One of the household duties that my wife has assigned to me is that of filling the salt shakers. I gather the shakers from around the house and carefully pour the salt into each one. Inevitably some of it gets spilled but I quickly wipe up the excess.
Jesus spoke to his followers about salt. He said that we are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13). In Bible times salt was used as a preservative from spoilage. It also serves as a seasoning to food. Salt also has the capacity to create thirst.
It is not too difficult to see how Jesus wants us to be the salt of the earth. By our words and our witness we should aid in keeping the environment around us from the spoilage of sin. We should season our speech with the salt of a distinctive biblical witness. Paul told the believers in Colosse: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:6). We need to sprinkle the salt of a distinctive biblical witness into our conversations. Salt should come from our lips but also from our lives. However, before we can do that we need to spend time filling our own salt shakers. We must take the time to be sure that the pure undiluted Word of God is poured carefully into our own soul. We have to study the Word and learn God’s directives. We must also discipline ourselves to be salty Christians. The salt of a pure and holy walk with God must be poured into our daily walk.
I am told that the salt content of the Atlantic Ocean is greater than that of the Pacific Ocean. But the salt content of the Dead Sea is the greatest of all. Just as the oceans of the world differ in their salt content so does the child of God. Someone once said that salt is useless until it gets out of the shaker. However it is also true that salt can’t be sprinkled out until it is poured into the shaker.
It began while I was driving through West Texas. The wind had picked up and made it difficult driving the small Dodge pickup truck against the headwind. The wind was also blowing the dust from the surrounding countryside across the highway which reduced visibility. The wind continued to blow through New Mexico and Arizona. It got so bad that the Interstate was closed due to the danger caused by the dust storm. The detour took me miles away from my destination.
Though blown around by the wind I finally arrived safe and sound. I then began to think of how the Devil creates dust storms in our lives. He creates trouble in our home life and stirs up gossip in our church life. He lures us into sin and tempts us leave God out of our daily walk. His dust storms also cloud our vision of God’s direction for our lives. Those devilish winds try to blow us off the road and can take us on a long detour outside of God’s will. How can we survive the Devil’s dust storms?
We are told to resist Him in James 4:7: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. We need to hold tightly to the wheel and decisively refuse to be bullied by Him. We also need to be informed as to his methods of attacking us. In 2 Cor. 2:11 Paul challenges us with these words: “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices”. Knowing how he tries to attack us helps us not to be ambushed. Another way we can deal with the Devil’s dust storms is for us to keep our eyes on the road. Heb. 12:2 exhorts us that no matter how strong the winds get and no matter how dark the pathway becomes we need to be: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”.
Have you been blown around by the Devil’s dust storms? Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on Jesus.
I confess that I am a bird nut. I continuously add to my list of birds I have seen. I finally discovered a trail that was known for the habitat of a bird for which I have been searching for 10 years, that elusive rare bird called the Florida scrub jay. After two hours scouring the landscape and listening carefully I was getting very frustrated that I had not recorded my treasured sighting. It was then that I had to chastise myself for my bad mood. It had, after all been a wonderful hike. I observed the beauty of cardinals and blue jays. I heard the soulful call of bobwhites and mourning doves. I was delighted with the beauty of wildflowers and enjoyed discovering 2 different birds I had never seen before.
I wonder how often we miss the everyday beauty in our search for something new, something rare. The heart of man tends to be always on the hunt for some new pleasure, something that he has never seen, never tasted, never experience before. Solomon relates his experience in Ecclesiastes 2:10-11: “Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun”. We need to learn the joy of simple pleasures and be delighted with everyday beauty. We must learn to fill our heart with the love of our own spouse, to be satisfied with the delights that can be found in our own back yard.
Before I got back to my truck and went home I did see a solitary bird way up in a tree. As I got closer I discovered that it was a scrub jay. Isn’t that the way the Lord works. Before He gives us anything more we need to be happy with what we have.
I love fishing. That balance between peaceful rest and anticipated excitement makes it the perfect recreation for me. That is why it was such a wonderful gift when a dear lady purchased for me and my associate pastor a chartered fishing trip with an expert guide. The day finally arrived when we were able to get on the water. It was such a great day for fishing with the beautiful blue sky, the sights, the sounds, and the smells of God’s creation as well as the fellowship of good company. We caught a good number of fish and totally delighted in the day.
Everyone has some type of activity that fills their heart with joy. Paul was writing to the Colossian believers and encouraged them to fill their hearts with 3 specific spiritual delights. He knew that their redeemed heart would be thrilled in the pursuit. Col. 3:16, 17 says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”.
First we should allow the Word of Christ to delight us as we allow it to dwell in our hearts. The delight comes when we move past the mere reading of the Bible to meditating on it and allowing it to change us. Another delight of the redeemed heart comes as we worship Christ. With songs on our lips and grace in our hearts we lift our voice and our minds up to the Lord in praise and adoration. Finally Paul challenges us with another thrilling delight. It is the fulfilling activity of our work for Christ. Verse 17 tells us that whatever we do in word or deed we are to do it in the lovely name of Jesus.
Each of us have certain activities that will give us a delightful day. But when we dwell on the Word of Christ, engage in worship of Christ, and plunge into work for Christ we will have a delightful life.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation