Dead Sea Faith
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” —Matthew 16:24-28
The way to grow spiritually is not to pack every study, every sermon, and every lesson into your skull. You might think you are some great Bible scholar but really you’re just a big, fat Bible-head. Some of the most spiritually weak people I know have more Bible information in their cranium than anyone around. But they can’t face temptations or they can’t weather even the smallest storm because they haven’t been passing along to others what they’ve learned. You’ve got to transfer truth to others in order for it to make a difference in your own life.
Do you take sermon notes when your pastor preaches each week? What do you do with them afterward? Do you have a big pile in your desk drawer? Do you paper your walls with them or use them to start fires? How about this: find someone next week and entrust to them what you have learned. Maybe write them a letter or email. Maybe talk with them about what you’re learning in your Christian life over lunch or in a phone call. How about it?
If you don’t, do you know what you are in danger of becoming? The Dead Sea.
A few miles south of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth—1,476 feet below sea level. Six and a half million tons of water flow into it every day from the Jordan River. But the Dead Sea has no outlet. Everything flows in—nothing flows out. Because of that, the water has become incredibly salty and absolutely nothing can live there. No plant life can exist. If a fish flows into the Dead Sea, it dies almost immediately. The whole thing is completely dead.
A lot of Christians are just like the Dead Sea; stuff flows into them like crazy, but nothing flows out. Maybe that’s the reason why many don’t have a clue what it means to live in the Lord’s strength.
Isn’t that always the way it is in the kingdom of God? Things are exactly the opposite of what they are in the world. The world says the way to get ahead is to gather big piles and keep them all to yourself. But in the kingdom of God, the way to get more is to give more away.
Now, what are you going to do about it? —James MacDonald
· Have I ever been a “big, fat Bible-head?” What opportunities to impact God’s kingdom did I miss when I was like that?
· In what way is my life like the Dead Sea? How can I begin to change that?
Prayer – Father God, I don’t want to be a “Dead Sea” Christian. I want to be overflowing with the Water of Life for others! Help me to do something with what I know, to transfer what You are so gracious to give. In Jesus’ name, Amen.