This devotion is a monthly ministry of the Pee Dee Baptist Association, comprised of 31 Southern Baptist churches in Dillon and Marlboro Counties. For more information call 774-8062. Featured this month is Dr. Greg Hyler, the pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Dillon.
Everyone exerts influence. All people have an effect on those around them. As John Donne has put it, “No man is an island.”
Christians have been given a responsibility by Jesus to use their influence in the right way. In what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” When He said this, He was using the metaphor of salt to describe the impactful way His followers are to live.
There are several things about salt that are applicable. For instance, salt adds flavor, making food taste better. In the same way, Christians should make life better in the places they go. Whether in school, at work, or out in the community, believers should be the kind of people that improve their environment. This is done by using kind words, having a positive attitude, being nice, serving others while expecting nothing in return, helping those in need, and working hard.
Another characteristic of salt is that it is a preservative. (In Jesus’ day, it was put on meat to remove moisture, helping it to stay fresh longer.) Christians are called to have a preservative influence. They work to correct injustice, build colleges and hospitals, elevate morality, reduce crime, restrain corruption, and promote goodness. Imagine the difference it would make if all of society (politicians, judges, law enforcement officers, students, coaches, teachers, etc.) were filled with dedicated Christians who lived what they say they believe.
One final thought about salt is that it creates thirst. The world is full of people who thirst for satisfaction, peace, and purpose. Some try to quench this thirst through vices such as sex, gambling, drugs, or alcohol. Others think the answer to happiness is money, success, or fame. Many seek to gain fulfillment through finding a job, marrying a spouse, or starting a family. Often people dream of houses, cars, boats, or other things. Hobbies, sports, vacations, and other activities are things people live for, but they will never fully satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy the thirst of a soul that is separated from God.
When Christians joyfully love Jesus, live for Jesus, and talk about Jesus, the world notices.
In this way, believers are using their influence to help others know the only One who can give lasting contentment. Many will desire to “drink” from the only fountain that brings such joy through the witness of a “salty” Christian.
Perhaps someone reading this article is seeking the satisfaction that only God can give. God loves you and desires to be in a relationship with you, but sin separates man from God. This is why Jesus came. Jesus is God’s true Son. He lived a perfect life, died on a cross to pay man’s sin debt, and then He was raised from the dead on the third day. Those who by faith repent of sin and turn to Jesus for salvation will be forgiven and restored to God.
The following prayer will help you to turn to Jesus for salvation:
God, I am a sinner. I believe Jesus is Your Son. He died on the cross for me, and He is alive today. I trust Jesus’ death to pay for my sin, and His resurrection to give me new life.
I want Jesus as Lord of my life. Jesus, I turn from my sin and surrender my life to You. Amen.