I’m delighted to have another friend sharing on my blog today, Julia Melatis. We served together on the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Prayer Warrior Team. She is such a blessing. Be sure to show your appreciation for her in the comment section.
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13 NLT Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” Have you ever wondered what the full depth of this statement is for us? I always assumed it meant that the way we live our lives should make others thirsty for the truth of God’s Word and for Jesus to be their Savior. And certainly that’s part of it. But last week as I was praying for the Lord to make me light and salt, He revealed something else to me about salt. It has healing properties, but in an open wound it can also sting. Hmmm, I’ve had to really think about this. I know I use warm salt water to help soothe and heal a sore throat. But if you have an open wound and get salt into it, “OUCH!” that stings. So. Salt. I had to look deeper. When I googled, uses for salt, it came up with 149,000,000 entries. According to saltworks.us, “Besides making food delicious, it’s believed there are more than 14,000 uses for salt.”1 Some of the 14,000 uses for salt include:
- To accent and deepen the flavor of food.
- To preserve food, especially meats to keep them from spoiling. Also in canning.
- Healing (as with table salt in a gargle or with Epsom salt as a soak).
- Melting ice on the road
- Water conditioning to make “hard” water “soft.”
- In the fire when firing pottery to make the glaze stronger. “Salt firing is a vapor-glazing process where salt (sodium chloride) is introduced into kiln firebox at high temperature. The salt vaporizes, and sodium vapor combines with silica in clay surface, forming extremely hard sodium-silicate glaze.”2
Let’s take a closer look at these uses for salt and see how we can apply them to our spiritual life.
- Salt as flavoring. We definitely need to have the “flavor” of being a disciple of Jesus in how we think, speak, and act. Verse 13 does specifically address the issue of flavor. We don’t want to lose our flavor. In Revelation Jesus tells John to write a letter to the church at Laodicea. In it He tells them: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! Revelation 3:15-16 NLT
Could this be likened to salt losing it’s flavor? I think so. How can we be sure that we do not lose our flavor or become lukewarm? Studying, memorizing, and most importantly living out the Word. In Psalm 40:8 David writes, “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” We need to know the Word to live the Word and let it “flavor” our lives with the likeness of Jesus.
- Salt as a preservative. In biblical times there was no refrigeration to keep their food from spoiling. Any meat or fish they could not eat right away would have to be salted and dried to keep it from spoiling. In Jesus our eternal spirits are preserved for eternal life, thus rescuing us from eternal death and hell. As the followers of Jesus, he has called us (Matthew 28:18-20) to make disciples, thus preserving the spirits of others for eternal life in Him.
- How does salt aid in health and healing? Salt is a vitally essential element for health and life for the physical body. If we sweat and lose too much water and salt we can die. Salts like Epsom salt are used to aid in “relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating cold and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body.”3
From this I would say that as “salt” we should be doing what we can through prayer and ministry to help bring not only physical healing, but also emotional, and spiritual healing to people around us. Sometimes God calls us to speak the truth of the Word into someone’s life not in judgment, but to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and this may sting at first, but if the recipient receives it well, it will bring life and health to their soul and spirit.
- Salt that melts ice on the road, hmmm. I see this as helping to melt (soften) someone’s heart toward God or a person, again through prayer and ministry of the Word. It should also remind us to keep our own hearts from becoming hard toward God and people. Thus helping us to remain pliable pieces of clay in the Master’s hands.
- Salt as a water softener. My first reaction is to write, “See number 4.” But WAIT, hard water isn’t actually hard to the touch. Rather, it is harsh toward the things it touches. I think that this should remind us to be careful with our words that we are not harsh, and that “every action must be done with love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 HCSB). James 3:6 (NLT) says, “the tongue is a flame of fire.” Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) says, “The tongue can bring death or life…” Words have power! They are conceived in our thoughts before they are on our tongue. “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say” Matthew 12:34 NLT. I like to pray Psalm 141:3 (HCSB) over my words, “LORD, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.” Having key Scriptures memorized, so we can pray them and live them help us keep our thoughts, words, and actions in line with God’s will.
- Salt firing produces an extremely hard glaze on pottery. As spiritual salt I see this as God’s Armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). A protection against the attacks of the enemy. Something that as we are in the fire of troubles and trials forms over us as we allow the Holy Spirit to work from within us to teach and guide us in living for Jesus.
I am also reminded of the refiner’s fire in Malachi 3:3, and the analogy of the Potter and the clay in Jeremiah 18:1-5. Interesting that both the silver and the pottery involve fire for the process to be completed and a pure and useful product emerges. So, let’s take one last look at our theme verse. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13 NLT Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so very much and for Your Word and the Holy Spirit to teach us! We pray this verse over ourselves today. We ask that You would help us understand what we learned about being salt and apply it to our lives each and every day. We want to serve You and others with heart wide open, so we can love You and others more fully. We also ask that others will see Jesus more clearly in us and become thirsty for Him in their own lives. We pray this in Jesus’ holy and precious name, amen.
Blessings and peace, Julia Melatis ( oursoulsanchor.wordpress.com)
* Quoted from http://saltworks.us/salt_info/salt-uses-and-tips.asp
*** Quoted from http://saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp