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Moment in the Word

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“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”  (Matthew 5:13 NKJV)


“A Peanuts cartoon, showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. She said, “Guess what, Chuck. It’s the first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.” He said, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?” She said, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”  While Peppermint Patty was seeking to pass the buck, she was in a very real sense right. We should be a good influence on our friends.  We certainly do have an influence, for “good” or for “bad”.  As salt, we have an awesome opportunity to make an eternal difference in the lives of those around us.  Please allow me to share three truths about salt:

A.    Salt is Visible.
Notice that as Christians we are the salt of the earth. Our ministry is to a lost and dying world. We are to win lost souls and establish them in the faith.  The only way we can accomplish our God-given mission is to be a visible part of our society. We are not to hide ourselves within the confines of the four walls of the church building, totally isolated from the rest of the world.  We must remember - NO CONTACT, NO IMPACT!

B.    Salt is Valuable
In today’s society, we tend to miss the impact of what Jesus was saying in this verse. However, those in ancient societies understood the value of salt far better than we. The Romans believed, for instance, that there was nothing as valuable as salt, except for the sun. Many Roman soldiers received their pay in salt. Some have said that it was from this practice that the phrase “not worth his salt” originated.

Those listening to Jesus may not have understood all of what He was saying, but they knew that to be called “the salt of the earth” was to be something very special and valuable.  Jesus has chosen us (John 15:16), as believers, to do His work here on earth. We are of great value to Him. But not only are we of value to the Lord, but we are also of great value to the world, although they may not realize it or acknowledge it.

C.    Salt is Vital
Among its many other uses, salt is essential to the health of both humans and animals. In ancient days it was a vital part of the economy in terms of a source of revenue.

I want you to notice what Jesus says and does not say, He does not say, “You all can be the salt of the earth.” Nor does he say, “You all should be the salt of the earth.” Jesus says “You are the salt of the earth” and in the Greek it is literally “You and you alone are the salt of the earth.”

To be salt, we do not have to be spectacular
To be salt, we do not have to be sensational
To be salt, we do not have to be successful (by the world’s standards)
To be salt, we just have to affect our little corner of the world.


Please allow me to pose these questions that each and every one of us should ask ourselves:

Am I living as a person who understands that Almighty God values me?

Am I using my life to influence others for good?

And, finally, “Am I taking my responsibility to be ’salt’ seriously?”

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA


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