Tag Archives: preach

Flight Attendants and Preachers

I’m sitting on an airplane this morning as I travel for business. I’ve been flying for years and over the last few, I couldn’t count how many times I’ve flown. As we all sit here, the flight attendant is giving safety instructions should anything bad happen. I’ve always noticed how few people pay attention. Maybe because it’s a canned speech. Maybe because it’s something they’ve heard before. Maybe because they don’t care.

It’s got me to thinking how many of us go to church and do the same thing. Many of us have been going to church for years. As we sit in the pews, the preacher gives spiritual safety instructions. Like the people on the plane, we sit there, eyes glazed over and we rarely pay attention. Maybe because they aren’t a dynamic speaker. Maybe because you’ve heard this before. Maybe because you don’t care.

A pastor is a shepherd. Their job is to protect the flock that has been given to them. They preach, not because they have to, but because the safety of your soul compels them to. They are called to watch over you and give you what you need for spiritual protection and to show you the path to Heaven. Yet many of us sit there and play on our phones, talk to our neighbor or sleep. I say, “us” because I’m guilty too. I look at my watch and wonder how long it is until noon too.

Are we going to church because “it’s the right thing to do”? Are we going to be seen by others? Are we going to church because we want our kids to know this stuff? Or are we going so that we can adopt the culture of the kingdom? I realize that the building itself, while we call it “church” is not the church. You and I are the church. The Bible says that we should not forsake the assembling of the brethren. That means we should not treat being with other believers lightly.

Whether you go to a Mega church like Lakewood, a home church in someone’s home or anywhere in between, we are to go and get as much out of it as we can. It’s not the preacher’s job to feed you. When you go, expect to learn something. Expect to gain wisdom. Expect to build relationships with other believers. Expect God to move in your life. Expect to leave different than when you showed up. God’s desire is to meet with us daily, but most of us only give him a couple of hours on a Sunday. Even then, we aren’t giving Him much because we’d rather be doing something else.

What I tell people every day is that you will get out of this meeting what you put into it. The same is true for going to church. Are you there to participate or are you there to observe? Participate in worship. Participate in the sermon by taking notes and writing down your own thoughts of how what’s being said applies directly to your life. Don’t just go to church to go. Go to receive and to participate. Go to meet God and be prepared to be met by Him.

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Break Your Box

It was Wednesday of Holy Week and Jesus was a guest in the home of Simon the leper. While He was reclining at the table, a woman from the village silently walked in the room. Every eye was on her and the alabaster box she was carrying. The fragrance peeked through the box giving those around her a tease of the pure Nard that was inside. Suddenly, without warning, she broke the box and poured the perfume on Christ. The fragrance permeated the house. I imagine everyone closed their eyes and drank in the smell of this perfume with a slow, purposeful breath through their noses.

There was no undoing of this gesture. The box had been broken and all of the perfume purposefully poured out on Jesus. When others criticized her for her actions, Jesus said in Mark 14:8, “She has done what she could.” He accepted her offering and it was a sweet, savory smell to Him. No one else in the room had the will to do what she had done, though they all had the ability. We each have the ability to do great things for God, it’s having the will to do them that stops most of us.

Like the disciples and others in the room, we start adding up the cost of doing something for God and find all the reasons we can’t or shouldn’t do them. We allow our minds to tell us, “It’s not worth it. Your resources are better spent elsewhere.” All these excuses come in that keep us from being obedient. We also wonder what others might think if we do what God has called us to do. But not this lady. She didn’t care what the others thought, and neither did Jesus!

In fact, He said that wherever the Gospel would be preached, what she did will be told about. A single act of obedience has been told all over the world over a couple of thousand years. Why? Because she had the will, not just the ability. We wish we had her kind of will power to do something so extravagant, so costly for Christ. We all have the ability in us to do it. We just lack her will. We lack her recklessness.

I don’t know if she had doubts. I’m sure she did. She was probably even scared, but she didn’t let those things stop her. She knew once she broke the box, there was no turning back. Once she broke the box, she was committed. So she walked in and broke it immediately before doubt, the disciples or fear could stop her. She poured out this costly perfume on Jesus even though His own disciples criticized her. She wasn’t concerned about their approval. She was concerned about His.

What box have you been holding that has your precious gift in it? What’s keeping you from breaking it and using it for Christ? You have the ability to do what He called you to do. You have the strength to do it. It’s time to get the will to do it no matter what others say. If you are holding it back because of others, remember that it’s not their approval you seek. It’s His. Step out and break that box today. Let your story be told wherever the Gospel is preached.

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