I must have uttered those words 5000 times during college. “Hey man you got 50 cents?” I was always in the mood for tacos, always broke, but there was a place right across from campus that sold crunchy beef tacos three for a dollar. I usually only had to hit up about five people before I had enough to get me some lunch.
It’s funny how that was like 25 years ago and I still don’t have the coin to buy tacos with. I was in the mood just now, and since this is my next to the last day of PTO and I don’t get paid until midnight, I’m flat broke. The cool thing is, in a house with four people, three of which have purses, I can always scrounge enough loose change to get me a few tacos. And I just did, and they were awesome!
It’s also funny how life imitates art sometimes. I am an artful scrounger, and when I was in college I might as well have had a cardboard sign, “Will work for tacos. But not really just give me 50 cents.” If I had to pay all those people back I would owe a lot of money.
Sometimes in life though, we feed off the scraps of others – we live vicariously though heroes on tv or the movies, we scour facebook or twitter for juicy updates on people from our past, we keep an eye out in the paper on the obits or court records pages to see if we’ve died or gotten divorced. And most of us go to church once a week or so “to get fed.”
It’s ok. I understand. I’m just as busy as you. Two growing kids, a house that always needs some kind of maintenance, a beautiful, loving, awesome wife, a job, and 47 other things all vie for my attention. Sometimes I forget that I’m all growed up and I’m able to feed myself.
I love my church. I could listen to my pastor talk all day long. His words are solid gold, life changing, straight from God. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard anything like it. Everything that goes on during worship resonates within my spirit and I reach out for God and long to be closer to him. Then I go home, and life starts up again.
Kids fighting, what’s for lunch, did we get on the plumber’s schedule and who is going to miss work to be here when he arrives? Did you make the kid’s lunch or do I need to do it? Don’t forget about Trinity’s dentist appointment, Zoey still needs her 5 year old shots and I have to go to the ATM to get tooth fairy money. The bathroom door is sticking, too. Might need to look at that.
We tend to overindulge on the Sunday milk and starve ourselves during the week.
Do you think that is what your pastor wants for you? To just rely on him for all of your spiritual needs? Where does that put God? The pastor received a great word, and shares it with you, but what do you do with it after that? If you’re like most people, you put your notes in your bible, put your bible on the shelf, and then when Sunday hits and you’re in a mad dash to get out the door to be at church on time, you forgot which shelf you put it on and you’re late anyway. Because you can’t go to church without your bible, now, can you?
You also can’t make it during the week without it. You can’t make it during the week without a constant, ongoing conversation with God. You can’t make it without your own word from him. You can’t make it unless you get off the bottle feeding and start taking in some heavy duty calories.
1 Peter 2:2 says we should long for the pure spiritual milk, and grow up in our salvation. Remember how important milk is for babies? But at some point they grow teeth and want some crunchy tacos. If they stayed on the milk, they’d never grow, never mature, never develop in the proper way, never be able to function as an adult.
What I’m saying is, grow up! You’ve got teeth, use them. Dig into the word, on your own. Do your own learning. Pray your own prayers. Talk to God like he’s a real person, and listen for an answer.
Hebrew 5:13-14 says, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” If you want to know how to live life, and live it the way God created you to live it, you’ll need to grow, you’ll need to learn to feed yourself! “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity” (Hebrew 6:1).
Who’s responsibility is it to tell you all about Jesus and lead you to him so that you can be saved? Other Christians, pastors, church leaders. Did you know the first person to share Christ with me was just some kid at school? He didn’t just unvite me to church, either. He told me all about Jesus and left me with a choice to make, which I eventually did – when my pastor led me to Christ.
Since then I’ve done the same thing for a lot of people – explained the basics, and left them with a choice. And once the choice was made, I taught them to stand on their own. There are a lot of people out there right now, living and growing and being who God created them to be. Is it easy? Nope. It takes time, patience, consistency. If you want it, you’ll have to work for it, and you’ll have to work for it every single day, even when you don’t feel like it. But it beats living off the scraps of others.
Be who God created you to be! Engage him in conversation, listen for his voice, grow to maturity in Christ, bear fruit!
The next time you’re scrounging up some taco money, remember this – You’re not a beggar at the table, you’re a chosen son or daughter of God, and he wants to know you!