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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Sep 20, 2023

As we study and learn from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we are reminded of our calling to be salt and light. Let’s discover what that means together as we study Matthew 5:13-16; Mark 9:49-50, 4:21; and Luke 14:34-35, 8:16.


Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World leaders Podcast. I'm your host, Julie Jenkins. Thank you for joining us as we walk through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John chronologically.

Our goal for these few minutes together is that we would take our eyes off ourselves in the busyness of our own lives, agendas to-do lists and responsibilities. I pray that as you take time out today to listen to God, He will speak to your heart and guide you as only he can. If you need prayer support in this busy season, please reach out to us at and post a prayer request on our prayer wall. We're here to hold you up.

Before we begin our study, let's pause for prayer.

Most Holy God, thank you, thank you for being our all in all our Abba Father, our provider, sustainer healer, and our salvation. God, we come to you today from so many walks of life. And yet you intimately know where we each are in what we each need. God, we rest in your presence. And thank you in advance for the care, teaching, and guidance that you will provide for us. We give you these next few minutes, and we ask that you have your way with us and guide us into your truth. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Sit back and soak in God’s Word while I read Matthew five verses 13 and 16. From the New Living Translation.

You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it's lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

We know from Matthew 5:2 that in this passage Jesus was teaching the disciples. He had told them about the kingdom of heaven and the attributes and rewards God offers to his children as they walk in obedience to Him. Now Jesus gives the disciples two descriptions of who they are. And he tells us by extension who we are. And we know that what God says about us is true. Sometimes we think less of ourselves than God does. And it is in those moments that we have to listen especially hard to what God says. Because he knows us better than we know ourselves. And what he says is true.

So, in today's reading, God calls you the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. Let's take this apart.

First you are the salt of the earth. What do you suppose is the meaning behind this? While you're likely familiar with salt as a preservative, this would have been top of mind in a society void of refrigeration. Salt keeps food fresh and edible for a longer period of time than it would be without it. Salt accomplishes this feat by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, which in other words means salt allows food to remain as God made it to be, and to be used as God created it to be used.

When God says that we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we have a job to do:  to preserve the world as God intended it. When God created the world, everything was perfect, peaceful, joyful, and meaningful. But sin entered into the world and sin was like a bacteria that began to grow and was infectious. God empowers us, his children, to stand against sin, and to inhibit sins growth, by our actions and reactions.

By allowing God's power to operate in us, we are salt preserving life, the way God intended it to be. You are the salt of the earth. You have a responsibility to live life on behalf of God.

Salt in the Bible was also a symbol of covenant. This also has to do with its attribute as a preservative. A covenant was not to be broken; God will never break his covenant with His children. Once we give our lives to Him, we are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and we belong to God forever.

If you have given your life to Christ, you are the salt of the earth, carrying his covenant promises. Nothing and nobody can change that.

Salt in biblical times was a symbol of friendship and loyalty. Salt is salt, no matter what you do to it. You put it in your food and your food tastes salty. You put it in water and allow the water to evaporate, the salt remains behind. Our God is loyal. And as Christians we are called to carry on that loyalty. You are the salt of the earth. Though the world will test you, you have the power within to remain loyal to the one who saved you.

Salt is a necessary source of nourishment. It's an important element in a person's diet. And as such, salt is highly valuable. In the Old Testament when God required sacrifices, he required that the offering be seasoned with salt. It was necessary, and it was valuable.

You are the salt of the earth. You are necessary and you are valuable.

And let's face it, salt makes food worth eating. Who doesn't love a little salty sweet action and their taste buds. In my opinion, nothing beats chocolate chip cookies with a sprinkle of sea salt on top. Salt brings out the true flavor of the food and makes eating a joy and a pleasure. You are the salt of the earth You were created to bring joy and pleasure to God himself.

But Matthew records that Jesus continues, 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.

Salt can lose its flavor. Bakers at the time used salt blocks to line their ovens. After a time, the high and prolonged heat of the oven caused the salt to crystallize and become useless. It had to be thrown out. Luke says in 14:35, flavorless salt is good neither for the soil, nor for the manure pile, it is thrown away.

The heat of the world is intense, more intense at times than that of a baker's oven. But as Jesus disciples, you and I are called to stay under God's protection and to keep our saltiness intact so that we can stand against the spread of sin. Live the life that God intended for us to live out our lives in covenant with him. claim our high value in a world filled with imposters and bring joy and pleasure to God.

Don't let the heat of the world claim the saltiness that God has gifted you. Mark 9:49 through 50 gives this guidance for every one will be tested with fire. Can I get an amen on that one? Salt is good for seasoning, but if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again, you must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.


The next thing that Jesus tells His disciples is not only are they the salt of the earth, but in Matthew 5:14. You are the light of the world, like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

Have you ever flown into a city at night seeing the pinpoints of light from high above is one of my favorite sights. At night, the Earth is blanketed in darkness. But the lights of a city are unmistakable. There weren't airplanes in Jesus’ day and the world didn't move quite as fast as it does today. A traveler who saw the lights of the city in the distance, would see safety and protection at the end of a long journey. Or, at the very least, lodging and food. In other words, rest and sustenance.

Jesus is indeed our lighthouse in a dark harbor. Our protection and safety, our rest and sustenance. And we, as his followers, reflect God's light into this dark world. And we too, are a light for others who are searching in the dark. Jesus says You are the light of the world and he continues, No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

The light we shine is to lead others to God to show them the way to get to the kingdom of heaven. God wants us to welcome everyone we know to his city. We can shine the light of God by sharing the gospel message with others and by encouraging others to walk in their God-given purposes. That is our goal at Women World Leaders to shine our lights that you might shine yours.

One of my main jobs at Women World Leaders is editing. I edit the Voice of Truth magazine and I edit the books put out by World Publishing and Productions. We are currently working on several books that are compilations of stories of victories and spiritual growth that individuals have walked through in their lives, and how they have allowed Jesus, even through their turmoil, to keep their lamps lit, so that they might hold them high to shine for His glory. These authors are truly the light of the world showcasing that even when we walk through the unthinkable — abuse, abandonment, shame, temptation—we can shine our light brightly. If you feel your light dimming, know that God is guiding you; you only to follow his light. And he will purposefully use everything that you are going through to strengthen you and give you the honor of bringing others to him.

Mark says in 4:22 For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open and every secret will be brought to light.

The Bible tells us that anything the devil meant for evil in your world, God can use for good. When we allow God to shine his light on us. He gives us the honor and privilege of shining that light to beckon others into the kingdom.

Luke concludes his account of this teaching in Luke 818. So pay attention to how you hear. to those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand, will be taken away from them.

You were created to be salt and light. There is no doubt about that. But what you do with your salt and light is up to you.

Jesus warns us to pay attention and not take his teaching lightly. The more we obediently walk in the wisdom that God guides us with, the more wisdom he will provide. Don't hold the Holy Spirit back in your life. Unleash His presence by your obedience and your light will shine brighter than you can possibly imagine.

Let's pray. Father, we thank you for making us who we are and for giving us the experiences you have given us. God, I thank you for the privilege of being salt in this sinful world and light in this dark world. God, I ask that you empower us by your presence and strength to shine so brightly on your behalf, that the whole world will see your glory. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.