Diluted or Polluted?

“Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.” -Leviticus 2:13 (NLT)

“Never forget to add salt…” was the command for this grain offering. The significance of the grain offering was that it represented honoring and worshiping God alone, acknowledging He alone is the Provider for all His Children. We cannot overlook the great significance of this offering. It is clear we are to honor and worship God alone and that God is our Provider. We are His temple, and our foundation is Christ. Since Christ is our foundation, then it is God alone whom we bring honor and glory to in what we say, what we do, and how we live. This grain offering could be offered by anyone even if he/she was poor. Anyone can honor and worship God alone. We are living sacrifices before God.

Let me explain the significance of salt: Back in Bible times, some middle eastern lands would gift someone with salt if they were making an agreement. Gifting with salt in those days represented that an agreement or legally binding contract (covenant) was permanent. Simply put, the gift of salt you gave to the one you made an agreement with represented a permanent agreement, a lasting and unchanged agreement indefinitely. That is why the salt could not be forgotten on the grain offering. The salt added to the grain offering was symbolic, representing the permanent covenant God and His People had. When this offering was made by the people of God, God was pleased by their intentions and motivation in making this offering. When we offer the sacrifice of praise and when we worship the Lord in how we live, we bring honor to God. “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him,” (Romans 12:1 NLT).

Salt can be diluted or polluted. “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). Job had this to say about unsalted food in Chapter 6 Verse 6, “Don’t people complain about unsalted food? Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg?” There are a few things we must understand: (1) We are used to the chemical compound we call “table salt.” (2) The salt we know is not the salt they had back in the days of Jesus, and (3) Jesus used salt an example. If you were to look at me, you would not see a pile of salt. Jesus used salt as a way to describe the Remnant, the People of God.

Let’s agree on one thing. If we are going to eat, we want our food seasoned. We don’t want to eat bland food. We want flavorful food that tastes good. God wants us the salt of the earth to keep all its flavor and not to lose any of flavor by being diluted or polluted. If we lose our flavor by being complacent, then we are diluted salt -in other words we lose our godly influence in the world we live in, and we become rendered ineffective in ministry and to reach out to seek and save the lost. When we lose our godly influence, how will others see God being glorified through us? When we are complacent, then we are diluted salt. Salt can even be diluted to the point where you cannot even taste the salt.

Being salt that has not lost flavor is representative of God being active in your life, preserving you from the wickedness of this world and from the evil one. Being salt also shows that God has shown His grace and mercy to you, restoring and healing and forgiving you of your iniquities and transgressions.

Are you salt that still has all of its flavor? Are you polluted salt that has bought into the vain imaginations and philosophies of this world, or are you diluted salt whose flavor has been lessened by indifference or by complacency?

Let us not allow ourselves to lose our flavor. Let us strive to be ready at all times to serve the Lord effectively by having our roots deeply rooted in Christ and being grounded in the Word of God. Let us be the salt of the earth, bringing God glory as we are His hands extended (“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV). Let us not be polluted by the things of this world but fix our eyes on Him who is the Author and the Finisher of our Faith. Let us never lose our influence in this world so that we might seek and save the lost by the power of His Holy Spirit working through us (“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone,'” Mark 16:15 NLT). God can only work through us when we are sold out for Him.

Heavenly Father, You alone are worthy of glory and honor. You alone are my Provider. Thank You for the blessings You have bestowed upon me. Thank You that I can freely worship You. Let me be the salt of the earth. Be my Instructor, and help me and remind me You are the One who sustains and keeps me. Teach me how not to be the salt that loses its flavor. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Build Your Foundation On The Rock

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” -Luke 6:46-49 ESV

The foundation upon which you build your life upon matters. Eventually when the storms of life strike that is when the foundation of your life will be tested and tried. Are you building your life upon Jesus Christ, the Sure Foundation, or are you building your life upon what is temporary? Be like the wise man who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house upon the rock that could not be shaken when it was struck.

Linda A. Knowles

Judgment Begins In The Household of God

As I was reading and studying the Word this morning, I couldn’t help but find myself with a very sobering thought:  Judgment begins in the Household of God.  No one can escape God’s judgment, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God,” (Romans 14:12).  The closer the return of Christ is the more we see things in this world unravel.  It is important that we remain vigilant in our walk with the Lord.  This is not a time to be slacking.  This is a time to rise up.  Stand up for God’s truth.  Do not back down.

The prophet Ezekiel was given a message to the people of Judah.  The Temple of the Lord had been defiled.  They had chance after chance to repent and turn from their wicked ways, but they still chose to disobey and live lives of evil.  God’s mercy and grace gives us a chance to repent.  God’s mercy and grace gives us a chance to turn from our evil ways.  God’s mercy and grace also provides us with warnings.  When we do not heed the warning of God, then we find ourselves in positions where the ax of God’s judgment will strike.

If you are a leader of any kind, you are not exempt from God’s judgment.  Those who are in leadership are judged more harshly than those they lead. James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. ”  And this is where I find myself saying, “God, never let me go” because verses like this make me shudder.  We are responsible to those we lead, those who follow our example.  We are either godly leaders or we are leading people to destruction.  The leaders of Judah knew this too well.  The people should have been able to look to their leaders to learn about the Word of God and they should have seen their leaders living examples of godly lives, instead, they defiled the temple, and the judgment of God began with them.  Check out this verse found in Ezekiel 9:6, “‘Slaughter the old men, the young men and maidens, the women and children, but do not go near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders who were before the temple.”  You are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and YOU are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  If you are truly living for the Lord, then you will do everything you can such as following the laws of God and His commands so that you do not grieve the Holy Spirit.  

Remember in Ezekiel, the glory of the Lord had to leave the Temple because the Temple had become so defiled.  The Spirit will not always strive with man.  You will either submit to the ways of God now and surrender or you will end up paying the consequences of not serving God.  God’s holiness is perfect, and because the Temple was no longer a place the glory of God could dwell, the glory of the Lord left the Temple.  

Is there anything in your life that is grieving the Holy Spirit?  Are you truly loving God with all your heart?  Have you determined to set your face like flint in order to do His will?  Are you lukewarm or complacent?  Are you backslidden? 

I encourage you to resolve to live for God no matter what the cost.  It truly is a matter of spiritual life and death.  Don’t sacrifice your eternal destiny for the things this world offers you.  This world cannot offer you salvation.
Matthew 3:9-10 says, “And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. ”  The ax of God’s judgment is ready to cut any tree at its root that does not bear spiritual fruit.  In other words, if you are claiming you have a relationship with Christ but living in whatever way you want, you are a tree that is not producing spiritual fruit.  

According to the Word of God, GOD DOES SAVE, and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  The good news is there is hope for those who are repentant and turn from their wicked ways.  There is peace for those who have their minds fixed on God because they trust in Him.  Remember to resolve yourself to live for God and follow His commands, His ways.  

Heavenly Father, You are the Lord of all Creation.  You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  You are from Everlasting to Everlasting.  I surrender to You, O Lord, to live as You would have me to live.  Give me the courage to stand up for Your truth and Your ways.  Fill me with Your Spirit and give me the wisdom and discernment to know right from wrong.  Be my Instructor in all things.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles