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Salty Words

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6


Today salt is an abundant mineral that is commonly used by people worldwide. So, does this verse encourage believers to fill their conversations with topics that are common to all?

During Biblical times salt was far from common. It was necessary for food preservation, but was not easy to obtain. Therefore, salt was highly valued, so much so, that it was used for trade and even currency. Roman soldiers were paid an allowance for the purchase of salt. When a soldier did his job well, he was said to be ‘worth his salt,’ a phrase that is still used to describe someone who is valued, respected or deserving of wages earned.

Therefore, conversations that are seasoned with salt are those deemed valuable from God’s perspective. The uses of salt can give us insight into how to use our conversations for good.

Salt is a mineral used to bring out the best flavor in food. How many of your conversations are purposed to bring out the best in others? How are you using your words to encourage others toward holiness? 

Salt is used for preservation. We believers know the means of spiritual preservation. Those who believe in Jesus will escape destruction and will receive eternal life. Who needs to hear the words of life from you or me today? Many hearts are cold, hardened toward Jesus, but salt is used to melt ice. God can use your conversations with unbelievers to warm their hearts toward Him and bring about belief.

Salt is also used to aid in healing. Even as a surgeon’s knife removes what is diseased and brings healing, so the sword of God’s Word spoken through you can strengthen others to remove that which is detrimental. The Word of God spoken through you can bring encouragement to the discouraged, direction to the confused, and hope to those in despair. 

Salt can accomplish great good. So, believer, let’s determine to make our conversations more salty. 

Lord, refine my conversations so that they are less common and more valuable in Your sight.


Jan Burkhart

Words of Power

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6


She had a vivacious personality. She loved to have fun and laughed often. She was a girl people loved being around, until a group of jealous classmates started a vicious rumor about her. Later, the rumor was proved to be untrue, but the damage was done. The victim’s reputation was stained. Throughout our school days, she was never the same.

The child’s rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is quite untrue. The spoken word is powerful. Words have the power to do great harm, but they also have power to do great good.

How can I be sure that my words are used for good? By aligning my words with the Word of God. God’s Word powerfully transforms. In the beginning God spoke and darkness was shattered. God spoke and the universe came into being. God spoke and the diseased and maimed were healed. God spoke and the dead were raised. God spoke to my heart, and I became a new person.

God’s Word is powerful and needs to be heard by all. People all around us are living in darkness and confusion. They need to hear truth that will transform them. People are in despair and need to hear words of hope and encouragement. People are lost and need direction. People are dying and need the words of eternal life. Believer, how well do you know God’s Word so that you can speak His truth to others? How diligently are you studying and proclaiming His Word?

What will I choose today? Will my conversations be filled with evil words that bring harm to others? Will my words be wasted? Will my conversation be filled with that which is meaningless and temporary? Or will I seek to share God’s truth to someone living in confusion? To those living in darkness and despair, will I share the word of life and hope found only in the Word of God? 

Lord, use my words today for good and for Your glory. Speak your truth through me to those who need to hear.


Jan Burkhart

Words of Grace

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6


Have you ever done something wrong and needed grace and forgiveness from others? John 8 describes a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. More than likely, this woman had been framed by the religious leaders who were looking for a means of discrediting Jesus in the eyes of the Jewish people. Her guilt was certain, but the motive behind the accusation of the religious leaders was highly questionable.

What would Jesus do? Would He go against Roman law by enforcing the Jewish law of having her stoned? Would He ignore the law and in the eyes of the Jews condone adultery?

When the woman was brought to Him, Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground. He did not respond immediately. Then he stood and said, If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:7). He bent down again and began to write, as one by one the woman’s accusers left.

Jesus alone was left before the woman. He, who had never sinned, was the only one who could have condemned her. Yet, He spoke words of grace saying, Then neither do I condemn you. He encouraged the woman toward righteousness by saying, Go now and leave your life of sin (John 8:11).

Let your conversation always be full of grace (Colossians 4:6). Who needs to hear words of grace from me? Am I most often like the religious leaders—quick to expose the sin of others and quick to condemn, or do I follow the example of Jesus? Do I pause, do I pray, do I seek wise words of grace in which to respond to others? How often do I refrain from ‘throwing stones’ and use my words instead to guide a person toward righteousness?

Lord, I often find it is easier to speak words of condemnation instead of words of grace. Help me follow Your example, Jesus. Help me be slow to speak in difficult circumstances. Give me wise, gracious words to extend to others that will lead them toward righteousness.


Jan Burkhart

Let the Sonshine

Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O Lord.
Psalm 4:6b


God spoke light into being at creation. He then created the sun to give us light and life. The sunlight helps plants to grow, keeps us warm, and helps us know when it is daytime. The sunlight also enables our bodies to produce vitamin D. I didn’t know much about this little vitamin until I was told that I was deficient in it.

I soon learned that a lack of vitamin D may result in fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, joint pain, weight gain, headaches and poor concentration, to name a few. It is implicated in several diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, bone diseases and even asthma.

Few foods contain vitamin D. We mostly get it from the sunlight. Fifteen minutes a day in the sun is all it takes to receive sufficient amounts vitamin D.

The physical and spiritual parallels are striking.

I suffer spiritual heart disease that is unaffected by what I eat. The only remedy is a little Sonshine. For God made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). As I sit at Jesus’ feet, He changes my heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

If I stay away from God’s word too long, my mind wanders from edifying, positive thoughts to destructive, negative ones. I become fearful, irritable and distracted. The prescription? A good dose of the light of God’s Word to renew my mind.

Without God’s light to energize me, everything I do becomes laborious and dull. But the joy of the Lord is [my] strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

God wants to bless us with both physical and spiritual light proceeding from His radiant face. 

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).



Terri

Out of Season

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2

  
The sun is shining radiantly. The warm mid 70’s temperature beckons me outside. The spring flowers are blooming brightly - only it isn’t spring. It is the middle of winter. 

The faithful flowers are responding to the unseasonably warm weather we are experiencing this year. That they are out of season doesn’t deter them. They just keep popping open in beautiful splendor.

I’ve often wondered why Jesus cursed a fig tree for not bearing figs when it wasn’t even the season for figs. Although the passage in Mark 11:12-14 can be taken symbolically, it also has a practical side. Looking at the facts, Jesus is hungry. He is looking for food. The tree is full of leaves. He expects figs to be on the tree. There are none. It is not the season for figs.

So why does Jesus expect figs on the fig tree when they aren’t in season? Like my flowering plants, the fig leaves had come out earlier than usual. Since the tree was full of leaves, it should have produced at least some figs. There were none. The fig tree was not fulfilling its God-ordained purpose for existence, bearing figs for nourishment.

Unlike the fig tree, the spring flowers were bursting forth as God had created them to do, regardless of the season.

Paul encourages us in 2 Timothy 4:2 to be ready in season and out of season to share the nourishing Word with the spiritually hungry. I find it easier to be ready in season - prepared to teach a class or speak or write. I like to know what I am going to share ahead of time. I am very uncomfortable on the spur of the moment. But God is faithful. The more I draw close to Him, the more He prepares me to fulfill His purpose for my life. 

Father, may I display Your beauty and glory whatever the season.



Terri