Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 21, 2014

Here is what Jesus has established through His teaching of the Beatitudes:

"If you recognize your moral depravity and it breaks your heart and brings you to submitting to God's salvation you are blessed! If you crave to be filled with His righteousness you are blessed! If you extend mercy to those who mistreat you and if you become pure in heart and a peacemaker you will be blessed! You will also come under persecution, rejection and slander when you have the blessing of God upon your life."

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." Matthew 5:13

So, what's happening here is Jesus wants to know how you intend to respond to the threat of persecution. Will you regard yourself as helpless or will you be hopeful? 

He calls you to influence your world in positive powerful ways like salt impacts the world, adding flavor, purifying, preserving, and healing where it is sprinkled.

When faced with His own impending persecution, Jesus prayed this prayer for you:

"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." John 17:14-18

The value of salt is only as good as the flavor it adds as it interacts with food. Salt needs to be on the food not of the food. If the salt takes on the flavor of the food it is worthless. But if it adds flavor or enhances the flavor of that food it becomes desirable and valued.

Paul in writing to persecuted Christians in Rome, encourages them to respond to their persecutors with kindness in order to overwhelm the evil being visited upon them.

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

Salt influences its environment it isn't influenced by it. Salt positively flavors, purifies and preserves where it is sprinkled.

So, taken in full context, those who live the Kingdom life will be persecuted. But because God's character is active in their lives when they are persecuted they become even more valuable, like salt.

If you are a follower of Christ your life will either be salt or it will be an insult.

Which will you choose today?