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September Salt

Matthew 5:13 - "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has lost its quality, with what shall it be salted? It is thereafter good for nothing but to be thrown out and walked on by people."

Colossians 4:6 - "Let your conversation be gracious, seasoned, as it were with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.

It's happened again! Summer has turned into fall, and it seems that everything and everybody has gotten into the act. A beach bum turned into a student. A backpack turned into a pair of shoulder pads. A swimsuit turned into a sweater. And the burning summer sun turned into the burning midnight oil. Suggestion: let your summer sugar turn into September salt!

Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, "you are the salt of the earth." What did He mean by that? Flavor-people? No! Small insignificant grains in a large world? No! In what way are we the salt of the earth? A little background in the use of salt at the time of Christ will help. Before the days of refrigeration, salt was used as a preservative. You couldn't buy your meat and store it indefinitely in a freezer. Your only chance for delaying the decay and corruption of your steaks was to impregnate them with salt.

As Christians, we are to hold in check the spread of sin in this world. Our lives are to have the effect of preventing the advance of corruption even though spiritual and moral decay may surround us. Jesus says that our presence in the locker room or college dorm should to some degree stifle the spread of sinful ideas, stories or actions. Are you a grain of salt in the particular segment of society in which God has placed you? The Bible says in Colossians 4:6 that our speech or conversation must not only be nice (gracious) but also guarded and pungently powerful (seasoned with salt). And sometimes it really takes guts!

Salt is not a preservative because it actively does something to "cure" decay, but rather, by its very nature, it prevents the spread of corruption. Just so, as Christians we cannot "cure" this world of sin, but the influence of our Christian living can and must arrest moral decay that is present in this world. Are you a Christian? Then you are a grain of salt that God has specifically placed in your school or job or wherever you are. There may not be too many other active grains around, so do your thing!

The Lord Jesus said that salt could become tasteless or lose its tang. In those days the salt in Israel was often mixed with saline and earthy deposits from the Dead Sea flats, from which the salt could dissolve out, leaving only a tasteless and useless residue. When salt lost its pungent power it could be no longer used as a preservative. It wasn't good for anything and was thrown out on the ground and walked on! Instead of preventing the spread of decay and corruption in our immediate surroundings we become part of the problem. No longer are we active servants in the kingdom of our Lord. We've fallen down on the job and the enemy has "walked all over us". Our lives and voices are now powerless and silent. (Read Revelation 3:15-16 for parallel thought.)

Every September on every campus the process of spiritual and moral decay begins its activity once again. Salt is needed! God may have given you a sweet sugar summer, but now He's looking for September salt. "You are the salt of the earth."
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