Two cowboys lean against the corral fencing. One is whittling, and the other stands with his hands on his belt buckle. He says to the whittler, “I am getting more.” “More?” the whittler replies. The belt buckle is shown to have gotten bigger. “Yes. I am getting more from my car insurance.” And, as the belt buckle becomes excessively large with each scene, the wearer explains a little more about how he is getting more by having his car insurance with this particular company.
This TV commercial by the Geico company makes me chuckle. But, in retrospect, it draws the people of the church to consider a serious spiritual concern about getting more from their Christian experience. After all, Jesus Christ has purchased for us a beneficent salvation at His personal expense: His body-breaking and blood-shedding death on the Cross. His precious sacrifice paved the way for us to experience the depths of the gracious riches of God.
The question, however, is whether you and I are getting all the spiritual value from it that is at hand for us to experience. The truth of the matter is that too often too many do not begin to scratch the surface of what the Lord has in store for us.
We typify not getting much benefit from our salvation experience when we express disappointment with how we feel God is dealing with our personal affairs. Worry and complaint are evidence of not getting the total Christian value. Worship boredom proves it. Lack of faithfulness and commitment are exact indicators.
When the people of the church are not getting full value of what it means to be a Christian, it clearly shows. But, while we should get more from our Christian experience, the question is how to do so. The Scripture gives us indisputable information.
First, the Scripture says to “rejoice in the Lord.” Those who deliberately rejoice in the Lord, who made an eternal difference them, are sure to get more from their salvation experience. A certain medical study stated that people focused primarily on the negative are statistically more prone to heart problems than those who focus on optimism.
By way of comparison, unsatisfied church people have a serious spiritual problem of the heart when there is little rejoicing that comes from being saved. Our Christian experience will most certainly be blasé if we focus on the pessimistic aspects of life rather than the glad results of redemption. On the other hand, the value of rejoicing about it is inestimable! If you have been saved, thank God often that you are, and see if it does not bring a difference to your perspectives.
Second, the Scripture says to “worship God in the spirit.” This is accomplished when we allow the Holy Spirit to stimulate an understanding of Godly presence within us. Proper worship, therefore, involves an abiding awareness of how awesome our God is. One cannot help but to feel blessed and worshipful when we consider just how great our God is.
God blesses best those who strive to worship Him “in spirit and in truth.” One cannot help but feel spiritually rich when they have properly come into contact with God through Spirit-led worship. From my personal experience, I have long said that I love my wife best and my kids more after I have worshipped God. Worship makes an effective difference about how we view life. God says that if we faithfully worship Him that He will “cause us to ride upon the high places of the earth.”
Third, the Scripture says that, if you will get more out of your Christian experience, forget the past and live the present in Jesus Christ. This comes from the words of Apostle Paul, who wrote, “Forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before…” Why? Because there is a “prize” to be gained. The “prize” has to do with “the high calling” of God we have in Jesus Christ. To get the most of your Christian experience, you have to consider the spiritual advantages of this high calling we have.
In the mean time, how big is your spiritual belt buckle?
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.