Good Morning and Happy Easter!
Over 2000 years ago today, the world lay in wait. Fear and confusion were the dominant emotions but God had a plan and a surprise that would be revealed tomorrow. No matter what you're experiencing, friend, hang in there for with every crucifixion, there has to be a resurrection.
Our guest today has visited before, although it's been a while so please welcome Linda back with her new book, Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt. Take it away, Linda!
THE STORY BEHIND WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT
I write fiction. At least primarily. The first fiction book I wrote was, I Prayed for Patience, God Gave Me Children. After many versions, I republished the book to include a short study guide after chapter to be used by groups or individuals in discussion.
Meanwhile, back in the jungle … the jungle of my mind … a new nonfiction book began to take place. As I observed both my own personal struggles and those within the church “to do” Christianity, I began a four year study to try to understand why Christ has called us salt. He has not called us to be like the world. Rather, God’s desire is for us to be entirely different. Not by our own power, but through the working of the Holy Spirit.
Through the course of my four-year study, I began to see a common thread. God does the work, he chisels us into the image he has planned from the beginning. However, our clinging to the old ways of thinking, our search for the latest psychological quick fix to our situations, deter us from the process God has begun in us and desires to complete.
The book is divided into 13 chapters, the traditional church “quarterly” concept and includes portions for individual or group study. I do plan to do a series of short videos to accompany the book and hit on the key aspects of each chapter.
Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to share my vision.
BLURB: The world offers much beneficial self-help advice. Shouldn’t the Christian seek to be the best possible version of themselves? Aren’t we supposed to be good people?
Why not look to the world to solve life’s problems?
Because God has called us to be salt.
While there is much good to be found, like vinegar, the world’s best advice falls short of God’s recipe to live a victorious Christian life.
In a down-home, friendly manner, the author provides analogies, inspirational stories, anecdotes, a wealth of Scripture, and optional study guides for both individuals and groups, inviting the believer to discover God’s desires for his salt.
Part I: Called to Be Salt
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses
how shall it be seasoned?
It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out
and trampled underfoot by men.
Chapter One—Called to Be New
While cooking one day, I accidentally dropped the saltshaker into a bowl of vinegar. The salt within the shaker was ruined, and I had to throw it out. The vinegar also so contaminated the container, I finally gave up and threw it out as well.
Someone told me I could have sterilized the saltshaker to remove the contaminants. Perhaps. But the truth remained the salt within was unusable. The image of the ruined salt stayed with me for some time as I considered why Jesus calls his followers salt and how precious we are in his sight. I was pricked with the realization of how a minute portion of vinegar had spoiled a good thing.
When Jesus spoke of “salt” in the Sermon on the Mount, he addressed the throngs who followed him—Gentiles as well as Jews—and his intimate circle of disciples. How strange to be called salt. I can see those along the hillside scratching their heads. “Did we hear Jesus
“What’s salt got to do with anything?”
“Who is Jesus calling the salt of the earth?”
Unlike our common table salt of today, salt in New Testament times, though abundant, was a precious commodity. Roman soldiers were paid with salt, from which we derive our word for salary.
Many theologians have likened Christians to table salt and its properties, a seasoning to induce thirst, add flavor, and preserve. There is a problem with only liking this reference to today’s version of table salt. Many scholars believe the symbolism is far deeper.
Many Bible scholars believe the Sermon on the Mount was directed at those who recognized Christ as the Messiah and believed he was sent by God. Though some theological aspects of his divinity would yet be revealed, many already understood he’d come to show them the way to an intimate knowledge of God.
His words, preserved for us by New Testament writers, may have been intended to show those who sought after God, both present and future, the key to living victoriously in a sinful world—a world that not only rejected our Lord but would reject us because we
are one with him.
We Are New
When we accept Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross, personalize it, confess our helplessness to obtain salvation through our own efforts, we begin to realize our sinful nature. God accepts us, fills us, and begins a work in us. We who were once vinegar are transformed into salt. We are no longer the person we once were, and we are being transformed into what God intended for us to be from the beginning of time.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation
has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).
Our newness is God created. This newness is not something he refashions like an old garment redesigned or handed down. What he creates is entirely different than what we were before. When we become new in Christ, we become reconciled to God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Too often, we envision this plan as action. In truth, God’s plan is for us to be one in knowledge and understanding of our right relationship with him—how this newness will develop and define our lives. Then why do we want to keep being like the person we once were—a person who no longer exists. If we are new, then why do we cling to the old? Perhaps God’s intention is for the believer to become the image of Christ—our true identity and calling.
Let’s examine the Amplified text for the above verse:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in,
joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new
creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit];
the old things [the previous moral and spiritual
condition] have passed away. Behold, new things
have come [because spiritual awakening brings a
By the author of I Prayed for Patience, God Gave Me Children.
A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau’s varied church experience and professional career affords a unique perspective into the Christian life. When not writing or speaking, she enjoys the occasional round of golf, visiting museums, and taking walks with her best friend in life, her husband of over forty years. The couple resides in Hagerstown, Maryland where both are active in their local church. Readers may learn more about the author, read her blog, contact her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WeWe, Linkedin, and Goodreads, or sign up for her newsletter by visiting www.lindarondeau.com.
Get your copy of Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt at Amazon.