You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people
light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to
everyone in the house.    In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see
your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16.


Everybody is familiar with salt and light. They are found in virtually every household in the world. Jesus Himself, as a boy in the Nazareth home, must have watched His mother Mary use salt in the kitchen and light the lamps when the sun went down. He knew their practical usefulness.


1. Christians are fundamentally different from non-Christians, or ought to be.

Both images set the two communities apart. The world is dark, Jesus implied, but you are to be its light. The world is dark, Jesus implied, but we are to be its light.

The world is decaying, but we are to be its salt, and hinder its decay. In English idiom we might say they are as different as ‘chalk from cheese’ or ‘oil from water’; Jesus said they are as different as light from darkness, and salt from decay. This is a major theme of the whole Bible. God is calling out from the world a people for Himself, and the vocation of this people is to be ‘holy’ or ‘different’. ‘Be holy,’ He says to them again and again, ‘because I am holy.’

2. Christians must permeate non-Christian society.

Although Christians are (or should be) morally and spiritual distinct from non-Christians, they are not to be socially segregated. On the contrary, their light is to shine into the darkness, and their salt to soak into the decaying meat. The lamp does no good if it is put under a bed or a bowl, and the salt does no good if it stays in the salt cellar.

Similarly, Christians are not to remain aloof from society, where they cannot affect it, but become immersed in its life. They are to let their light shine, so that their good deeds are seen.

3. Christians must influence non-Christians society.

Before the days of refrigeration, salt was the best-known preservative. Either it was rubbed into fish and meat, or they were left to soak in it. In this way the decaying process was retarded, though not of course entirely arrested. Light is even more obviously effective; when the light is switched on, the darkness is actually dispelled. Just so, Jesus seems to have meant, Christians can hinder social decay and dispel the darkness of evil.

William Temple wrote of the ‘pervasive sweetening of life and of all human relationships by those who carry with them something of the mind of Christ’.

Our Christian habit is to bewail the world’s deteriorating standards with an air of rather self-righteous dismay. We criticize its violence, dishonesty, immorality, disregard for human life, and materialistic greed. ‘The world is going down to the drain’, we say with a shrug. But whose fault is it? Who is to blame?

Let me put it like this. If the house is dark when nightfall comes, there is no sense in blaming the house, for that is what happens when the sun goes down. The question to ask is ‘Where is the light?’ If the meat goes bad and we cannot eat it, there is no sense in blaming the meat, for that is what happens when the bacteria are left alone to breed. The question to ask is ‘Where is the salt?’ In the same vein, if society deteriorates and standards decline, till it becomes like a dark night or stinking fish, there is no sense in blaming society, for that is what happens when fallen men and women are left to themselves, and human selfishness goes unchecked. The question to ask is ‘Where is the church?’ Why are the salt and light of Jesus Christ not permeating and changing society?’ It is sheer hypocrisy on our part to raise our eyebrows, shrug our shoulders or wring our hands. The Lord Jesus told us to be the world’s salt and light. If therefore darkness and rottenness abound, it is our fault and we must accept the blame.

4. Christians must retain their Christian distinctiveness.

If salt does not retain its saltiness, it is good for nothing. If light does not retain its brightness, it becomes ineffective. So we who claim to be Christ’s followers have to fulfill two conditions if we are to do any good for Him. On the one hand we have to permeate non-Christian society, and immerse ourselves in the life of the world. On the other, while doing so, we have to avoid becoming assimilated to the world. We must retain our Christian convictions, values, standards and lifestyle.

If asked what the ‘saltiness’ and ‘brightness’ of Christian holiness are, the rest of the Sermon on the Mount gives us the answer. Jesus tells us not to be like others around us: “Do not be like them’ – Matthew 6:8a. Instead, He calls us to a greater righteousness (of the heart), a wider love (even of enemies), a deeper devotion (of children coming to their Father) and a nobler ambition (seeking first God’s rule and righteousness). It is only as we choose and follow His way, that our salt will retain its saltiness, our light will shine, we shall be His effective witness and servants, and exert a wholesome influence on society.

Stay Blessed!

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“Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers” – Psalm 1:1-3 NIV.

The Bible is more than just a book you put on your shelf. It’s a pathway to God’s blessing.
Over and over in God’s Word, we’re told that studying and applying the Bible leads to blessing.
For example, the Bible says, “Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers” – Psalm 1:1-3 NIV.

What does it mean to meditate? Some people think it means to put your mind in neutral and contemplate the lint on your navel as you say, “Ommmmmm.”

But that’s not what meditation is!

Meditation is seriously thinking about something. You meditate on God’s Word when you read a verse, think about what it means, and ask yourself how you could apply it to your life.
Doing this, Psalm 1:1-3 says, is like planting deep roots into the ground. It means you won’t get blown over when troubles come.

God won’t bless you if you’re not digging in and studying the Bible.

I want whatever you do to prosper. I want your life to be filled with meaning and purpose. But for God’s blessing, the Bible says you must not only read God’s Word but also study it.

I want whatever you do to prosper in the years ahead. But God makes the condition clear. If you want his blessing, you must study his Word.
James 1:25 tells us how: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (NIV).

If you want God to bless you, commit to looking intently at the Word, continuing to examine Scripture, remembering what you’ve read, and obeying what it teaches you to do.
It’s not complicated. But it’ll change your life.



SOURCE: Culled from Rick Warren.


What does trust really mean?  Let me help you understand by using the word T-R-U-S-T as an acronym.

“T” stands for trust…which means that if you are going to trust Him, you have to take Him at His word.  Even if it seems like it is not true, you take Him at His word.  If we will take Him at His word, He will guide us through the course of life and bring us across the finish line safely.

“R” stands for rest.  The Bible tells us to rest in the Lord.  1 Peter 5:7 says, Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  Do not worry.  Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but you don’t get anywhere.

“U” stands for understanding.  Proverbs 3:5 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  Sometimes things just won’t make sense to your understanding.

“S” stands for speech.

The final “T” stands for thanksgiving.  We offer thanks to God in advance.  Philippians 4:6 says, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  When we offer thanks to God, it is an expression of our faith.

That’s T-R-U-S-T!


SOURCE: Culled from Answers for each day.


” Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV).

How do you learn to “R.E.L.A.X.” in the liberating grace of God?

R—Realize nobody’s perfect.

Psalm 119:96 is a verse directed toward God, and it declares, “Nothing is perfect except your words” (TLB). What society tells you isn’t perfect. What popular opinion tells you isn’t perfect. What you learned growing up isn’t perfect. But God’s Word is perfect. When you get in the Bible and build your life on it, you will have a perfect foundation.

E—Enjoy God’s unconditional love.

The Bible says, “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children—think of it—and we really are!” (1 John 3:1 TLB) When you become a follower of Christ, you’re not just a servant of God anymore. You are a child of the King. A servant is accepted on the basis of what he does; a child is accepted on the basis of who he is. A servant starts the day anxious and worried that her work will please her master; a child rests in the secure love of her family. A servant is accepted because of his workmanship; a child is accepted because of his relationship.

L—Let God handle things.

What do you do about the uncontrollable things in life? “Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). When you’re fishing and you cast a line, there comes a point where you have to take your finger off the button and let it go. Just like the essence of casting is letting go, to overcome perfectionism you have to let go and let God do his work.

A—Act in faith, not fear.

Remember how you got into God’s family in the first place. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.” There’s no other way to get into heaven except by grace. You’ll never be good enough, and you can’t buy your way in. It’s a free gift from God.

X—Exchange your perfectionism for God’s peace.

Perfectionism destroys peace. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest . . . Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (The Message). What a deal!

You’re going to fail a lot in life. But you don’t have to worry about it if you’ve received God’s grace. In fact, there’s only one failure you ever need to worry about: “Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV). Receive it right now, and then relax!


SOURCE: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.


” If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 TLB).

When you learn how to relax in God’s liberating grace and break out of the prison of perfectionism, you will find a new level of joy and freedom in your life. Why? Because perfectionism is destructive to your life in several ways.

It defeats your initiative.

Have you ever had a project you haven’t been able to get started? You think, “One of these days I’m going to get around to it,” but you just can’t take that first step. One possible reason is perfectionism. You’re waiting for the perfect circumstance or timing, or you’re waiting until the kids get out of school, or you’re waiting until a certain amount of money comes in. When you set your standards so high, perfectionism causes paralysis, and you can’t get anything done.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 11:4, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (TLB).

It damages your relationships.

Nobody likes being nagged or corrected all the time. It’s frustrating and irritating! The Bible says, “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends” (Proverbs 17:9 TLB). Perfectionism—the desire to always correct—damages relationships because it’s rooted in insecurity. Perfectionists who are harsh and demanding on other people are really harsh and demanding on themselves.

It destroys your happiness.

Ecclesiastes 7:16 says, “Don’t be too virtuous, and don’t be too wise. Why make yourself miserable?” (GW). This Scripture isn’t talking about genuine righteousness or real wisdom. It’s talking about perfectionism. You can transform any virtue into a vice by taking it to the extreme.

Your worst nag lives under your skin, because you are your own worst critic. (That’s true for all of us!) Since we tend to resent and even dislike people who nag us, if you’re always nagging yourself, what does that say about you? It says that you don’t like yourself. You think you’re not good enough. And you think reminding yourself what’s wrong with you is going to motivate you into doing the right thing. It’s not! That’s called perfectionism, and it causes you to constantly put yourself down.


SOURCE: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.