The Big Squeeze: Balance Study and Service for Spiritual Growth
I love what the Bridge Church Ladies ministry is doing this month. Having spent time together soaking up Bible Study, Fellowship, etc. They feel the need to be squeezed through serving others. So in July they’ve scheduled several opportunities to serve together, while encouraging spontaneous servanthood as well. They’re calling this “The Big Squeeze.” Love it! I believe this should be the natural ebb and flow of the believers life and the life of the church. Our learning should always lead to application and action.
Have you been Squeezed lately? Each week us church goers, like sponges, sit and soak up great teaching and preaching from professional and highly trained clergy, high quality Bible Study materials and devotionals, praise and worship music that moves us to experience God, and many, like me, listen to more great teaching and preaching through podcasting and conferences. Here’s the question: What’s next for the SPONGE after it’s has soaked? It SOURS and becomes unusable. Almost nothing is more disgusting than a sour sponge. No one wants to pick it up, it stinks up the entire kitchen, and most of the time at our house we just throw them out.
As a Christian, I’ve had seasons of my life that can be described as SOUR. The sour Christian is sour toward others – nothing meets their standard, no sermon is good enough, they and their class or group or church are the only ones doing it right. No one wants to be around the sour Christian and he/she doesn’t really care to be around them. Being right matters more than being generous and graceful. (For a Biblical illustration of a Sour Christian see the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 and watch for the Elder Brother).
What’s the remedy for keeping sponges from getting sour in the sink and in the church? A GOOD SQUEEZE. A good wringing out. With the sponge, by hand. But how is the Christian squeezed? Two ways:
1) Through Suffering – When I’ve lost a loved one, or experienced discouragement, or dealt with sickness, or faced financial struggles, or walked with others who’ve experienced these and worse, I have been squeezed. I have had to put to use all that I know about God and His word. That’s why God’s word tells us that there is great benefit to suffering. See James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5.
2) Through Serving – Don’t wait to be squeezed through suffering. Give yourself away and be emptied out through serving others. As we give ourselves away as Christians, we are allowing God to squeeze us and use what He’s placed in us for His good and glory. As we serve others, we experience more of God and the joy of being used by Him and He continually fills us.
What are you doing that squeezes you? Church leader, is your church providing opportunities for people to serve and give themselves away on behalf of others?
July Opportunities for the Bridge Ladies:
- Saturday, July 9th, at Trinity Church in Covington – cooking for Disaster Response Teams coming to serve in NOLA.
- Tuesday, July 12th, at Mt. Zion Bapt Church in Mandeville – packaging school supplies for needy children.
- Helping out with the Summer reading and writing program at the Covington Boys and Girls Club.
- Serving at the Northlake Crisis Pregnancy Center in Covington.
- Homeworks of America, July 10-16. Repair homes for needy residents of West St. Tammany. Click here for more info.
- Block Parties at Oak Villa Mobile Home Park, Wed July 13 and Thurs July 14, 5:30-7pm. Bring hope to residents of a local Multi-housing community.
- Canned Food Drive, Wed July 13 and Fri July 15. We’ll be putting out grocery bags on doors in the Madisonville area on Wednesday and picking those bags up on Friday and delivering them to a local food bank. Contact Bridge Church for more info – 985.373.2748.