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Salt of the Earth, Light of the World

Jesus burst onto the scene 2,000 years ago with an authority no one had ever seen before. He was also a master of words, painting profound pictures of truth by transforming ordinary surroundings of their day into images we haven’t been able to shake since. Perhaps none are more powerful than when he told us that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In Jesus’ day, salt was known for two things. Like today, it was a seasoning that brought flavor to the foods they ate. More importantly, though, salt was used to preserve meat. When Jesus said we are “salt,” he was saying that we bring a joy and vitality to life that needs to be tasted (see Psalm 34:8) and that we possess within us the one thing that keeps this world from rotting! 

He then said we are the light of the world. If you’ve ever been in a dark place that was unfamiliar, you know the value of light. It keeps you from wandering off the path, getting lost, falling down or — as every scary movie seems to obsess about — being attacked by a dangerous enemy. But light isn’t only a deterrent. It’s also a source of hope. Lighthouses point the way home to ships struggling through the waves to find the shore. In poetry and song, one of the most prominent images of hope is light breaking through the clouds.

And you are the light.

You are the salt.

Notice Jesus didn’t say you could be light or salt if you try hard enough. He said you are. This reality of the new nature beats in your chest. You are salt. You are light. And you are surrounded by people right now who need hope, direction, joy and preservation of compassion and conscience so that their love doesn't grow cold. As you focus your gaze on your God today, allow his light to fill you and to reflect out of you!

“Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life!” Philippians 2:14-16

“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 city 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


1. Who are some people in your life who are looking to you for direction and hope? In what

ways are you shining a light that inspires them? Now, for the tougher part: ask the Lord to reveal if there are any places where your example doesn't look like salt and light. Give it to him.

2. Ask the Lord to reveal to you some tangible ways you can shine hope to those you

encounter today.

3. Are there any places your love feels like it is “growing cold,” i.e., any places you are

becoming hardened, cynical or pessimistic? If so, be honest before God and ask him to change your heart so that you can clearly shine a focused light of who he is!


“Fill me up as I pour you out!” 

Prayer: Father, lead me in your path today. I choose to let your light fill me and to illuminate everyone around me. Help me to be so salty with your love that my family and friends want to drink deeply of your fountain. Help me to be bold and speak your truth without fear. Thank you for shining through me.

Listening Time: Stop for a few minutes and ask the Lord what he wants to say to you. He might bring to mind a picture, a word, a song, an encouragement, a Scripture or an answer to a burden in your heart. Don’t rush or feel pressure to figure out the meaning of your impressions. Just invite him to speak and draw or write down what you sense. Afterward, ask God to help you discern and understand what he is saying to you. You might want to ask other trusted friends in the Kingdom for their input as well. 

Tools for family devotion: Talk about salt and its uses and what it means to be “salty” Christians. Talk about how your family can be a presence of salt and light in the relationships around you. Pray together for lost family, friends and co-workers.

Tools for praying for others: Pray Psalm 34:8 — “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Pray for someone who is heading down the wrong path to see the light. 

Adapted from "Life in the Overflow Devotional" © 2017 by Chuck Ammons, with Cindy Ackerman and Chris Thomas. Available on

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