Jump Start # 2182
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
It’s Friday. It’s been a long week. You probably have plans for the weekend. Sunday is coming. But as you look back over the week, how did you do spiritually? Did you pray like you wanted to? Did you attend worship? Did you open the Bible and read? Busy schedules, work loads, family demands, things to do around the house, and we find some weeks weren’t the best for us spiritually.
One of the most difficult aspects of our walk with the Lord is that day to day commitment. It’s not the big challenges, but the little ones, the simple ones, the everyday stuff that so often is easy to push aside for the moment. We notice the concept of “daily” living and “daily” walking among those early Christians.
Jesus told the disciples to pray, “give us this day our daily bread” (Mt 6:11)
Discipleship involved carrying your cross daily and following Jesus (Lk 9:23)
The Hebrews were told to encourage one another day after day (Heb 3:13)
Every day they were teaching and preaching Jesus (Acts 5:42)
The Bereans were searching the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11)
When we are not engaged spiritually every day, the problem of inconsistency arises. There are days when more of the world is in us than should be. There are days when our attitudes are not where they ought to be. There are times when we can seem very “unchristian” in our behavior.
It’s not a matter of knowing. Most know. We’ve sat through the sermons. We’ve read the Scriptures. It’s just living seems to squeeze and crowd the spiritual out of us. There just doesn’t seem to be enough day in the day. Meetings at work, running the kids everywhere, so many texts, watching some TV, and before you know it, we crash into bed at night exhausted, wiped out until the alarm startles us awake the next morning to start the process all over. We roll out of bed, with our minds filled with so much to do and we start the day in a hurried pace and it only gets faster and faster until we crash into bed again in the night. The only relief is a Saturday morning, and for many, the kids have a game, or practice and that keeps this pace going.
And on Sunday, the preacher asks how are we doing spiritually? We know the answer to that, not so hot. Were it not for a Sunday, and worship, we’d probably have that day filled as well with something. There is always something to do. We think, once the kids are older it will slow down. It doesn’t. We think, once the kids are out of the house, things will be better. What happens is that something else fills that place and that schedule remains busy. Retirement looks better and better. If we can just hang on a few more years we tell ourselves.
But then those “daily” verses haunt us. Every day those early Christians were walking, living, encouraging and teaching the Lord. Every single day. How? How did they do it? We conclude that they didn’t have work demands and busy kids like we do. It was different for them we conclude. That’s our pass. That’s how we live with all of this.
Worship becomes our weekly spiritual vitamin. It is in worship that we are receiving 100% of our daily spiritual nutrients that keeps us healthy. Without worship, we’d dry up and wither away. We really need worship. For many, without wanting to admit it, this is their life. Busy schedules have conquered them and they don’t know any way around it. And, all of this is taking a toll upon congregations. Men do not feel qualified to serve as elders. Everyone around them seems to believe that they would be great, but deep inside, the person knows, he is not where he ought to be. Congregations can’t find teachers for Bible classes. The reason, teaching takes time and commitment. Who has the time? When is a person supposed to study? Hospitality is basically dead. Maybe get with a family after services and go out to eat, but all the other days are filled for both us and them. The depth of knowledge begins to level off soon after the basics. Learning takes study and study takes time and again, who has the time.
All of this is one of the very reasons Jump Starts Daily came to be. We found that people just didn’t have time to open their Bibles and read. Just too busy. The idea of a simple daily devotion, based upon a Scripture would help. We never dreamed it would have become what it is today. We never thought that it would still be going this long.
Our verse today contains three actions words: be steadfast, be immovable, always abound in the Lord’s work. Hold your ground and keep going. Don’t waver. Don’t put your sword and shield down. Don’t stop. And, never quit.
Great thoughts, but with the situation as it is, how does a person live everyday for the Lord? How do I become a daily disciple? Three simple things will help. You don’t have to toss your schedule in the trash. You don’t have to quit your job and move to a monastery. You don’t have to pull the kids out of every activity. But you do have to take control of your spiritual wellbeing. It’s up to you, not the church, not the preacher and not the elders, to be steadfast, immovable and always abounding.
First, invite the Lord into you life every day. You do this especially through prayer. You can pray a zillion times in a day. Little prayers. Pray before you enter work. Pray for opportunities. Pray for your attitude and your mouth. Pray for your purity. Pray for your kids and your mate. As things crosses your mind, little prayers. Say a prayer as you send a text. Say a prayer as you answer an email. Pray as you drive home. Start doing this, and more and more you’ll find yourself connecting with the Lord. You are reading Jump Starts, keep doing that. Think about the passage. Let those words roll around in your mind. What would you have written on this? How would you have addressed the issue of a busy lifestyle? See, without a lot of changes, you are moving your heart and mind into the spiritual realm.
Second, keep your priorities in line. Multitask. As you mow the yard, do the dishes, sweep the floor, pray, mediate, think spiritually. Think about what you can do to help the congregation. Think about where your family is spiritually. Think about what you need to do to grow deeper in the Lord. Learn to say “No.” You can’t be everywhere and you can’t do everything. It’s ok to say “No.” There are things that just must be done, such as eating together as a family, with the TV off and phones put away. Talk. Connect. Laugh. Share. Instruct. Keep Sunday always in your mind. Get to bed early Saturday. It will give you needed rest and it will make for a better Sunday. Find all the shoes, Bibles and things you need and lay them out on Saturday evening, so Sunday won’t be so crazy.
Third, every day use your faith. Look for people to help. Look for ways to invite. Look for good that you can do. Connect with the church family. Look around the work place or the neighborhood for ways to let your light shine. Be thinking.
And, in so doing these things, you are living everyday for the Lord. Everyday faith. Everyday discipleship. These things will make your faith richer and it will move you to new levels of commitment and growth. There is a song that is so haunting to us, “I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?” We don’t want to say a couple of hours on Sunday. We know that’s not a good answer. What have we given to Him? It should be our lives. Our hearts. Our all. And, all of this begins, when we live daily for Jesus.
Everyday faith…it starts today.