Input/Output

LifeLink Devotional

Friday, July 10, 2020

WARNING! Controversy ahead. Please read the following in the proper context.

The call to follow Jesus and be His disciple is clear. The call to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others is clear. Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

There is also a distinct benefit to growing in the faith by learning from other disciples. The Apostle Paul said, ”Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.”

However, we have a natural and fleshly tendency to let others do for us what we should be doing for ourselves. We have far too many followers of people who have never become intentional followers of Jesus. There are far too many people sitting in Bible studies all over the world who should be by now leading others in studying God’s Word, but instead simply trust what others tell them to believe and never really grow.

Just look around at the huge numbers of followers of prosperity preachers. Thousands upon thousands of people following the teachings of self-help and self-promoting teachers, tickling the ears of listeners who want nothing more than to feel good about themselves. These are the people Paul spoke about to Timothy when he wrote,

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  2 Timothy 4:3-4

When the people of Samaria heard the Gospel from the woman Jesus met at the well, they came to Jesus. After learning directly from Him, they made this statement to the woman.

 “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:42

Here’s your weekend challenge. Have you become dependent on a human teacher for what you know about Jesus, or are you becoming less dependent upon people and more intimate with Christ?

In context, teachers are important to equip us to do the work of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul said so in Ephesians 4.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

But Jesus never intended for us to be dependent upon people for the growth of our faith. Christ designed our faith to grow through input and output. Teachers provide one form of input, but cannot provide the power for ministry. The Holy Spirit provides both input and the power for output. We are being equipped to do the work of ministry to others. Why is it that so many people continue to sit in groups for input but rarely involve themselves in the output of doing ministry? Without output, spiritual lives become dead seas.

My friends, look beyond the perceived controversy of what I just said, and turn to Jesus. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is your teacher. He empowers you to do ministry to others with what He teaches you. Your faith will grow by leaps and bounds when you become the one leading, rather than being led.

Pastor John

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