The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Go To Give"
When I first became a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I viewed attendance at church services in terms of being a spiritual gas station where I refueled my tanks several times a week. Certainly, truth exists in this perspective because we personally benefit from fellowship with other believers, praying together, Biblical preaching and teaching, and the recognition of our accountability to one another. However, not long into my Christian life, I realized this perspective cannot be primary in my participation with fellow church members.
"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" (Phillipians 2:3-4).
Our primary reason for fellowship with other believers involves not what we receive when together, but what we give. Our spiritual tanks are most filled when we fuel others rather than seeking fuel from them. It matters not whether we pastor, preach, teach, pray, sing, comment in Sunday school class, unlock the doors of the church building, serve as doorkeeper, or even simply attend services. We go first to give, and not to receive. The love of Christ will not allow any lesser perspective, especially since He suffered and died to indwell us with His self-sacrificial heart of devotion to others.
"The love of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given Himself a sacrifice for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor" (Ephesians 5:2).
Consider those who "simply attend services." What can they possibly give? Much. Indeed, if they know the Lord Jesus, He lives and walks in them (II Corinthians 6:16). Thus, they bring Him to the service in a way that can only be administered through the unique branch of the true Vine He spiritually birthed them to be. Knowing this will inevitably result in a countenance, demeanor, attitude, and perhaps words and actions that will shine as the light of Christ in whatever doorway through which they pass, whatever hall upon which they tread, and whatever pew in which they sit. Moreover, they may pray for their fellow believers, or share a word of comfort, or encourage communicators of God's Word by focusing rapt attention on their message (of course, such ones may not long remain as simply attendees of services. God often has a place of vital service for them). Whatever the case, attending assemblies with the heart of "What can I give?" as our primary sensibility means that seeking to fill the tanks of others will result in our own hearts overflowing with the abundance of Christ's love.
"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
Let us go to give today, and whenever we gather with fellow believers. The Spirit of God and the Word of God beckon us to see our rightful place as branches who bear the fruit of Christ not for ourselves, but for others. We receive much in the holy dispensation, for where more than in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ do we "remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive?' " (Acts 20:35).
"Charity (love) seeketh not her own."
(I Corinthians 13:5)
"For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if by means now at length I might have prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established, that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith of you and me."
Weekly Memory Verse
And the heavens shall praise Thy wonders, O Lord, Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.