Robert Morris — Engaging Influencers
We're in a series called "REAL", REAL is an acronym that stands for Relevant, Engaging, Authentic, Life. And we're really talking about sharing our faith and being witnesses in the world. And last week we talked about Real Fisherman, this week we're gonna talk about Engaging Influencers, in other words, God gives us influence — now this is gonna be one of those wise statements that I have. God gives us influence to influence. See how wise that was? In other words, we're gonna have to engage people. We're gonna have to be engaging ourselves. So, engaging influencers, and we're gonna talk about it from scripture, and God gives us two examples of influencers that we are. That we are, not just that we're like, we are.
So look in Matthew 5, this is part of the Sermon on the Mount, verse 13. "You are the salt of the earth", you are the salt of the earth. Oh this is just gonna be so good here in a moment. I wanted to tell you right now how good that is, but I'll tell you in a moment. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor", or it's savor, its ability to influence. "How shall it be seasoned? It's then good for nothing", it's where the phrase good for nothing came... nevermind. "It's good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men". Then look at verse 14, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven".
Now last week we talked about how He used the analogy of fishing to the fishermen, now we're talking about He's using the analogies of salt and light, but he takes it a step further even, and He says this, "you are, you actually are salt and you are light". So, this week's message only has two points, number one, you are salt. You are salt. He said it very clearly. How could He say you are salt? And I personally don't believe He was talking about the salt content in your body, although you are .4% salt, if you didn't know that. It would be .04 if you want to think about it that way, but it is four tenths of one. You don't care at all. My wife when I said all those numbers she had no clue, nor does she care. But let me put it to you this way, okay, so I could break it down into pounds very easily, you could do that mathematically taking your weight by .4 but another way to do it would be by teaspoons.
So if you weigh 125 pounds you have 45 teaspoons of salt in your body. Just think about 45 teaspoons already in your body. If you weigh about 200 pounds, like some of us, then you have about 75 teaspoons of salt. So, when Jesus said, "you are salt" obviously that's what He was talking about, right? Of course not. He was talking about salt as an influence. It's an influence. You might not know this but salt is mentioned more in the Bible than you might think. Even in the Old Testament — this is going to shock you, but when you gave sacrifices, and you know sacrifices were in the Old Testament, all through the Old Testament, you actually had to season every sacrifice with salt.
So, we know that everything in the Old Testament represents something, but let me show you the scriptures and then tell you what it represents. Leviticus 2:13, "And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant", notice the phrase salt of the covenant, "of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt". Numbers 18:19, "All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; It is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord with you and your descendants with you".
Okay, so why does God say this? It's because salt preserves. It's because salt is symbolic of eternity. It is symbolic of causing something to continue to last. So He calls it a covenant of salt because He says, "I'm going to preserve you". Now, hear me about this, we talk about the perseverance of the saints, but I would like to talk about the preservation of the saints. This is different. Three times, twice in the Psalms, once in Proverbs this is where we get it, and I think we mix it up and we say the perseverance of the saints, but it's really the preservation, three times, twice in Psalms, once in Proverbs, God says, "I preserve the souls of my saints". That makes me feel good because it's not my sticking power, it's His staying power. It's God who preserves my soul forever. I'm going to live forever because of Jesus Christ, so it's symbolic of eternity.
I was sharing this with Debbie, and I said salt, and do you know what salt symbolizes in the Bible? She said I don't have any clue. I said it's eternity, it symbolizes eternity. And she said, well maybe that's why you and I like salt so much, because our marriage is an eternal covenant. What's funny is all the women, aww, all the men are like, yeah who cares, get on with the message, come on, keep going, get back to the salt stuff. How many teaspoons in our body? Okay. So salt is a preservative, now hear me. He said, "you are the salt of the world, of the earth". Listen, listen carefully, we are preserving our world from ending. We are preserving our society from decaying. The more you take Christian faith principals and morals out of society the quicker that society will die and decay.
You think about it. We took prayer out of our schools, look what's happened. We took the ten commandments out, look what's happened. The sooner you take the salt out... but it doesn't... I would love prayer in schools, I would love to see all that, but there are still Christians in schools. There's still Christians in courtrooms. There could be Christians on the school board. Christians on the city council, Christians in the state legislature, and we could preserve our society because we are salt. We are salt, that's what God said, that's what Jesus said. Salt also makes things taste good. We make God taste good, hopefully. Some Christians are not good for anything, just to be thrown out, and it said trampled underfoot. You know what they actually did with bad salt? They put it on their streets to keep grass from growing. It would kill everything you put it on. That's what bad salt does. So it's just trodden underfoot. But good salt makes God taste good. We talked last week, taste and see that the Lord is good. We can, because we're salt we can make taste good.
I can remember some of the mission trips — I go on like nice mission trips now, nice hotels, nice cities, nice places. You know, things like that, it's great. Years ago, we used to go on some primitive mission trips, and if you've done it, you've stayed in a hut and you know, stuff like that. And some of those, it's amazing what you eat, you get served, you know. And they'll say it like this, "Oh God has provided a blessing for us. He has provided monkey brains". Praise the lord. Could you pass the salt, please? I actually used to get dehydrated on these mission trips, and I found out flying so long will dehydrate you, you need to drink a lot of water on long airplane flights, I wasn't drinking enough water. Sometimes you're afraid to drink the water. Bottled water was not as available in some of these places, and then I salted everything, which was, you know, dried me out. But salt makes things taste good.
Okay, but how does salt? It says if salt loses its flavor, it's kind of a modern word, but savor is the word. How does it lose its savor? Okay, so how does salt become bad in the natural? Salt is right up, it's underground, and it's right up next to the rock. Hopefully right there you got it. 1 Corinthians says that that rock they drank from the same water in the desert and that rock was Christ. So, it's right up next to the rock, and it's purified by the washing of water over it. Hopefully you got that one too, cause Ephesians 5 says that we're washed by the water of the word. So the way you stay pure, and see there's earthly elements, I'm talking about salt in the dirt now, there's dirt, there's other stuff that's in the soil, and so it could become contaminated, but the way that salt stays pure, is it stays right up next to the rock and allows the water to wash over it. Are y'all getting this? Stay close to Jesus and in the word.
Otherwise all of us could end up doing something foolish, and if we do something foolish we could lose our witness. Are y'all following me? Okay, cause I really think this is good stuff. I mean, okay... no you don't have to clap. Not now it's too late, it's too late. We're supposed to be an influence everywhere we go, so let me tell you a story I thought about, cause I was a little foolish in my influence but I didn't do something bad, okay, just let me say that. But we were on an elder's retreat with Shady Grove elders and we went snow skiing, we would meet in the mornings and pray and worship and talk about the vision of the church and all, and then we'd do something fun in the afternoons to relax and be friends together, and so we went snow skiing.
And one of my friends had never skied before, and so I was trying to help him, and I checked on him every now and then, he was on the bunny slope. He's 6'5, about 280 pounds, biggest bunny on the slope. And I thought, "you know what, I'm gonna take him on the easiest green slope there is". So we got ready to get on the chair, I said, "Now when the chair goes by you gotta go pretty fast, we gotta get up there and get on the next chair". You know, so when the first chair went by, I took off, he fell, and a lady skied up beside me, I think she'd been watching knowing he'd fall, and sat on the chair. I'm watching to see the chair, I turn around and there's this lady there.
And she started talking to me, and not in a good way. And she started saying things about, you know, "Would you like to meet later and have drinks"? Or something like that, and so I thought, the first thing that came to my mind was I said, "I'm married". And she said, "Well I am too". And I thought, "You know, I've gotta do something kind of abrupt here, cause... to cut this off you know, and so this is what came to my mind. I just said, "Well, I'm married to two people". And she said, "Oh really"? And she scooted over, you know, you can't go far on a ski lift you know. She scooted over a little bit. And then I shared my testimony with her and we had like 15 minutes you know, to the top, and I thought, "Listen lady, you started it, so you're gonna get the whole testimony, and you're gonna get the gospel, and you know, and it's 50 feet to the ground.
Just be an influence wherever you go, alright. There are probably better ways, but alright, here's number two. You're light. You're salt, you are light. Now, I could have said we, but I'm just using the pronoun Jesus used, you, to make it personal to all of us. You are salt, and you are light. Now here's what gets me, and this has happened to you. You read something in the Bible and you think, "That reminds me of another verse". So, when I read you are the light of the world, it reminded me of another verse, the other verse was in John when Jesus said, "I am the light of the world". So I thought, no, we're not really the light of the world, you're the light of the world. And it's like the Lord said to me, "Did I say you're the light of the world"? Yeah you did but you also said that you were the light of the world. "Yeah, but I said you're the light of the world".
So I had to go over to John 8 to figure it out, and I read John 8 and I didn't quite get it, and then I read John 9 and I got a little bit more, then I got to John 12 and I got it even more. So, let me show you how Jesus can say, "I am the light of the world". And then how He can also say you are the light of the world, alright. So John 8:12 says, "Then Jesus spoke to them again", that's because He'd said this before, "saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life". John 9:5, watch this carefully, "As long as I am in the world", as long as I'm on earth, "I am the light of the world".
And then John 12:35, "Then Jesus said to them" — okay, wait, take the scripture down because everyone will read it and not listen. Alright, you gotta remember that John 12 begins a change. John 12 He begins to prepare them for the end, John 13 He washes their feet, John 14, 15, and 16 is the conversation at the last supper. John 17 is the prayer in the garden. John 18 He's arrested and tried. John 19 He's crucified. John 20 He rises from the dead and appears to His disciples, and John 21 He appears to His disciples eight days later. Okay, so John 12 He's beginning to tell them, "I'm about to be taken out of the world".
Are you all following me? So that's important alright. John 12:35, "Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light", now he's talking to His disciples, "believe in the light," watch this, "that you may become sons of the light". See, Jesus is not in His incarnate form, which incarnate means in the flesh. He's not in the flesh anymore as one person, but He's still in the flesh. He's in us. As a matter of fact, it's so clear in the scripture, just to remind you, we are called the what of Christ? The body. We are the body of Christ on the earth right now.
The light is in us. So that's how He said you're the light of the world, as long as I'm in the world, I'm the light of the world, but when I leave, you're gonna be the light of the world. The only light this world will have will be you. And if you don't shine, if you put your light under a basket, then we're gonna be in trouble. I want you to think about that. As I said, serve on the city councils, if we don't vote biblical principles, if we don't speak up, our world is gonna continue to decay. It's gonna get darker and darker. The only way our world is gonna get lighter and lighter is if we'll take the baskets off. And a whole bunch of people have baskets on, they have baskets of fear, you know, I'm afraid what would happen. They have baskets of shame, you know, I'm not worthy. Well that's never been the argument. You're not. He made you worthy, it's by his blood and that's why you can talk to someone else who's not worthy. So we gotta get the baskets off, we've got to become light.
Do you know why you work where you work? Listen to me, you say, well it's because God provides for me through that. No. That's not why God gave you the job you have. Because God can provide for you with ravens. He can send manna from heaven, He can get water out of a rock. He has no problem providing for you. His streets are made out of gold. Okay the foundation of His house are diamonds, and His gates are pearls. It's not because He's extravagant, it's just cause it's just laying around, okay? He has no problem providing for His children. He didn't give your job to provide for you. He gave you your job so you'd be a light in a dark world. Wherever you are right now, your coworkers are probably not going to go to heaven unless you take your basket off.
What about the neighborhood you live in? How many of you have moved to a new house or a new apartment, a new place of living, let's say within the last five to seven years. Can I see, put your hands up. Okay. Did you pray that God would lead you there? Did you pray and ask God, please, please give us the house, Lord, please, we want that house so bad. And God said yes. You know why? Yes He likes to bless His kids, but He puts you there to be an influence. Even worked miracles for some of you to get there. Right? Why? Light. It's a miracle.
Now, think about even these two elements of light and salt. Salt is an internal influence, light is an external influence. Salt is a covert influence, works over time. Light is an overt influence. Salt is a subtle influence. Light is an obvious influence. If you don't think light's an obvious influence walk into a dark room and flip the light switch. Darkness goes immediately when light goes in. Get up early tomorrow morning and watch the sun come up and see where all the darkness goes. You are salt, you are light. Please hear me. If we don't do our job the world's gonna decay, and it's gonna go farther in the darkness.
I was on a hunting trip years ago in Colorado, some of you have heard is talk about James Robison and I, a Bible teacher named Dudley Hall, some of us we were taught back in the 80's about deliverance from a carpet cleaner named Milton Green. And we didn't know anything about demons and deliverance, and we'd been taught to kind of stay away from that subject. And this guy just taught us and it actually helped us cause we realized, hey, as believers we can be in bondage and it's a change that came in my life, James Robinson's life, Dudley Hall's life, others, you know, at that time.
So, we were on this deer hunt, and we had Milton there teaching us about deliverance, but it was a place where we hunted where we would go to different sections, Colorado is divided into different sections of land, and then but then the camp was all one place, so there were other men from other places there that were camping, so at night we would meet men from other states or places, you know. So there was this one guy Dudley Hall and I started talking to him about the Lord, and he was real interested, he had gone through some difficulties, he wanted to hear about the Lord, and so we started talking to him.
Well one night we got him right to the place of accepting Jesus, and he said, you know, I want to accept Jesus, but something's stopping me. I just don't know what it is, something's stopping me. Well for 30 minutes we tried to reason with him, we did everything we could and he just saying, I know, but I just, something's stopping me. Well during that time, now remember, Dudley and I we're professionals. We get paid to do this, okay, we know what we're doing you know, but we weren't getting anywhere with this guy. Well Milton walks up, who's a carpet cleaner, he's not a professional. He walks up and this guys says, I want to accept Jesus, but something is stopping me, and Milton says, it's demons.
And Dudley and I thought no! You don't bring up demons to a lost person, I mean you wait till you get saved, sometimes two or three years before you talk about demons, you don't just spring demons on people like that, you know. And Milton says, they talk to you, don't they? They tell you that you're unworthy, and you're no good, and they tell you about your childhood, and they bring back things your dad said to you. And they tell you that the world would be better off without you. And he said you'll be driving down the road and a demon'll tell you you just ought to drive into a concrete pillar and just end it all. He said you ever heard that? The guy said yeah. And Milton said, you want to listen to the guy who wants to kill you, or you want to give your life to Jesus? He said I want to give my life to Jesus. Dudley said to me later, I'm quitting the ministry, I can't even lead someone to Jesus.
What happened was light walked up, and Dudley and I had our light under our little traditional basket, you notice Jesus never strayed away from talking about demons, He just cast 'em out of people. And light walked up and this guy said, something's stopping me, and light said, it's demons and they hate you. Are you gonna keep listening to them, or are you gonna get saved? I want us to be salt and light, and change our world, and I think we can do it. I want to encourage you just to share your story. Just to witness to people, to be salt and to be light. In the same way my friend wasn't afraid to talk about Jesus Christ and to talk about the bondage that the enemy, Satan wants to hold us in, I want you to do the same thing. Many, many times people don't come to Christ simply because we don't tell them about the Lord. So pray about it this week, let God lay someone on your heart, be salt, in other words be an influencing agent in their lives, and be light. Share with them what happened to you, and let God do the rest. You know I have a little slogan about that, and that is, I do my best and I let God do the rest.