Bible Passage For Meditation: Matthew 5:1-14
Key Verse: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13
“Are you an Adventist?” the leader of the group asked me. At that moment, I wished I could just disappear. I was an immature, unconverted college student and had just used some very unkind profanities to tell some rowdy teenagers to leave my car alone. When they found out I was attending a local Adventist school, the leader mentioned someone he knew who went there and then asked if I was an Adventist also. Even though I was barely going to church at the time, I remember feeling horrible about how I had represented my Christianity.
My actions that day left a foul taste in the mouths of those young, impressionable minds. The fact is, whether we intend to or not, we all have a constant influence on those around us. Jesus illustrated this with the metaphor of salt: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13).
So what “taste” is left in people’s mouths after being around me? Does it make them want to know my God more, or does it make them turn away in disgust? Truly, as Ellen White writes, “The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 470). However, of myself, I’m not very loving. When someone mistreats me, my tendency is to respond and protect self. But God has promised us that when we are filled with the Spirit, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. And that fruit will taste good!
Just imagine the impact you will have on the non-Christians in your sphere of influence when you react to your angry boss with patience; when you are joyful even when your car breaks down or inconveniences pile up; when your travel plans are changed and everyone is angry with the gate agent at the airport, but you remain kind; when you go the extra mile to give that rude waiter a pleasant word of encouragement. Of course, you can’t do these things on your own, but you do them because you are so filled with the Holy Spirit that Christ’s character has started to become your character.
Inspiration tells us, “If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 189).
I want everyone around me to want to know Jesus because they can taste His fruit in my life. Let’s pray that we bear more of Christ’ Spirit so that the world can truly “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Father in heaven, naturally we fall short of Your wonderful, loving character. But You have chosen us to bear fruit (John 15:16), so please bear the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts today. Please make us so overflowing with Your goodness that everyone we come into contact with will want to know what is different about us. Jesus, live in us today so that our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family can truly taste and see that You are good! Please fill us with Your Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Zac Page
(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)