Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Salty Tears

Tears stream down the face of a mother who discovers her son is dead from an overdose. Tears trickle down a mother’s cheek at the first site of her newborn baby. Tears flow from a dad when an adult child rejects his upbringing and wanders off into an unknown way of life. Tears gush from parents when their prodigal returns with redeemed love in her heart for them. Tears fall from family members as they stand at the grave site of their loved one now passed. Tears seep down a husband’s face when he hears the news of his wife’s returning cancer. Tears pour from an onlooker at the site of hate and violence in the streets. Tears drip from the eyes of a young woman experiencing pain in her body from an uncertain source. Tears cascaded down Jesus’ face when He stood at Lazarus’ tomb. 

At some point in life, every eye in the world will drop tears, even Jesus wept (John 11:35). Life presents enough troubles and difficulties to make us cry. Tears run down faces full of sadness as well as joy. Tears ran down Jesus’ face. Tears contain salt. 

Oh, you say, that salt again, but what a substance and what importance it plays in our lives. We need it to live and thrive. It’s in the fluids of our body—blood, sweat, and tears. It’s also found in animals and plants. Salt regulates nerve impulses, contracts muscles and heart, sends signals to the brain, aids in digestion, absorbs potassium, and on and on.  

But let’s go back to the tears. At some juncture in life, you’ve probably cried enough tears to taste the salt. Simply living presents many opportunities to cry happy and sad tears. We definitely know suffering prompts tears. And Jesus said suffering is an essential part of following Him.

What? Suffering? I didn’t know suffering was part of the package, you might say. Well then, consider the costs before following Jesus. He has salted His believers with His free gift of love and grace through His death and resurrection. He desires our complete salty trust and faithfulness to Him above everything. If you’ve counted the cost and you’re TOTALLY devoted to Him, no matter what happens, then offer your all and He will be with you through it all. If you’re not completely committed to Him, then you’ve lost your saltiness or effectiveness as His follower (Luke 14:25-35).

When you truly follow Jesus, you will blessed with His love, peace, and joy. You will also be blessed with rejection, persecution, and possibly death, and you will be in good company. Jesus said so in Matthew. 

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-11(NASB)

The world belongs to Satan and Satan is unrighteous, downright evil. When Jesus followers stand up against the problems of this world and speak out against sin, they encounter rejections of all types, from insults to the loss of businesses to death. Believers for generations have been persecuted for their faith. Oppression continues today in many parts of the world, and American Christians who have enjoyed freedom of religion are now experiencing forms of persecution. 

Yet have no fear because Jesus said He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Scripture tells us we will have trials when we stand for Him—these are the costs of discipleship. Look at all the difficulties encountered by the patriarchs and prophets—are we any different? God was faithful to each of them and He continues His faithfulness to each of His children now through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He promises to walk with us when we stand for Him and, regardless of the outcome, we’ll live with Him forever. Do you trust Him? Do you believe in His faithfulness?

Jesus told the crowd on the mountain that they would be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Jesus was persecuted and put to death for righteousness’ sake. On that cross, He took our sins and offered His righteousness. It’s like a covenant of salt—His grace for our trust. Will you receive His mercy and believe on His Name, even when salty tears fall down your face? Living a salty life is not guaranteed pain free, especially when a believer stands up for Jesus. But it is a matter of trusting Him—do you?

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NASB)

....who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.... 1 Peter 1:5-7 (NASB)

...let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds... Hebrews 10:22-24 (NASB)

AMEN! I’m learning to trust my salty God!!!!

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