Devotion, Grace, with a Dash of Salt…

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful….be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  (Colossians 4:2,5,6) 

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Dear Christ-followers, how are we representing Christ to the world around us?  How are we representing Christ to other believers and to those who have yet to accept Christ?  Are our conversations ALWAYS full of grace?  Or are they only sprinkled with marginal grace while the rest is so full of “know it all ignorance and judgement”?  

We may be the only living example of Christ that others might see…no pressure or anything, but what kind of example are we setting?  Are we consistent in our testimony of Him and in the ways that we conduct ourselves?  If you are anything like me you too struggle with these consistencies.  I am not trying to make us feel guilty today, but let me go a step further; how is your prayer life?  

Prayer is Vital!

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The very first words of the section of Colossians speaks of devoting our lives to prayer.  Prayer is THAT important!  We shouldn’t view prayer as our last resort but our primary weapon and the source of strength and endurance in this life. The word “Devote” implies a deep commitment, something that becomes our sole focus just as we become devoted to our spouse in a lifetime commitment to marriage.  Becoming devoted to prayer is a serious commitment, not a part time job!  Prayer shouldn’t be treated flippantly!  Either we are committed to prayer or we aren’t.  Prayer is our lifeline to God.  It is our source of hope, restoration, and renewal of strength for the journey that we are on.  

Wrapping it up:

 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we still have our struggles.  We still endure hardships of many kinds.  Yet may we be devoted together in prayer for one another, and coupled with that, may we also be full of grace and seasoned so that our consistency of testimony and action be an accurate representation of the One who has taken up residence within us through Salvation by the shedding of His blood.  Do not quit this fight or grow weary of one another!  Stay in this fight!  Work side by side with each other even when we share differences.  For just as Christ prayed that His disciples would be united, He too prays this for us as well!  

-Just a thought for us today!  

Salt: Flavor & Preserver

“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 by men.” Matthew 5:13

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Did you know that salt is not only a flavoring element within food, but is also a preserver of food?  Salt has been one of those ancient ways in which people have used to prevent food from rotting.  So when Jesus told those gathered there that they were salt of the earth, he chose a topic with which the people would understand.  Still today food is of epic importance to our survival as people.  We can last for a long time without it, but food nourishes us, sustains us and provides us with the appropriate vitamins and nutrients.  Without those vital components in life, we will eventually perish.

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Jesus brought his message home to those who would listen that this world is perishing.  All things have an expiration date…yet what will preserve us?  What will make us last a little longer?  What will inject much needed flavor into our world?  The answer is simply those who will follow after God’s own heart!

This world will eventually pass away, and sometimes we may think it may be in our life time when we see unspeakable horrors and violence, humans turning on other humans, death and destruction…our world is a violent place.  Yet, the preserving element of life is God who is the author and sustainer of all things.  When we align our hearts, body and soul to Him, we find that the outpouring of this faith is love, peace, hope and joy…something this world desperately needs more of!

When we display love without strings attached, a joy without ulterior motives other than for others to find this same joy as well, we will inject our worlds with just a little bit of God’s epic flavor.

So how about it?  Are you prepared to be God’s preservationist?  Are you prepared to offer a dying world hope in the eternal one?  Being salt to a flavorless and empty world is what we ought to strive for!

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Another interesting notion in this passage of scripture for us to grasp is that typically all of the salt that was utilized in Israel at the time of Jesus was brought up from the Dead sea, which as you may know is extremely salty.  But there is also something else about the salt content of the Dead sea that you may not know.  The salt deposits within this body of water is full of impurities and often, after time, will lose its flavor.

Jesus instructed, perhaps even pleaded with this audience that we should never lose our flavor.  If we are to provide a flavorless world with the undaunted grace and richness of God then we must be mindful to always draw from His source of power and might.  Because if we stop drawing from Him and instead begin to rely on our own merits and flavor, we will lose the very essence of His character and love to a world so desperate to find hope.

Be flavor and a preserver to this world through the power of the One who sent us out into it!    Never let this hope diminish or lose its flavor!

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