1998-07-03 - Saltiness
Jesus' Difficult Teachings, Part 17
This is a continuation of Saltiness
So what do we do if we have lost our saltiness, lost our vibrant walk with
Christ, when we don't seem to be making a difference in our worlds? Often
when we are not making a difference in our world not being salt and light,
it is because our walk with Christ has stagnated, or we have drifted from
Him. Here are some suggestions - some which have worked for me personally
and some which have worked for others.
Change your Bible-reading habits. Sometimes just changing the version we
are reading can show us a different light on a passage. When you have been
a Christian as long as I have - 26 years - to be frank, sometimes it's hard
to find anything fresh or new in something I have read up to hundreds
of times! But I have found that reading a passage in a different version
- or even comparing several - and asking God to help me apply it to my own
life, can reinvigorate my Christian study and walk.
(2 Tim 2:15 NNAS) "Be diligent to present yourself approved
to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling
the word of truth."
Get involved with a ministry at your church. God intends us to be involved
with a local church body. If you are like me, very active already at church,
try something new, a ministry you have never been involved in. The new people
and ideas can revitalize your service to God and your fellowman. Naturally
you need to take into account your gifts. However, as I have written in a
previous devotional, sometimes God wants us to move out of our comfort zones.
Pray for discernment and ask mature Christian friends for advice if you are
not sure what areas you might do well in. And then do it with gusto! Give
it the effort you would an important project at work or in school.
(Rom 12:7-8 NNAS) "if service, in his serving; or he who
teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his
exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence;
he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."
Fellowship with Christian friends who will spur you on in your walk. If you
have been blessed with someone(s) in your life who will hold you to high
standards, realize that for the gift it is, and keep your heart open to what
they have to say to you. They can be annoyingly right, but God
can really use Christian friends to help us grow spiritually. Friendships
such as these can provide support and accountability.
(Heb 10:24-25 NNAS) "and let us consider how to stimulate
one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our
own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;
and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Get involved in a Bible study with other Christians. It can be a group of
anywhere from 2 to 30 - whatever benefits you the most. We should all study
the Word on our own. But in group studies, we can reap the insights of others
who sometimes think differently than we can. Even the teachers and leaders
can learn from the students! Long-time Christians can learn from newbies.
Sometimes y'all make us think - you ask us questions that keep us searching
the Scriptures and learning, ourselves. And sometimes you have insights that
we have either forgotten or that have never occurred to us!
(Acts 2:42 NNAS) "They were continually devoting themselves
to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and
If you are not being fed at your local church, don't just let your walk stagnate.
Talk to your pastor about it. Try a different Sunday school class. Go to
a Bible study. If you just cannot get spiritually fed there, then pray for
God to lead you to another church. God intends for us to grow up in the faith.
(Eph 4:14-15 NNAS) "As a result, we are no longer to be
children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind
of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all
aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,"
I hope and pray that one or more of these will work for you. If they do,
I would love to hear about it.
Dear Father, please help us to retain or regain our saltiness. Help us
be discernibly different from those who are unsaved. In Jesus' name, amen.