Last week, when I wrote about our need for deep, refining relationships, I referred to an article by Del Fehsenfield in Revive. That same article provided an example of two men who determined to go deeper and build a refining friendship. There are no formulas for such notions, so these men decided to keep it simple: For 30 days, they would read the same Bible passages each day and have a quick phone call before work to discuss what they learned and how they would apply it to their lives. The change and growth have been so remarkable that the men have continued the practice; it’s now been 928 days.
I shared this article with my lodge ladies (this is what I call my twice-monthly refinement group—long story!—and here’s a shout out to them: hey gals! love you!), and we decided to try something similar. We are taking two weeks to ponder Jesus’ teachings within the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5–7. Each day we are reading, studying, meditating on these verses, making note of all that the Lord is impressing upon us. When we meet next, we’ll share how it went and make adjustments for the next few weeks.
It’s been one week, and I think we could have spent both weeks on just one of the three chapters! Jesus had a lot to say, all of it breathtaking and powerful. To those who longed to be Jesus’ disciples, He said this:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” —Matthew 5:13
Jesus had a way of looking at the commonplace and making it an illustration. My study Bible has a note that “most of the salt used in Israel came from the Dead Sea and was full of impurities. This caused it to lose some of its flavor.” Salt was common, and tasteless salt was familiar; the people could readily relate to this example.
Salt brings out food’s flavor. If Jesus is calling His disciples to be salt that is flavorful, that means my life must bring zest to others in a spiritual sense.
Impurities cause salt to lose its flavor, rending it useless. In a spiritual sense, then, the impurities in my life will render my reflection of God useless.
Salt also increases thirst. If Jesus is calling His disciples to be salty, then my life should awaken in others a thirst for God.
Salt seems to have a pretty big job on its hands. As do I, to be a salty disciple of Jesus. (Good thing God promises to make me what I am not and what I can’t make myself to be.) Jesus has a way of making the common seem extraordinary, doesn’t He?