Like An Athlete, We Need To Train So We Can Finish The Race, Fight The Good Fight.
Like an athlete, we need to train. Spiritual disciplines are exercises to develop spiritual muscles needed to be an active warrior for Christ. Sadly, our culture has become a spectator society. People today would rather watch others play the game while they hoot and holler and get all excited. Then they go to work and say “How about those _________. “like they had anything to do with the outcome. I suppose that is like going to church for many people. “Yea God, Go Pastor Jim.” Then we go home and wait for the next Game. That is not what the spirit filled life is supposed to be like.
Serving other people as unto Christ is an essential spiritual discipline. It focuses us outward. It causes us to rely on God’s grace and power to flow through us. It meets the needs of other people. It demonstrates the love of Christ. Its not the big things we do that everyone see but the little things we do everyday as we go along our way. Happiness is helping others
Have you ever thought about how Jesus lived his life on earth? What kind of life did the King of kings and Son of God live when he came to earth? A life of service to others…
Jesus worked in obscurity as a blue-collar worker for most of his life. He repaired broken chairs. He fixed breakfast. He washed feet. He touched lepers. He healed sick people. He brought food to the hungry. He played with children. He listened to the broken-hearted. He went to parties with social outcasts. He invited the poor into the Kingdom of Heaven. He ministered to people who interrupted him. Day after day for three years he quietly taught a few uneducated men and women in how to be his apprentices in godly living. He loved his enemies, blessed those who cursed him, and prayed for those who abused and crucified him.
Jesus taught his followers that just as he, their Lord and teacher did not come to be served but to serve, so they should serve others and that if they did they would be blessed (Matthew 20:26-28, John 13-13-17). Jesus kept coming back to this message again and again and in many ways:
The discipline of service to others is difined as, loving, thoughtful, active promotion of the good of others and the causes of God in our world, through which we experience the many little deaths of going beyond ourselves.
Service is deceptively simple. It is in short, to seek out the menial job, to welcome unjust criticism, to befriend those who annoy us, to help those who are ungrateful. I am convinced that these “trifles” pleased Jesus more than the great deeds of recognized holiness.
The beauty of serving is how utterly available it is to everyone. From the child to the adult, from the sophisticated to the simple, from the most powerful to the least influential, all can undertake this ministry of small things. The opportunities to live in this way come to us constantly, while the great fidelities happen only now and again. Almost daily we can give smiling service to nagging co-workers, listen attentively to silly bores, express little kindnesses without making a fuss.
The blessing of quietly serving others in simple ways is to join with Jesus and enjoy our Father’s reward (Matthew 6:1).
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson