The cable, satellite dish, and phone companies send out some incredible HD video and audio signals in these days of unparalleled high tech innovation. Crystal clear images far more vivid than reality, along with frequencies of sound to satisfy even the most ardent audiophile, travel through wires and the atmosphere to television, computers, stereos, and even phones.
That is, if our electronic receivers are functioning properly. The purest and most intense signal remains as mere potential if our machines are unable to receive and process the pulses of energy transmitted. Indeed, it is not enough that "Send" mechanisms work properly. Our "Receive" devices must also function if the images and sound are to reach and stimulate our senses.
The same principle applies in spiritual matters. We've all likely left a church service or Bible study with the thought, "I didn't get much out of that today." Certainly, this can mean that the preacher or teacher failed to deliver a worthy or adequate message. However, the source of difficulty may well have originated in ourselves. Our spiritual receptors might have been unable to assimilate the truth and Spirit of truth communicated. Moreover, we place ourselves on uncertain ground if we attend Christian meetings for what we can receive. We must rather go to give.
"Charity (love) seeketh not her own" (I Corinthians 13:5).
Regardless of our role and calling in the church, the love of Christ in our hearts presses us to gather with fellow believers for the primary purpose of being a blessing. We need not preach or teach in order to minister to our brothers and sisters. Indeed, in the heart committed to God's love, the Holy Spirit possesses countless means of gracing others through us. A loving demeanor, a kind greeting, a word of encouragement or challenge, prayers offered, and the simple fact of our Christ-inhabited presence - all provide support and strengthening for the "fitly framed together" structure of love that comprises the body of Christ (Ephesians 2:21). When we go to give in the expectation and confidence of faith that we have a vital place in the gathering of believers, we can be sure that our Heavenly Father honors our devotion in ways that we will not know until perhaps a brother or sister greets us in Heaven. "Do you remember that day back in September of 2013 when our paths crossed in church? The lovingkindness you expressed and the prayer you later prayed for me helped me to get through a really hard time. I'm so grateful to the Lord, and to you for being His heart and voice to me." We may not remember such a time, but perhaps we will recall that on the journey to church, we committed our way to the Lord. "Father, bless my brothers and sisters through me for the glory of the Lord Jesus, in any way You see fit. For I go to give."
Such an attitude means that we will "get something out of church" regardless of whether the preacher or teacher sent forth, as it were, an HD signal. As such a communicator, I am well aware of the importance of the sender being in a proper frame of prepared heart and mind. However, I also know that the hearer must be possessed of that same heart and mind. "I go to give" helps to establish such an attitude of heart whereby good signals and good receivers unite to reveal a high definition display of the Lord Jesus in our midst, and in our message.
"In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
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