“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
J. Oswald Sanders once said, “Mediocrity is the result of never getting tired.”
Yet you cannot follow Jesus without getting tired. Therefore discipleship to Him and mediocrity cannot co-exist. Why? Because Christ-followers must recognize that life is given to be spent. Therefore He tells us to “count the cost” (Lk. 14:28)
The Apostle Paul counted the cost and said, “I will most gladly…be spent for your souls” (2 Cor. 12:15). Likewise, minister J.H. Jowett, speaking of the men in his congregation, claimed, “It is never the supremely busy men who have no time…whenever you make a demand on them, they seem to find additional corners to use for unselfish service. I confess as a minister that the men to whom I most hopefully look for additional service are the busiest men.”
Those who find joy in spending themselves for the Kingdom are those who always seem to have more to give.
Conversely, those who are stingy with their time, energy, and resources often have so little to offer. This observation is particularly poignant for our age—an age in which consumerism is far more common than self-expenditure.
But the counterintuitive call of Jesus disrupts the norms of the age: “If you try and keep your life, you will end up losing it; if you spend your life, you will end up finding it.” And we gather each week to heed this call, exiting the cultural atmosphere of consumerism in order to spend ourselves in worship and serving.
Thus meaningful participation in the life of the church is one of the “first practices” of discipleship, because it costs something; it costs time, energy, and resources, or at least it should.
One way to know whether your participation in the life of the church is indeed meaningful is to ask, Am I ever tired after church on Sundays? Do I ever get home from church and collapse on the couch? Can I even function on Sunday afternoon without a nap?
Some of us aren’t growing as disciples because we are seldom, if ever tired after church.
The result, as J. Oswald Sanders wisely noted, is spiritual mediocrity. Why? Because life is given to be spent for the Kingdom. For followers of Jesus, that’s the difference between meaningful and mediocre.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
- Are you regularly tired after church? Does it cost you something to participate in the life of the Body? If so, ask the Lord to strengthen you as you worship and serve. If not, why not? What’s stopping you from spending yourself for the Kingdom of God? Perhaps it’s time that you come clean with God and admit that you’re avoiding self-expenditure.
- Are there any needs in the church that you can meet? KidLife always needs teachers, and the worship team needs a drummer—these are two examples of serving that would definitely make you good and tired at the end of a Sunday morning. Pray that God will help you step out, meet the need, and spend your life for the sake of His Kingdom.
Set List for Sunday, May 12, 2019:
- The Lion And The Lamb (B. Brown, B. Johnson, L. Mooring)
- God I Look to You (J. Johnson)
- Kingdom Come (Lift Up Your Heads) (R. di Castiglione)
- Jesus Lifted High (A. Ivey, M. Dawes)
- In Christ Alone (K. Getty, S. Townend)