Why We Must Breathe Out
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. The sea has a number of water sources flowing into it, primarily the Jordan River and a number of perennial springs under and around it. However, there are no outlet streams. Therefore, the body of water simply sits and receives but never flows outward. The Dead Sea is called “dead” because the resultant high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plants, from living in it.
I have often thought that the Dead Sea is a parable for us as followers of Jesus and for the church as a whole. We must receive input—Bible teaching, corporate worship, fellowship, prayer support—to survive, but when the church is made up of people who are only receiving input, it will soon become a stagnant church. Individually, we will become lifeless believers. You see, no matter how much sound teaching we hear, no matter how much warm fellowship we enjoy, no matter how many theological books we read, if all of that knowledge does not flow out into Christian witness to the world at large, we will die.
The Bible consistently tells us that the church of Jesus Christ was not made to live in isolation from the world but to give witness to the world. Jesus called us to be called “salt and light” out in the world. But salt must be spread out or we will only parch one another’s throats. Lights must shine outward or we will only blind each other. When a church starts focusing only on internal matters, within a generation—or at the most, two—we will find a church that has become stagnant.
For this reason, we regularly take a few weeks at LAC to make sure that we hear God’s Word calling us to flow out into the world and be God’s agents of reconciliation to the world. This weekend, we will be focusing on what should be the effect of “breathing out”. There is one word that summarizes all biblically directed ministry in the world, i.e., reconciliation. In preparation for our services, read 2 Corinthians 5:9–6:2 and meditate particularly on these words:
God gave us the ministry of reconciliation...
2 Corinthians 5:18
God committed to us the message of reconciliation...
2 Corinthians 5:19
We are Christ's ambassadors...
2 Corinthians 5:20
To His glory,
Dr. Greg Waybright