Tuesday, September 13, 2016

(Not a) YouTube Tuesday - You Get Out What You Put In (9-13-16)

Yes, Tuesday us supposed to be a YouTube day. Sorry, not today. I want to take a second and share a few thoughts about my journey over the past three months. Since stepping away from my ministry at Lighthouse, my family has been on a search for an at least temporary church home. (I believe we have found one, by the way). I also had a chance to speak at a church and will do so again as well as speaking at a different church in a couple of weeks. I have observed many things about the churches we have visited, both positive and negative. However, one key thing stands out to me - you get out what you put in. In other words, the extent to which you grow spiritually, get to know people, feel connected, etc. in a church is in direct proportion to the investment of your own heart.

Sometimes, we like to walk into church right as the service starts and leave as soon as it is over, then complain that we don't feel connected with the people or that we don't feel a part of the church, or the church isn't meeting our needs. Well, what are you doing?

I don't mention this to rant about peoples' excuses for not liking a church. I say this because the same thing applies in all areas of life. Years ago, I taught private trumpet lessons and had a student with a lot of potential but who did not see any improvement during his time with me. His mother even saw to it to express her dissatisfaction with me for not teaching him. Well, there is one missing piece. Every week I asked if if he practiced at all during the week and he said no. Yet it was my fault he didn't improve!?

We have the same mentality in our journey with Jesus. We barely pray, if at all. We seldom read the Bible on our own. We invest minimal effort in church, but we complain that we aren't growing spiritually. So, we blame our church, our pastor, our spouse, or our busyness for our lack of growth. None of that ultimately matters. The same pesky truth applies - you get out what you put in. You can't get in shape if you don't eat right and exercise. You can't get close to Jesus without spending time with Him.

What are you "putting in" to your relationship with Jesus today?

1 comment:

  1. So true, Paul. The extent to which we grow spiritually is in direct proportion to the investment we make, whether in prayer, in the Word, or in community relationships in a local church. Thanks for sharing this. Another pastor I know told me the best thing he ever did was to step away from being a full-time pastor for a season because of all the things he learned during that time. I think of you often Paul. The very best to you! Gordon Meier

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