If I can claim anything as my motto, it is “we are fed by feeding.” It’s a short saying but, I believe, one that sums up the Christian ethic in its five words.
People who know me in a ministry sense have likely heard me say this before. I have said it in my small group lessons, in counseling sessions, to recovery groups and other places. If I am ever blessed with a full time ministry, this will be my simple truth statement underlying everything.
We are fed by feeding.
Several years ago, as I was standing up to slide out of my pew after a church service across town. someone turned to me and commented that the sermon was so powerful and said they were “fed” by the words of the preacher. I smiled.
Sermons can be very inspiring, motivational, convicting, and even educational. Certainly you can gain some amount of spiritual food from a sermon but this is not spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14, James 1:22). A Christian must do more than attend church on Sunday and listen to a sermon in order to grow spiritually.
A good analogy might be an athlete preparing for a game. If you eat a lot of food, you will grow but that increase in size does not make you strong. An athlete must feed his body and exercise to get into shape for a competition. To get into shape, the athlete will develop a fitness routine and practice. It is the same with your Christian life. It is not enough simply to eat. You must develop a spiritual fitness routine that helps you put your beliefs into practice. You must bear fruit.
We are saved by grace but because of our faith we must do good to others if we are to be truly mature. For some, acts of service might be volunteer work, giving to good causes, or acts of kindness. Wherever you are led to bear fruit, do so. Anyone can go to church to be seen. Feeding others in mind, body and spirit is the only way to progress to solid spiritual food.
“give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38