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               Anyone can participate in sports, but only the strongest can survive being a spectator. According to heart specialists, when you become a spectator rather than a participant, the wrong things go up and the wrong things come down. As a spectator body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and triglycerides go up while vital capacity, oxygen consumption, flexibility, stamina, and strength go down.

 

                 Being an onlooker in the arena of Christian living is also risky. The wrong things go up and the wrong things go down. Criticism, discouragement, disillusionment, and boredom go up. Sensitivity to sin, awareness of the needs of others, and receptivity to the word of God go down.

                 Sure there’s a certain amount of thrill and excitement in hearing of someone else’s experience with God. A neighbor converted to Christ, a friend repenting and being restored or a coworker being reunited with his family through the power of the gospel. But the thrill of hearing another tell about their experiences in God’s service is nothing compared to the joy of experiencing it for oneself. There is just no substitute for building your own faith through firsthand experience and using your own God-given abilities in service to Him.

                 Solid food is for those who are out there using what God is teaching His people. There is nothing wrong with memorizing the ABCs; however, once that skill is learned it is time to move on to the more advanced lessons. Going back over (and over) the ABCs may be comfortable but it will never lead to true Christian maturity. The advanced material calls for active participation, radical obedience, reckless trust, and unrelenting commitment. This is where genuine growth takes place.

                 Living by faith involves a certain amount of risk. However, being a spectator involves an even greater amount of risk. God calls us to get into the game, not to merely keep the score.

                                                                                   Adapted from Matt De Haan II, Our Daily Bread

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