Despite being the wealthiest people to ever walk the face of the earth, we still face daily struggles that interfere with our desire to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Most of us do not struggle with knowing where we will find our next meal or have to face being tortured because of our faith. Still, each of our lives brings their own set of challenges that can discourage us. Usually it becomes difficult to remember for whom we have pledged to live. When we do remember, it is a struggle to understand what it looks like to follow Jesus. I’ve got three practical applications for your life to help you put some discipline behind your devotion.
- Intentionally look for opportunities to show kindness to others. Every day we have opportunities to be different, to live lives worthy of being called a follower of Jesus. Last week I walked into work past some people doing landscaping work. I was already past them before I thought to throw a smile or a kind word their way. Quickly after that, I stepped onto an elevator and allowed someone else to initiate a friendly greeting. Both of these circumstances were opportunities to reflect the love of Jesus to others and both of these were opportunities lost. Make a habit to approach your day looking for ways to show genuine Christ-fueled love towards those with whom you come into contact.
- Intentionally look for opportunities to serve others. We live in a world that is filled with people who are desperately in need of knowing that someone cares about them. With economies crumbling world-wide, there are new opportunities to help people every day. Perhaps it’s buying a bag of groceries for a neighbor who’s been out of work for a while. Maybe you could offer to babysit the children of someone who just needs a break. There are many ways we can serve those in need if we simply take the time to look for them.
- Get away for quiet time with God. When you spend your life giving of yourself at every chance, you will need to refill your soul. I believe this is one of the reasons Jesus consistently went away by Himself. So much was flowing out of Him that He needed to spend time with His Father getting emotionally recharged for the journey. Serving others is absolutely exhausting. When we are doing it in the name of Jesus, it is also exhilarating. Still, we cannot continuously give of ourselves without taking the time to allow Jesus to fill us back up with His power and His compassion. Spending time in prayer and studying His Word will give us strength to carry out the mission He has given us to do.
To be a truly devoted follower of Christ, it is necessary that we study His life. Jesus was never too busy to show compassion to those He encountered (Luke 18:15-17, Mark 2:1-12, John 5:1-15). He was constantly serving others by healing their sicknesses (Matthew 12:15-21, Matthew 4:23-25) on His way to the greatest service of all: giving His life so that we might find salvation through Him (John 10:10, Luke 19:10, John 10:17-18). Through it all, Jesus stayed closely connected to His Father, never neglecting spending time alone with Him (Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:13, Luke 22:39-46). These are just three simple ways to make certain your life is consistent with that of Jesus. As we practice walking as He did, we will find our problems fading into irrelevancy. Nothing matters beyond living out the mission of Christ, fulfilling the life He called us to live.
Question: What ways do you practically live out the mission of Christ in your daily life? Please join the conversation below.