The Salty Life
Passage: Luke 14:25-35 Now huge crowds were going along with [Jesus], and He turned and said to them, If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [[a]in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, wishing to build a [b]farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him, Saying, This man began to build and was not able ([c]worth enough) to finish. Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks for the terms of peace. So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, [d]say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple. Salt is good [an excellent thing], but if salt has lost its strength and has become saltless (insipid, flat), how shall its saltiness be restored? It is fit neither for the land nor for the manure heap; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him listen and consider and comprehend by hearing!
No, we are not talking about the beach today. However if our hearts are divided between Jesus and this world we will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea tossed by the wind unstable in all our ways!
James 1: 6-8 “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
Ladies make no mistake following Jesus will cost you. Following Jesus requires being totally submitting to Him, even to the point of death! That’s right, death! It “could” mean physical death, it does happen even today. I still remember the story of Rachel Scott who was shot and killed during the Columbine High School massacre. Where a boy held a shotgun to her head and asked her to deny Jesus and when she wouldn’t do it he shot her.
I would guess as this world gets darker that we hear of this type of stuff more and more as we draw closer to the coming of Jesus.
At the very least it will mean dying to yourself, dying to what you want out of your life, what you want to do with your life. It could mean social status, a relationship with your significant other, your money, your time, your career or it could separate you from family and friends.
Following Jesus does not mean having a trouble free life. John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It does mean that you will never be alone in it. Deuteronomy 31:7 “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
It does mean that you can have the peace that passes all understanding regardless of your circumstances. Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”
It does mean regardless of what you go through that God can turn it around for your ultimate good. Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
Jesus, in this passage of Luke, was encouraging those who were superficial to either go deeper with Him or turn back. Will you abandon the Christian life after a little while because you do not count the cost of the commitment to Jesus? We must carefully count the cost of becoming His disciples so that we will firmly hold to our faith and won’t be tempted later to turn back.
People are compared to salt in this passage. Once wet, salt can lose its flavor. When it dries nothing is left but a tasteless residue that is good for nothing! Many Christians blend into the world and avoid the cost of boldly living out their faith. They too are good for nothing as far as the Kingdom of Heaven is concerned. They become worthless and impact nothing and no one with the love of Jesus. Salt flavors and preserves food. We are to preserve the good in the world and bring new flavor to this life. This requires careful planning, willing sacrifice, and unwavering commitment to Jesus‘ Kingdom. If we fail to be “salty” we fail to represent Jesus in the world in the way that we were created, planned and purposed by God to do!
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
We all have a job to do. We are all important to God. We all have people within our sphere of influence that needs us to be “salty”.
Our children need us to grow them in the Lord and to live before them as good examples. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” What do you teach your children by the way you live? And by what you allow them to do? Are you raising them to look like the world and fit in or are you teaching them how to be “salty”, to stand up, and stand out for Jesus!
Jesus compared following him as hating everything and everyone else. This was, of course, not to say we are to hate. He’s trying to make a point that our love for him should be so great that every other form of relationship and affection in this world fails in comparison to our love for Him.
If we are struggling to live for Jesus how could we ever be ready to die for Him. This lesson boils down to our heart. Where is your heart ladies? Are you still living like this world is your home, seeking after the perfect relationship, the perfect home, the perfect job, happiness and success as this world would see it?
Matthew 16:26 “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
This world and everything in it will stop one day. It will cease to exist. The people in this world will step out into an eternity, either with our God in heaven or an eternity of judgement and total separation from God. What are we doing in our personal lives to impact eternity? Are you salty? Our job is to season and preserve this world for our God. What type of flavor are you bringing to the world around you?
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord God, I pray that You would search our heart and know it. Please forgive us when we fail You, for our disobedience, for our rebellious hearts, for our sin. Please take our stony stubborn hearts and replace them with a fleshy heart that is responsive to You.
Father, our hearts are desperately wicked. We are naturally bent to be like that dog that goes back to its vomit, or like that sheep that always goes astray and wonders from You. Only You can change our hearts and change our minds. Only you can give us the strength and the will and the ability to live for You as we should. So Father, bend us, break us, shape and mold our hearts and our lives for You. May we not waste one more breath that You have blessed us with. Teach us what it means to be “salty” for You. Show us practically and personally in our individual lives what we need to change, what we need to do to align ourselves and our purpose that You have for us.
Daddy, help us to love You above everything. Help us to love You with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind and all of our strength and help us to love each other with the love You give us. Teach us what it means to serve one another, to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Father only You can do this for us. We are totally dependent on You. Gather us under the protection of Your wings. You are where our help comes from. Our hope is in You. Our trust is in You. May we not verbally have the right answers to today’s lesson but instead may the beat of our hearts accurately and truthfully live this out before You in a way that is pleasing to You. You are a good good God. You can be trusted with our hearts and our very lives. Take our hearts and let them be all for You. Give us clean hands and clean hearts Father. May we not lift our souls to another. I pray this over every woman reading this today. In the powerful name of Jesus I ask. AMEN