Monday, August 15, 2011

"fill er up!"

Gasoline prices are fluctuating.  Beverly and I were riding along Rockville Road this past weekend when the low fuel indicator in my truck alerted me that I was near empty.  We passed one gas station where the price for gas was $3.48.  We traveled another mile and the same gasoline company was selling the same gas for $3.64.  In only a mile the price of gas increased by $.16 a gallon.

When I was a child my mother and sister and I were on our way to the gas station and ran out of gas just a few feet away from the gas station.  We all got out and pushed.  We were blessed when a gentlemen stopped and helped us. 

Imagine're right in front of a gas station and you run out of gas.  HA HA HA.

Question:  How do people run out of gas?  Friends, there's really no excuse for running out of gas.  Every car is equipped with a gas gauge and it's purpose is to let you know how much gas you have.

Here's a clue...when the needle gets close to the "E" then you need more gas!  I've come to the rescue of others who have run out of gas and they always seem to say, "I thought I had more in the tank," or "when it gets on 'E' I still really have about 20 more miles."  These are great excuses...but the truth is every day someone runs out of gas because they simply do not pay attention to the gas gauge.

As a pastor, I regret seeing any of our leaders or church members run out of gas.  You may ask, "How can a leader at a church run out of gas spiritually?"  Here's how ... "The same way people run out of gas in their cars - they think they are OK and so they ignore the warning signs and the obvious places that are designed to help them fill up."

I've been on "E" before. I know what it's like to be spiritually drained and still be expected to lead.  It's not a good feeling and it's definitely not something I want for my team or church. 

Ministry takes WORK!  Lots of work!  Hard work!  Lazy leaders will never walk in the full measure of success that God intends for them to achieve.  However, if you are doing ministry at a blazing speed - the pace at which you are doing the work of God could destroy God's work in you.

As a follower of Jesus WE have the responsibility to FILL OUR TANKS!  It "irks" me when I hear a Christian make a comment about a church and says, "I wasn't getting fed there..."  HELLO?  It's not the churches job to FEED YOU!!! 

We are not infants that have to be fed!  When children reach a certain age they learn to feed themselves - and if a person needs to be fed then that communicates infancy and not maturity.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for putting spiritual food into your soul so that you have something to offer those who are truly STARVING when they walk into our church on Sunday. 

Where's your spiritual gas gauge? 
  1. When is the last time you heard God speak to you?
  2. When is the last time a Scripture jumped off the page at you even though you've read it before?
  3. When is the last time you invited a stranger to church?
  4. When you are in a worship service, does your mouth and mind go to automatic pilot when you sing...or do you truly mean the words that you are singing?
  5. Can you remember where God brought you from?
  6. Do your family and friends see Jesus in you?  (Do your children have to look to another household for an example of a godly mother or father...or two parents that REALLY love each other?)
  7. Are you ministering out of OBLIGATION or the OVERFLOW?  Is working for God a CHORE?  If so, there won't be any fruit.
To FILL UP - we must do what Mary did (Luke 10:38-39) and spend time at the feet of Jesus and listen!