Have you ever heard someone say, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more that sitting in a garage makes you a car”? I’m sure we’ve all heard that one before. It is one of those things people who like to sleep in, shop or fish on Sundays say to justify their slackness. The truth is, although the statement at face value is true, it is irrelevant. Let me explain;
First, Christians aren’t “made” by attending church any more than cars are “made” by being in a garage. Both are in their respective locations because of what or who they are. To pursue that original argument, someone needs to convince me that cars shouldn’t be in the garage. Start arguing that and one simply exposes how desperate they are for justification. That’s why they take the “doesn’t make” approach.
The reality is, cars belong in the garage and Christians belong in church. “What about my 4 cylinder mustang”? It’s a car, right? Yes, it belongs in the garage. Maybe it isn’t the most powerful car on the road but it has potential! In your garage are lots of tools, a jack, maybe some really cool things you can use to improve the performance and durability of that pony but it will take some effort. One thing I can tell you is it wont happen parked at the lake while you’re fishing. It won’t happen down at the bar while you’re throwing a few back with the guys from work. It won’t even happen at the mall while shopping with your girlfriends. Your weak little mustang is only going to liven-up with a little work and an investment in time and energy to make some changes. This happenes where? You guessed it; IN THE GARAGE.
It’s the same with being a Christian. Billy Graham didn’t start out as the Billy Graham we know. He hasn’t always had the reputation and speaking power we know him for. NO! Billy Graham started out as a brand new baby Christian just like you and I. Of course now that we are so much older and wiser, we like to call those brand new baby Christians by other names. We like to call them hypocrites or other things that make us feel more justified in staying away from them and going fishing instead!
Let’s just go ahead and get right to the point with this so not to drag it along. Just like the little mustang belongs in the garage, Christians belong in church. We’re not going to make any significant improvement if we are not in church. The church to a Christian is what a speed shop is to a car! Do you want to go all through your Christian life as the 4-cylinder model with rusty fenders, torn seats and a transmission that doesn’t go past 2nd gear or do you want to invest a little time and effort to improve your performance and maybe even finish this race we’re in? THAT IS WHAT CHURCH helps you do! Get it?
Hey, I have even better news for you! Here it is; Everything I’ve talked about up to now is all about you. wasn’t that nice? Here’s the good stuff though, God himself has a position for you IN CHURCH. Now it may not be as a member of the staff or anything like that but if you put in some time and effort to improve yourself you’ll find that it wasn’t even as much about you as you thought way back when you felt like you didn’t need to be in church. You’ll discover that God has a place for you to help others improve. Sometimes a day at church might feel like a day at the race track or in a garage with everyone working as a team helping each other get every horsepower they can.
I’m totally convinced that regardlesss of what our ministry may be, a healthy ministry includes service and attendance at a local church. If you are not attending, you are holding yourself back and making yourself only partially available for God to use as he wishes.
I pray that whomever reads this devotion would get over it if I have stepped on your toes and accept the truth in it for your own benefit. God has plans for you and I don’t want you to miss it. Someone else may be depending on you for their next step at the altar. Don’t be off fishing and miss it.
Love & Respect – John