, a procedure that helped her about ten years ago. Photo above shows her with a visiting "therapy" dog.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"May The Words Of My Mouth" Video Christy Nockels/Janna Long
"May the Words of My Mouth" Video Benny Samuel
"To Be Pleasing You" Video Maranatha Singers
"Let the Words of My Mouth" Video Fernando Ortega
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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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