Before you write-off going to church, ask yourself this important question.
[Darris McNeely] Have you been one of those that occasionally will say, "I don't get anything out of church. I think I'm gonna quit this church, go find another church that's more exciting, better music. More personable pastor," whatever it is, "I just don't get anything out of church." Or maybe you're one of those that just don't attend anything, any church any longer. Why is that? What happens? You know, it's a common thing that is reported on. I've heard it many, many times. And to be honest, I've felt it a few times more or less in my own years as a pastor and as sitting in congregations. But as I've thought it through, it actually betrays a misunderstanding that a lot of us have about God, about church, and about its purpose.
Consider this, if you don't get something out of church or you get nothing out of the service or whatever, could it be that you haven't brought anything to it yourself other than your own body? You've not brought any desire. You've not brought any passion. You've not brought any emotion. You have no needs that you've brought needing to be fulfilled. What about you? Think about that. You know, we're in an age of instant gratification, just like that. We have our smartphones, we have social media, and if we don't get 150 likes within 30 minutes after posting something to our Facebook page or whatever, we feel like we haven't succeeded, nobody loves us. And we have to get that text. We have to get that email, and if we don't, again, we're not...something's not stimulated within us. We've done this to ourselves. The culture has done that and the instant gratification to where we realize or think that we don't have to really put something into something to really get a solid lasting return. And that when it comes to faith, when it comes to God and church maybe the question for us all to consider, and so what have you brought?
Now, this doesn't negate the fact that maybe truth needs to be in your church. Maybe your church isn't really worshiping God in spirit and in truth according to biblical standards. That's another issue altogether, but let's just start with ourselves. In Psalm 63 there's a very interesting passage and the Psalmist talks about his desire as he comes before God. Let me read a few verses. It says, "Oh God, you are my God. Early will I seek you." Early. First thing, priority. "My soul thirsts for you." Just like we need a cool drink of water on a hot day we also need God every day and we need to quench that thirst, that spiritual thirst that we have. "My flesh," it says, "longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water." Our culture today and our world today is too often barren and dry, creating that spiritual thirst that only God can fulfill. He goes on, "So, I've looked for you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory because your loving kindness is better than life. My lips shall praise you."
What is it that you bring to church? What is it that you bring to God? Lot of things to consider about your church, your faith, or even your understanding about God. But perhaps the first thing for us all to consider is, what are we bringing? And when we consider that, then we can accurately tackle the issues of what we're receiving and whether or not there was truth there, whether or not there is true spiritual food where we may be trying to find the true God. Something to consider if you're one of those who thinks that I get nothing out of church.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.