Each One Reach One
Two thousand years ago, Jesus sat down on the grass surrounded by a lush green hillside with His disciples. With multitudes around Him, He spoke words of blessing to the crowd. The words He spoke that day have not lost their significance, relevance, meaning or purpose. Often called the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes, we’ll focus on His assertion in Matthew 5, “You are the salt of the earth.”
During the first century, salt had a dual purpose in the Middle East. Because of the lack of refrigeration, salt was used to preserve food; salt was used then, as now, as a flavor enhancer. In Ellen G. White’s Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, we read, ”Salt is valued for its preservative properties; and when God calls His children salt, He would teach them that His purpose in making them the subjects of His grace is that they may become agents in saving others.”
I really love the way Joseph Kidder, professor of Christian Ministry at Andrews University, expresses the real life application about salt! He says, “The absolutely most effective way of reaching people for the Gospel is through personal influence. So what does God do? He takes full time ministers and disguises them as teachers, police officers, construction workers and nurses. He gives them the necessary gifts, passions, credentials, and then He assigns them to schools, police departments, construction sites and clinics everywhere. Like salt from a saltshaker, God scatters His full time ministers everywhere to suit His flavor.”
“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.” Matthew 5:13. Whatever your occupation, age or calling; whether a student, retired, man or woman; God has called you to make personal contact with those around you.
White’s Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings continues, “Salt must be mingled with the substance to which it is added; it must penetrate and infuse in order to preserve. So it is through personal contact and association that men are reached by the saving power of the gospel. They are not saved in masses, but as individuals. Personal influence is a power. We must come close to those whom we desire to benefit.”
As “salty Christians” we can learn some very important lessons from the Dead Sea, an inland lake at the end of the Jordan Valley with no outlets for water it receives. The fact that the sea has no outlet means its salt content is approximately five times the concentration of the ocean. The salt content also causes a condition in which no form of marine life can live. As the salt of the earth, our churches can become a “Dead Sea”: if there’s no outlet, there’s no outreach.
Jesus spoke words of blessings. Today you can make your own blessing list of your circle of influence for whom God would have you intercede on a regular basis. Pray for your relatives, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, enemies, etc. Each one can reach one, so be the salt of the earth as you intercede for those around you!
By Michael Smith, Ministerial Director