Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seasons Seasonings

I was watching my son prepare the corn for our Christmas meal this year. He was helping my wife prepare things so she didn't have to do EVERYTHING like she usually does. He had placed some butter on the corn after he had extracted the dish from the microwave. Then he picked up some seasoning salt and began sprinkling it on the corn.

"Too much salt," I thought to myself. "That's really going to be more seasoning than I would like." I began to wonder how I could un-season the corn, if that were even possible. More butter perhaps?

My son is a good cook. We have eaten many meals that he has prepared, each one tasted good. He knew what he was doing. Even so, this time I thought he might be making things too salty.

Guess what. The corn tasted fine despite my concern.

We all have our opinions about how much seasoning should be put on our food. Here's a question for you. Do you salt your french fries before you even taste them? I do. Why? Maybe those fries are super-salty already and you are just adding to the seasoning, making them inedible. Yet I still feel that I need to add something to the mix. Why? Do I feel like I have to be in charge of the seasoning?

How much "salt" are we supposed to apply to the people we meet? Will too much salt (too much talk about Jesus) make people think that Christianity doesn't taste very good?

It is true that Jesus called us the salt of the earth alright. But then He said something else as well. Apparently we can lose our saltiness. And if we don't season the lives of those around us we are called "good-for-nothings."

13You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." - Matthew 5:13

There are some people I can talk to about Jesus all day long. We love to talk about Him and His Word, The Bible. Conversations about God and His Holy Spirit never seem too burdensome. We just love talking about Jesus! But not everyone does. Not everyone believes. So are we still supposed to talk to them? Even those who have turned their back on Jesus? YES!

BUT we need to remember that while we are the ones who season, we are NOT the ones who provide the meal. We are not the ones who do the saving. There is nothing that WE ourselves can do to save anyone! God can get along just fine without us. We don't have to pray The Sinner's Prayer with everyone, nor should we. Such instructions from Jesus simply do not exist. But we DO need to love everyone. Think back a moment. What was it that Jesus said about the greatest commandment?

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” - Matthew 22:36-40

Instead of trying to figure out ways we can get to pray the sinners prayer with people, we need to think of ways we can show them the love of Christ. God's Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.

My brother-in-law prayed the sinners prayer with his mother before she died. Did that save her? No. I believe that what saved his mom was her realization that what my brother-in-law was saying was true. She came to realize that truth through the love he showed her in telling her about Jesus. I believe it was his actions, his loving acts that got her attention and made her believe, through the Holy Spirit, that what he was saying about Jesus was true. It was God's Holy Spirit working on her, not my brother-in-law. He did the seasoning.

"8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

We are the seasoning. God in His mercy and grace is the meal. Our job is to love others. And the best way to do that is to tell people about Jesus. We shouldn't apply too much seasoning . . . just enough. It is the meal that is the deal. We really just need to invite people to dinner.

"16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

Salt and Light - John Piper

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