40 Day Journey

Day 16

“You are the salt” not “You should be the salt”! The disciples are given no choice whether they want to be salt or not. No appeal is made to them to become the salt of the earth. Rather they just are salt whether they want to be or not, by the power of the call which has reached them. You are the salt․not “you have the salt.” It would diminish the meaning to equate the disciples’ message with salt, as the reformers did. What is meant is their whole existence, to the extent that it is newly grounded in Christ’s call to discipleship, that existence of which the Beatitudes speak. All those who follow Jesus’ call to discipleship are made by that call to be the salt of the earth in their whole existence.

Biblical Wisdom

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.” Matthew 5:13

Questions to Ponder

  • What are the qualities of salt that make it an apt metaphor for Jesus’ disciples?
  • If Christ’s call to discipleship changes our whole existence, in what ways should the disciple’s life be different from those who have not heard or ­accepted the call?
  • Is there any area of a disciple’s life that is exempt from the call to be the salt of the earth? Explain.

Psalm Fragment

Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
Turn my heart to your decrees,
and not to selfish gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at vanities;
give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:34-37

Journal Reflections

  • How does it feel to understand yourself as the salt of the earth?
  • How salty are you?
  • List the ways in which you are salt in your family, workplace, and community.

Intercessions

Think of places in your community where “salt” is needed. Pray for your community of faith that it may be up to the call to be salt in those places.

Prayer for Today

Lord, in response to your call, I want to be who you have made me, the salt of the earth.

Bible Gateway

A Still, Small Voice

July 24, 2018

From The Institute For Creation Research

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)

Elijah was in hiding for his life, even though God had spectacularly answered his prayer with fire from heaven. Jezebel, however, had not been intimidated by Elijah’s victory and swore she would kill him. He fell into such depression that he wanted to die. If Jezebel could not be impressed with fire from heaven, how could Elijah ever hope to defeat her and her armies? Not even an angel could remove his doubts.

But then was sent “a great and strong wind,” and “after the wind an earthquake” (1 Kings 19:11). But the Lord was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. God finally reached Elijah with “a still small voice,” and that voice assured him that God was well in control of all circumstances. Similarly, Moses told the children of Israel, as they faced the Red Sea: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 14:13).

It was prophesied of the Lord Jesus that “he shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.” Nevertheless, it was also promised “he shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth” (Isaiah 42:2, 4; see also Matthew 12:19-20).

In our human impatience, we think God should always move immediately in great strength. Unless there are large numbers of converts and displays of power, we grow discouraged, like Elijah. But God more often speaks in a still, small voice and works in a quiet way. “And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, . . . And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:18, 21). HMM

Governed by Love, Day 16

Today’s reading is drawn from Ephesians 1:7.

Jesus spoke of freedom, but he spoke of a different kind of freedom: the type of freedom that comes not through power but through submission. Not through control but through surrender. Not through possessions but through open hands.

God wants to emancipate his people; he wants to set them free. He wants his people to be not slaves but sons. He wants them governed not by law but by love.

We have been liberated from our own guilt and our own legalism. We have the freedom to pray and the freedom to love the God of our heart. And we have been forgiven by the who could condemn us. We are truly free!

from Walking with the Savior

Bible Gateway

Night Light for Couples

For Better and Worse?

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Did you hear the one about the wedding ceremony of a young contract lawyer and his bride? When the minister got to the vows, he intoned, “Do you take this woman for better? For worse? For richer? For poorer? In sickness? And in health?” He was startled to hear the groom cautiously reply, “Yes. No. Yes.

No. No. And yes.” Of course, we’d all like to sign up for the better, richer, and healthier parts when we get married and forget all that other stuff. But that’s not the way marriage works because that’s not the way life works.

In another wedding ceremony, this one real, the bride and groom pledged to stay married as long as they continued to love each other. Let’s hope they both know good divorce attorneys, because they’re going to need them. Relationships based on feelings are necessarily ephemeral and transitory. The only real stability in marriage is produced by firm commitments that hold two people steady when emotions are fluctuating wildly. Without such determination, even the best relationship is destined to disintegrate.

Just between us…

  • Are you still as committed to me as you were when we married?
  • Are we prepared to “hang tough” when the going gets difficult?
  • Why do you think so many couples don’t stay together?
  • What kind of commitment does the Lord expect of us?
  • What can we do to make sure our commitment to marriage stays strong?

Dear God, in Your presence we renew our whole-hearted choice to love. Bless this holy commitment with courage, strength, tenacity—and most of all joy! Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.