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Your Influence
2 Cor 2:11 
5; 13
          If you will remember we started out looking at the different ways the devil seeks to get the advantage over us as Christians.
We saw that the devil gains the advantage over Christians through one of his devices, like discouragement, discontentment, compromise, delaying, and expediency.
I hope you won’t look at these difficult times ever the same, because I believe that’s where the devil gets us!
So I want to end this series by thinking about what the devil is really trying to get at.
I believe the devil doesn’t want us discouraged just for the sake of being discouraged, no.
The devil doesn’t want us discontent just for the sake of being discontent, no.
I think the reason why the devil tries like he does, is because our influence as Christians scares him.
Your influence as a Christian.
You may not have thought of yourself as a great influence for God, but you are.
You may not think that you are, but God thinks so.
And by the amount of effort the devil uses to stop you we can say that he thinks you have something worthy of his attention.
That something is your influence, which if used for the bad will bring all those around you to your low level and maybe even lower.
But if it is harnessed for the good and godly; well only heaven itself will be able to reveal just how far your influence has went out and touched others!
If there is anyone that knows the value of our influence it is the Saviour.
It is because of him he have any influence for the good at all! Jesus had a lot to say about one’s influence, so let’s start there.
When Jesus spoke of influence he spoke using the idea of salt.
That might sound a little funny, but as I looked through the whole bible I found that there wasn’t any thing funny about it, in fact Jesus was using an Old Testament idea and was just expanding it, building upon it as we shall see.
The various names God gives His children in the Bible.
(Some are: sheep, brethren, little ones, etc.) When Jesus gives us the name of "salt", He is reminding us that we have the opportunity and the responsibility to be an influence in the world.
It is interesting that these verses should follow the Beatitudes.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus gives some qualities that ought to be present in every citizen in the Kingdom.
When we are possessed of these characteristics, we will be a positive influence and we will make a difference in the world around us.
When we are living out the standards of the Lord Jesus in our lives, we will be like salt and like light.
Tonight, I would like to zero in on the idea of our being called "salt” because of our influence.
In this one verse, Jesus makes three statements that need to be considered and understood by every child of God this evening.
Let's take the time to look together at them as we consider the thought Ye Are the Salt of the Earth.
People in general do not realize the importance of salt in maintaining the life and health of their bodies.
An exact percentage of it is always present in our bloodstream, and any great deviation from this amount can result in sickness and even death.
Salt is a sustainer of other life, too.
For this reason sea water will support many more organisms than fresh water.
As a preservative, it retards spoilage.
Also it is a splendid condiment, adding zest and savor to our food.
Salt held a place of great impor­tance in the primitive and simple society of the ancient Israelites.
Job tells us that salt was used from the oldest times to flavor food (Job 6:6).
Ancient man sacrificed to God food he found pleasant, so salt was included among these offerings (Ezek 43:24).
By biblical times, salt had become linked with health, hospital­ity, purity, and durability.
Ezekiel tells us that in ancient times the Israelites rubbed newborn children with salt (Ezek.
Later religious rites emphasized the cleans­ing property of salt.
Salt came to stand for the most sacred and binding of obligations.
God said of His covenant with the Israelites, "It is a covenant of salt for ever" (Num.
Second Chronicles relates that' 'the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt" (2 Chron.
We are called salt because of:
A. Our Preserving Influence
 Salt wards off rot and decay!
It is rubbed into meat in an effort to preserve it.
Sodom and Gomorrah - Gen. 19.
They could have been saved by the preserving influence of just 10 righteous men.
So it is in America today!
I am convinced that the presence and the prayers of "salty" Christians has done more to preserve this nation than anything else we could name.
It is the righteousness of God's children that made America great and it is what keeps this country from being judged today, /Pro 14:34  Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to/ /any people/.
Our Penetrating Influence - Salt will penetrate and infiltrate whatever it touches.
It is an aggressive substance.
The early church - Acts 8:1, 4; Acts 17:6.
I believe that we have been called by the Lord to be an active force in the world around us.
The church should be a militant army charging the very gates of Hell, Matt.
C. Our Purifying Influence - (Ill.
Salt has remarkable cleansing Influence.)
1.  2 Kings 2:19-22 - Elisha cleansed the waters at Jericho with salt.
In ancient times, newborn babies were washed in salt to cleanse their bodies and to give firmness to their skin, Eze.
Salt in a wound can cleanse the area.
Often, Christians have a purifying effect on the world around them.
They ought to behave differently when the child of God walks up.
Don't be offended if they stop talking when you come around.
Just thank God that you are acting as a purifying force in the world around you.) (Ill.
Every meat offering was to be made with salt - Lev. 2:13.
So it is with our lives.
We are to offer our lives as an offering tot he Lord, Rom.
When we do, it proves that we are worth our salt!)
D. Our Pleasing Influence - (Bringing out the best.
Salt blends and adds flavor to food.
In fact, there are some foods that are better off not eaten, if there is no salt!)
So too, the Christian should flavor the world around him.
As salt, we are to so live our lives that we bring out the best in those around us.
That is what Jesus did time and again, and that what you and I are supposed to be doing for His glory!
E. Our Poisoning Influence - (Ill.
Salt kills some things!
Ever poured salt on a slug?
Slugs and salt do not mix!
Salt poured on a lawn will kill the grass.
Too much salt is not good for your blood pressure.)
Abimelech, in Judges 9:45, took a city and the sowed the city with salt to prevent the ground from being used to grow crops.
He killed the fields with salt.)
By the same token, when true Christianity is sowed into the lives, homes and communities of the world, some things will be put to death.
We can make an impact on our world by the very fact that Christianity is pure poison to sin.
When Jesus comes into a life, drinking, cussing, fighting, hating, killing, drugging, loose living, etcetera, are all put to death in the name of Jesus - 2 Cor.
F. Our Promoting Influence - (Ill.
Salt creates a thirst for water in those who are exposed to it!)
As salt, the Christian has the wonderful opportunity to promote a thirst for Jesus in the world.
Remember what the Lord told us?
He said that out of our bellies would flow rivers of living water - John 7:37-38.
When we live as Christians should live.
When we take the call of Jesus seriously and live right, look right, act right, talk right, worship right, dress right, etc.
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