Salt Packets

For lunch, we entered a fast food drive thru. After ordering, I had to repeat half of it again. The muffled voice from the intercom gives me the total of thirteen dollars and some change. Obviously, he missed it when I said twice that I had a coupon for buy a combo get a combo free. He said it would be fixed by time I drive up to the second window. Once we arrived, the food and drinks were there and ready, now with the proper total. I hear a voice behind the glass asking if I want condiments, so I asked for ketchup. After testing a French fry, I asked for some salt also. I don’t know if the young man was upset that I asked for salt or that the average person in Kansas City uses two dozen packets of salt for their burger and fries, but I was now about to be given a huge handful of salt packets. As he transferred them from his hand to mine, they were overflowing out of my hand and I am sure that I dropped a few just trying to get them in the vehicle. I laid them on the console and just stared at them in amazement. Out of curiosity, I had to count them. ……..seventeen????? Who in the world uses seventeen packets of salt at one sitting? If a person had a regular habit of using that many per meal, I am sure that he would not live very long. Just guessing, but I am sure that when I sell my Suburban years down the road, the new owner will find some of these salt packets scattered about in it.

Paul talks about our speech being seasoned with salt in Colossians 4:6. He wanted the Colossian Christians to be kind to the “outsiders” (non-Christians) and to use every opportunity to reach them. The Colossian Christians needed to be kind to the outsiders; for I am sure they had a lot of questions, wondering why they are no longer attending the temple services. This would be an opportunity to preach Christ. They must not be disengaged with their city, but to be relevant, interesting, and kind in their speech and conduct as they live among the outsiders.

Sadly, some Christians have no contact with non-Christians. Now I am not saying to go and hang out at the bars with them and do all of the evil things that they do. I have heard it said that there are two types of friends: asset and liability friends. The liability friends are the ones that are living worldly. They need a solid role model to look at and plus befriending them gives you an opportunity to witness to them. Liability friends are not the ones that you go to for advice, because they do not know God’s word. An asset friend is one that is walking close to God. He/she is loyal, trustworthy, and will give you Godly advice.

When I worked as an account manager, I had many liability friends. I would not hang out with them in the bars or act like them, but I would get interested in things that they were interested in. I had one friend that was very interested in guns (scary interested). So I would do some research and the next time I would see him, I would tell him about this gun that I seen. He would not talk much, but when I came around, he would open up and talk a lot. I did this with many others. Topics ranged from remodeling, working out, hunting, hot rods, just to name a few. Many of these liability friends came to me for advice and I had the opportunity to point them to Christ. A few were saved, the rest at least had a seed planted or watered.

Be sure to reach out to your “outsiders” in your sphere of influence. Be kind to them and use every opportunity to point them to Christ. By making them your liability friends, they may be eternally grateful for it.

Oh yeah! If you need some salt packets, be sure to look me up.

Rebel Against Conformity

Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded Judah and basically took everything that he found to be valuable to him. It seemed to be a practice to not only take silver and gold, but to also take young men and women who might be useful to the Babylonian Empire. In this raid, Nebuchadnezzar took some young men that were good looking, well-educated, and had the ability to enter into the kings service. Among these young men were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. For the next three years they were to learn the literature and language of the Babylonians, so they would be able to be in the kings palace. Daniel had already made up his mind before hand not to eat the wonderful royal delicacies that the king assigned for them to eat. Daniel decided this because eating some of this food would have broke the Mosaic law dealing with unclean foods and the drinking of strong drink. Daniel talked with his overseer to see if he could eat only vegetables and drink water, but the overseer was fearful of losing his head. Then Daniel had to speak to the overseers boss for permission and he agreed for them to try that diet for ten days. At the end of the ten days, these four young men looked healthier than the others, so they were allowed to stay on their vegetable diet. Throughout this God’s hand was on these young men, because “in every matter of wisdom and insight the king asked them, he found them to be ten times better than any of the magicians and astrologers that were in his entire empire.” (Dan 1:20)

The text does not say how many young men were taken, but only four are mentioned that remembered their Jewish heritage and did not conform to their new world around them. It seems that they took a bold stand without the worry of “fitting in” or being popular among their peers. They knew that God would be with them and that He would bless them for their obedience to His Word.

If you are a follower of Christ, you must rebel against conformity to this world. Each time we follow the evil ways of this world, we are like silly putty being molded into something other than Christ likeness. I see Daniel here as a bright light shining during a dark time in Judah’s history. He refused to be conformed to the world around him. Be a Daniel, rebel against conformity to this world.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NASB)