Friday, January 27, 2012

Spiritual Hoarding

...The word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.  Luke 3:2

Last year a curiosity grew in the Gaddini household, fueled by the TLC show Hoarding: Buried Alive. Our daughters had only watched the show a handful of times, but it brought a ton of questions into our family dialogue. “Is this for real?"   "How mainstream is it?” It even gave me new language for the chores! Cleaning your room became motivation to not have TLC show up to film a new episode for their hoarding show. While being sensitive to the mental health aspect regarding hoarding, I still have a degree of perplexity as to how anyone can live with and be blind to such extreme clutter.

You can imagine how shocked I was this week, while studying for the weekend's gatherings, God convicted me of hoarding!

While not a physical hoarder, I am a spiritual one!  I hoard so much of what God has entrusted to me.  I hoard spiritual gifts, material blessings, and prayers.  (So much of my prayer time is centered on me and my needs instead of interceding for others and for the world.) If that isn't convicting enough, I am most convicted by how I hoard the word of God.

Like John the Baptist in the verse above, God's word has been entrusted to me.  I probably own 25 Bibles (I won't even mention my electronic library of Bibles and commentaries!), and like you, God's word is my lifeline.  I need it every day and have developed a discipline of starting my day soaking in it.  Without that rhythm, I have no hope of being transformed into the character of Jesus.

While I am constantly adjusting my intake of the word to meet the season of life I am in and where the Holy Spirit is directing me, I have a growing conviction that the word was given to me as a stewardship.  I am a conduit to pass God's word on to others.

This is exactly what John the Baptist did.  Read further into Luke 3 to see what John did with the word that came to him: And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

I know what you're thinking.  "John's job was to preach the word.  Of course he took what was given to hima nd gave it away."  In a sense you are correct, but isn't there some truth here for us all to grasp?  Let me close with some questions.

Are you a spiritual hoarder?  How often do we come to God's word?  How often do we come with the mindset and prayer, "God, I want to soak in this, not only for my character development, but I am also trusting that you will use this time so I can minister to others"?  How are we deploying all that God has entrusted to us?

I pray that we are a church that soaks in the word.  But may we never be a church that hoards the word.  May it flow through us into a hurting world looking for life!

This is going to be a great weekend together.  Soak in Luke 3:1-12 and come prepared to meet the man who, in Jesus' opinion, was the greatest man who ever lived!

I love being your pastor!