Follow the Path
Theme of the Week: Change Your Life Through Service
Thursday, August 21, 2014
[ see ratings/comments | 3 Comments ]
Key Bible Verse: "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else." (Mark 9:35)
Dig Deeper: Mark 8:34-38; 9:33-37
The way of service as the path to discipleship is usually not emphasized in our church culture. Making a big deal out of loving our neighbors might be reserved for a special emphasis every now and then, but everyday discipleship is mostly cast as a quest for God through various kinds of personal spiritual practices. The consumption of spiritual goods—whether it is worship, Bible study, prayer, fasting, giving—is mostly engaged as part of a church program. Discipleship has come to be measured as faithful participation in these church activities. Good works done outside the church are not celebrated much as part of the path to discipleship. As a result, people don't see all of life as a discipling platform.
This compartmentalized view of discipleship paints spiritual development as an activity pursued apart from normal life. Truth is, our spiritual growth is not very spiritual [if it] doesn't show up in how we relate to others, run our businesses, treat our schoolmates, and deal with our neighbors.
Spiritual development works its way out in relationships that are part of everyday life. It is the path to discipleship applauded by Jesus in his command that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.
—Reggie McNeal in Get Off Your Donkey
My Response: How have I grown spiritually through service?
Thought to Apply: No man has a right to lead such a life of contemplation as to forget in his own ease the service due to his neighbor; nor has any man a right to be so immersed in active life as to neglect contemplation of God.—St. Augustine (church leader, theologian)
Thought to Apply: The kingdom of God advances by people lovingly placing themselves under others, in service to others, at cost to themselves.—Gregory A. Boyd (preacher, theologian)
Adapted from Get Off Your Donkey by Reggie McNeal (Baker, 2013; bakerpublishinggroup.com) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
Copyright © 2014 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
Lord Jesus, help me to see serving others not as a "Christian obligation" but as an exciting path to a truly fulfilling life.
Use your Men of Integrity login to easily comment on this article.