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How valuable is salt to humanity and christianity?

Forty million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine.Plato called it a “substance dear to the gods.” Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays. Perhaps Leonardo da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted “The Last Supper.”In that painting an overturned salt shaker is conspicuously placed before Judas.

In ancient Greece, a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, “Not worth his salt.” Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as “Solarium Argentums” the forerunner of the English word salary.

Thousands of Napoleon’s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal. Their bodies lacked salt. The human body contains about 4 oz. of salt. Without enough of it, muscles won‘t contract, blood won’t circulate, food won’t digest and the heart won’t beat. Without a doubt, salt is essential to life.

Jesus says about us, his disciples, in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”  These words are part of the “Sermon on the Mount” where Jesus is using common symbols like salt, light and bushel baskets to tell us to go out and tell people about him. Let our light shine. Don’t hide our faith in a bushel basket. Be the salt of the earth.  What are you doing to help others come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ? 

I found this amazing story of evangelism. Fortunately, we do not have to endure such brutality to share the gospel in our country.  I hope it inspires you to pray for someone who needs faith in Jesus Christ. It is about a man named Joseph who lived in Africa. One day, Joseph met someone who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. Then and there he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

The power of the Spirit began transforming his life. All he wanted to do was return to his village and share the good news with the members of his local tribe.  Joseph began telling everyone he met about the cross of Jesus and the salvation it offered.  He expected to see their faces light up with joy, but they became violent.  The men of the village seized him and held him to the ground while the women beat him with strands of barbed wire. He was dragged out of the village and left to die alone in the bush.

Joseph somehow managed to crawl to a waterhole, and there, after days of passing in and out of consciousness, found the strength to get up. He wondered about the hostile reception he had received from the people he had known all his life. He decided he must have left something out or told the story of Jesus incorrectly.  After rehearsing the message he had first heard, he decided to go back and share his faith once more.

Joseph limped into the circle of huts and began to proclaim Jesus.  “He died for you, so that you might find forgiveness and come to know the living God” he pleaded.  Again he was grabbed by the men of the village and held while the women beat him. Once more they dragged him unconscious from the village and left him to die.  By the grace of God, he survived again and returned a third time to tell them about Jesus.  Before he had a chance to open his mouth they started flogging him. Before he passed out he declared the lordship of Jesus Christ.  The last thing he saw was that the women who were beating him began to weep.

This time he awoke in his own bed. The ones who had so severely beaten him were now trying to save his life and nurse him back to health. The entire village had come to Christ.  (Adapted from John Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad, pp.95f.)

Who are you praying for, so that God may use you to guide them to Christ?  What is your story of conversion that you could tell if someone asked why you are a Christian? Our world needs a little saltiness, and I hope you will answer the call of Christ to be that in other’s lives.

Take some time to pray about who needs you to be salt in their life. Get involved in their life. Look for opportunities to care and serve them and share Christian love. Ask God to open the doors to tell them about your faith and/or invite them to church.

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles go to lagrangepres.com.