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 older 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. You don’t have to 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?
This weekend, my faith family will be squeezing ourselves out through Faith in Action Sunday. Every time there’s a 5th Sunday in a month we take that week and serve instead of soak. Check out some of the reasons why & videos from past FIA Sunday’s here. Check out some of our projects for this FIA Weekend here.
Everyone is invited. Come out and get squeezed with us.