Dear Friend,

Jesus, in Matthew 5:13 declared, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”

The scriptures make it clear that as believers we are to be the salt of the earth. This salt is needed more now than at any time in modern history as hundreds of thousands in the USA alone have died from COVID-19 and millions more are suffering from the economic fallout this pandemic has brought about.

In II Corinthians 5:17 it says, “If anyone be in Christ they are a new creation the old has passed away, the new has come.” The question is how does receiving Jesus Christ by faith really make a difference in the way we live our lives during COVID-19?

The answer is: once we become a new creation with Christ living in us, the power and love of God begins to work through us. We become God’s divine salt where by we become “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

How I thank God for those who have lived out that faith by partnering with New Life Evangelistic Center. As a result of their actions many thousands of poor, elderly, and homeless people have been helped throughout America and around the world.

I praise God for the salt I have witnessed in the lives of those who while quarantined in their home, have made thousands of masks. These masks are then sent to organizations like NLEC, who are on the front lines helping the hurting and homeless during COVID-19. Some of these individuals are using their social security checks to buy supplies and pay the postage for shipping these much-needed masks.

What a blessing it is to have volunteers who step forward as the salt of Christ in this hour of need. These caring people have donated countless hours to join the NLEC 1st responders on the front lines of service. These frontline workers are daily helping those who live outside in the midst of COVID-19. This service is made possible because of those who are letting God’s love flow through them as they generously give their financial gifts.

Today we live in a society that is frequently hostile to the poor and homeless. Rules, regulations and ordinances are constantly being created that are making it increasing difficult to house the homeless and feed the hungry. How many future saints have lost their saltiness because of social media and cell phones that take more priority in their lives then meeting the needs of the starving and homeless?
Jesus was God’s divine salt. He was dangerous to the manipulating power brokers who perpetuated the cultural values that enabled the rich to get richer and the poor, poorer. Jesus was dangerous because “He has brought justice through to victory” as Matthew stated. The question is where is that child like faith in the Living God that will cause all of us to be salt. As penetrating salt, we will stand up for justice, and question a system where millions of poor and elderly people are left alone to suffer in a pandemic that has devastated them.

The salty Jesus is a problem to our religious institutions. It was Jesus who taught us how to break the cultural rules of bigotry and prejudice! It was Jesus who touched lepers, which was against the rules! It was Jesus who broke the Sabbath by healing people on that day, and that was against the rules! It was Jesus who forgave people of their sins, and that also was against the rules, because those caught in the act of adultery were to be stoned, not forgiven.
Jesus was not persecuted as long as he was in the carpenter shop. Stephen wasn’t stoned until he started doing signs and wonders. While Peter was fishing he wasn’t beaten and put into jail. It was only when followers of Christ (Christians) started putting a passion for the things of God before what was fashionable in the world that they got in trouble. I John 3:10 says, “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother (and that includes sisters also).”
God cares that homeless veterans and mothers are crying out for shelter as church doors are locked. The question is where is the salt? God cares that mothers find themselves enslaved to utility companies who will cut off their utilities because the company has not gotten their last dollar. God cares that power brokers and fear-laden people support a prison industry that is locking up the poor and mentally retarded in record numbers. God cares that people refuse to wear their masks in the midst of COVID-19 and takes other safety precautions to prevent spreading Coronavirus.

If we desire to be God’s salt in the midst of COVID-19, we will be able to declare, “God is my refuge and fortress, My God in Him I will trust” (Psalms 91:2). Such trust gives us the ability to faithfully be front line workers among those in need knowing that God will deliver us “from the perilous pestilence” (v3).

Faith which creates the salt of the earth has a forward focus on God, His word, and His promises in the middle of COVID-19. It involves abiding in Christ, setting affections on Him and resting in His protection as promised in Psalms 91:10, “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling”.

When we do this we are able to earnestly pray that COVID-19 will come to an end. As we pray we must be passionately seeking God’s will as to how we are to help those who are suffering. Prayer is the language of the poor. In Psalms 26:1 we read “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.” Then Psalms 34:6 declares “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him”.

We must begin to pray “Lord I don’t want to forget any longer to be the salt of the earth you have called me to be”. Jesus said in Luke 14:34-35, “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for fertilizer. It is thrown away. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand.”

The time has come for us to repent of our prayerlessness, indifference, and salt-lessness as the Coronavirus pandemic ravages the U.S.A. and much of the rest of the world. As Joel 2:12 declares, “Now therefore says the Lord. Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting with weeping, and with mourning.”

The cup of sin is filling up. The Hand writing is on the wall (Dan.5:26, 27). Someone has said that hell is filled with unrepentant sinners who are blind to the needs around them, while heaven is filled with sinners who have repented and can see God at work.

Repentance and earnest prayer, resulting from a burning passion for the things of God, will bring forth a mighty awakening in the midst of this sinful mess our country is in. This involves caring people who will get down on their knees in intercessory prayer. Such prayer will push them out into their world under the direction of Almighty God. This earnest praying will result in healing, help and hope taking place in the midst of COVID-19.

Push prayers involve Praying Until Something Happens. These prayer warriors are passionate God-fearing people who are the salt of the earth. They are fire baptized, concerned and filled with compassion for the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit before the day of the Lord’s return. They know that it is, “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord Almighty” (Zech 4:6).

If we are truly followers of Jesus then we must do what He did! Acts 10:38 says, “Jesus went out doing good and healing all who were under the power of Satan.” We must stop being a Sunday warrior and a Monday whiner. The time for action is now! Remember, through the resurrected Christ you are no longer powerless, but more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus who strengthens you.

God’s invitation in II Chronicles 7:14 is an invitation to experience the glorious freedom provided to those He refers to as My people. The phrase “My people” now includes all who declare “Jesus is Lord,” and “believe that God raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). Such declaration and belief must be followed by decisive action in order to be creditable. It is this necessary action which is spelled out for us in II Chronicles 7:14 when it says, “if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Blinded by the god of materialism, which has given birth to greed, many now refer to God as “my God”. They do not do this because they love and adore Him, but because they desire to possess Him so that He might bless their self-centered lifestyles. The term “my God” is now interpreted in the same way one would say my land, my house, and my shoes. Something else to own and control!

God turns this way of thinking upside down when He says, “If My people.” He is making it clear that He is in control. The time has come for those, whom religion has served as a basis for self-righteousness, to humble themselves, pray, seek the face of God and turn from their wicked ways.

This invitation is extremely difficult to receive for those who believe they have no wickedness to turn from. For the most part they are nice people. Salt that has lost its flavor. Many of these people regularly attend church, yet are blind to the needs of others and the groaning of creation. They see no correlation between their materialistic lifestyles and issues like global warming, social injustice, and the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Yet God’s reference to all of us as “My people” offers us hope. We are still His people in spite of ourselves and our sins as a result of His love manifested through the sending of His Son Jesus Christ. Our hope continues to exist because of Jesus. Now we must respond by humbling ourselves, praying, seeking the face of God and turning from our wicked self-centered ways. Such action on our part, through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, results in God hearing from heaven, forgiving our sin and making us the salt of the earth. This ultimately results in the healing of our land from the Coronavirus.

The time for action is now. May God heal us of our spiritual lack of saltiness and prayerlessness. In the midst of COVID-19 may we strive to follow Jesus Christ as we walk daily in His love. This involves being the salt of the earth, which allows God’s love and power to flow through us in the midst of Covid-19.

Yours in Christ,

Larry Rice

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