KR13: Salt of the Earth

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13 NLT)

Kingdom Disciples are the salt of the earth. Within our families, among our neighbors, throughout our society and across the earth, we are called to add flavor—Kingdom Flavor. Jesus, the Source of this Flavor used the Beatitudes to describe the Flavor in words.

Once in my prayer journal, I wrote out my personal words to Jesus, as a response to His words:

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Revelation that we are spiritually empty without You, Lord Jesus, is the doorway into Your Kingdom. As we acknowledge our need, repent and turn to You, You lead us in.

“God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.”

Another revelation occurs; we realize our world is so unlike Your Kingdom. Ours is a world of brokenness—broken relationship with You, with ourselves, with one another and with nature. We mourn. But there is hope in You and Your plan for wholeness. We find comfort that You have a plan and we’re invited to join You in it.

“God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.”

Revelation comes that we cannot change the world unless we “walk humbly with our God.” You are the One with The Plan. You’ll show us as we walk with You—You leading the Way.

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
    for they will be satisfied.”

So much of human suffering and environmental degradation is rooted in injustice. “There is abundant food in the fallow ground of the poor, but it is swept away by injustice.” Often it is the need for food and water that leads to revolt and killing.

Anger and violence is not Your way. You have a Plan and we shall be satisfied as we follow You and Your Kingdom Ways.

“God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.”

We are to respond to the needy with mercy. You will show us how to do this well—have mercy upon us and show us—because we will not do it properly (creating paternalism, dependency) without You. You have The Plan.

“God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.”

Looking at our surroundings—we are confronted with the demand for justice and the cries for mercy. A barrage upon heart and mind creates temptation to respond in a purely human fashion. We however are called to Your side, to confess our failings and sins, to receive forgiveness and cleansing. To see You. To hear You. To move in communion with You and our brothers and sisters to see Your Kingdom come.

“God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.”

I know from experience, though we as Your followers are called to peace, we encounter conflict—even sometimes creating conflict among ourselves. We’re blessed as we learn to restore peace through honesty, forgiving and being forgiven.

As we love one another, we prove to be Your children and we will reflect Your Kingdom values.

“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Working with You and one another to change the world will result in backlash. Persecution will come. For many—in the neediest parts of our world—it has come, and with a vengeance.

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”

Yes we are happy! We are glad! Great reward is up ahead! You have blessed us with Your Kingdom. You have made Your Kingdom Disciples like salt. As we faithfully follow You, You will keep our Kingdom Flavor strong and we will salt and transform the whole earth.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: Rebecca Pippert’s book title says it: Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World. How are you and your fellowship getting out spreading Kingdom Flavor?

Kingdom prayer: Lord, stir us to action. Help us take the Kingdom Flavor You’ve given us and generously season our world. Amen.




KR11: Suffering Rejection? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” (Matthew 5:10 NLT)

Following Jesus makes our relationship with God right and makes our relationship with others right. As we trust and obey, He uses us to help make our world right. Yet to reach a world bent toward doing wrong, there is a price to pay. Persecution.

Today I received news from a friend. Several fellow disciples in Central Asia were told to deny their faith or be killed. They stood for Jesus, did what was right and died. It’s shocking and sad. In spite the terrible cost, somehow in faith we must trust Jesus who promised, “the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Recently another friend from a different part of Asia sent me a description of her own experiences with persecution. She confirms, yes, God blesses those who are persecuted. Her story:

It was hard for my family to accept my choice to follow Jesus. To them, Christianity was for the Westerners—we Asians should keep to our religion, traditions and family values.  Little did I know, becoming a Christian would mean I would have to stand up for my faith and for what I believe about Jesus. I went through six years of persecution from my family. 

In obedience to my parents I did not go to church. God was faithful and proved Himself very real to me during those times. The years of persecution were actually good years where I learned so much more about God and His commitment towards those who love Him and want to do His will. I would say they were bitter and sweet years.  Bitter, because of all the persecution I received from my family. Sweet, because through these experiences I learned to totally depend on God.  I had no choice. The Lord proved Himself to be very real to me.

During difficult times in my early walk with God, He always faithfully gave me friends to stand with me.  Although I could not meet them in the church, I was able to see them secretly.  For six years my friends supplied books and teaching tapes from their church, enabling me to continue to build my faith and walk in God. I was never left out in my learning of God. I learned self-discipline. Books became my “teachers.”  

Three years into the persecution, I was ready to give up my faith.  I remember fasting and praying one day to seek the deliverance of God from the persecution of my family.  That particular day, I challenged the Lord to answer my prayer.  Instead of answering my prayer, He chose to speak to me and asked me if His grace wasn’t enough for me.  It was so real, I heard the Lord call my name. He spoke to me out of the verse, II Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 

I broke down and cried before Him. Since then, there is no turning back. I know He is real and is able to carry me through any situation if I would allow Him to.  Truly His grace had been sufficient for me during such difficult years.  After the day when He spoke to me so clearly and personally, I still had to endure another three years of even worse persecution.  Yet just as He promised, His grace was indeed more than enough for me.

Looking back I would say these were my best years in my walk with God.  I learned so much about God and sharing with Him the joy of suffering for my faith in Jesus.  It made me strong in my commitment and my faith.

Walking in friendship with Jesus, filled with both the desire and ability to do what is right—no matter what. This is the Kingdom Life.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: How willing are you to do what is right even if you must suffer persecution?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, today many of Your people face severe persecution. We pray as the early church prayed, “And now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal….” Amen.