In the message today, I shared a point that my Dad used to share with me. I heard it time and time again growing up: “You get out of something what you put into it.” I know that wasn’t his original quote – it seems to be one that is out there and appears from time to time in different ways and in different contexts. But no matter who “coined” it or where it is most often shared – it seems to apply to most every aspect of life.
For me, the topic it seemed to relate to most when I was growing up was sports. Namely, football and basketball. As I developed as an athlete and got more competitive at different levels, the element of practice became more and more understandable. I don’t mind telling you that at one time – I just wanted to play the game. Get on the field, or on the court for that mattter, and play the game. Who needs practice – I would utter under my tongue. Everybody loves to play the game…Does anyone like 2 or 3 hour practice?. But as growth and development comes in – as you start to study schemes and put a gameplan together – you begin to realize that you have to become a student of the game. You have to watch film. You have to know the strengths of your opposition. You must be prepared to counter and plan what you intend to do as a team. That isn’t always ideal, and during halftime, we often had to make several key adjustments. At the same time, as an athlete, I began to see and realize how imperative good practice, conditioning, and planning was. And more and more, I witnessed how evident it was that the more you put into it, the more you do receive out of it. Not just individually, but also as a team. As a unit. As a group of people working to fulfill a common vision and mission.
In fact, everything in life seems to mirror this in some way: Work, Family, Education and Schooling, and yes, Church. If you put nothing into your career, your family, your education, or your church community – is it even reasonable to suggest that you will gain anything, grow in any way, or be a blessing to others? It’s really quite unfair to think or believe that can happen. It won’t. It can’t. It’s not part of God’s plan and design. In Acts 2, vv.42-47 this is outlined and we have an example. Sure, the early NT Church had issues and challenges – but it overcame them as the Holy Spirit led and as they worshiped God “with glad and sincere hearts” – together. The Church in Acts 2 put into practice what God willed for them.
Getting intentional can be a hard plunge for some. It takes investing time and energy, moving some things out of the way to make room for God and others, and contributing to the Mission of the Church. Here at Bridgeway, we are seeking to go deeper in our connections. We want everyone to experience more intimate, uplifting, and encouraging community. In conjunction with this, and with the 30 Day Challenge, we are asking everyone to get plugged in to at least one life group. Ideally this would be one that meets at least once/month or more frequently so this becomes consistent in everyone’s Jesus-led journey. Currently, we are looking into adding 1 or 2 more groups that are topical and subject themed, and we hope to have more information in the next few weeks.
Nevertheless, join us each Sunday through this 30 Day Challenge. Get intentional and be relational. Seek God in your daily devotional time. Earnestly seek God in expectancy. It really is true: We will get out of it what we put into it. Let’s invest on the front side. Let’s be in on what God is doing and what He wants to accomplish.