Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 13 August 2015

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” Mark 9 verse 50.

This verse gives credence to the verses yesterday and the analysis of them that God is refining us by salting us with fire.

Tell me:   have you ever lost your way?

I’ll admit:   from time to time, I feel like I have.   We all go through up’s and down’s; times when we just can’t seem to get motivated, or when we feel our game is off.   On a long-term project, it sometimes feels like you’re fighting against a crowd that never gives up while you never make real progress.   When following politics, it seems like the other side is always winning, that your side always seems to fold just when they fail to realize they’re actually holding all the cards.   In your marriage, there are times when you feel you just really don’t connect, that you just don’t understand each other and have seemingly grown apart.

Have you ever considered that maybe these times are actually a gift from God?

Huh?

I mean it. The up’s and down’s can actually be a blessing because it’s in the down times when we get to assess what’s really important.   A good coach will say attitude is everything, and that’s true.   Yet even with a healthy attitude most of the time, the best of us still get in a slump (especially if you’re a Chicago Cubs fan). In those slump times, we get to ask ourselves if we’re salty, if we still have our mojo, if we’re still on track.   And when we find we aren’t, there is always the North Star of the Gospel to help us find our way back.

In this way, God refines us.   He salts us to poison the well of our sins.   He salts us to increase our potency.   He salts us to remind us that we are His and that He yearns to live His love through us.   And He salts us to remind us that He is allowing or using our sins to do things that we couldn’t do while we were reveling in those sins. On the other side of it – and being prepared to deal with future sin – we gain clarity.   More appropriate, we are given clarity by God. We get to see how we have been salted and refined so that we might edify others through our experience.

God tells us to have faith and hold on to our saltiness.   He refines us through the bad times and implores us to hold onto our flavor even when the bland things in life try to wash it away. And in doing so, Jesus reminds us to flavor each other with His salty gospel.   We are to always work to be at peace with each other, yet the more we ‘work’ at this, the more we find that the only peace that matters is the peace of God which transcends all understanding.   Peace isn’t the absence of conflict.   Real peace is the presence of Jesus.   You’ll find it tastes salty but pleasing and full of contentment.

Lord Jesus, make me salty for You.   Refine me with Your grace, salt me with Your love, and teach me to salt others for You.

Read Mark 10, verses 1-12.

 

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