Picture a kitchen in an old British farmhouse, in which sits a pan on the stove, full of water bubbling away. That is the image Paul provides here regarding spiritual commitment. He essentially says that in Christ we are to keep the spiritual pot boiling. We’re not to go hot and then cold—we’re not to be enthusiastic at one moment and lose steam the next.
Once God’s grace has laid hold of us and we have been transformed by Christ and received His righteousness by faith, we must apply that righteousness to our living. Part of this applied righteousness is to do the work of Jesus with a certain divinely inspired, divinely commanded enthusiasm.
It is easy, though, to be prone to laziness and to lapse into a spiritual half-heartedness. The book of Proverbs has much to say, often with a tinge of humor, about the dangers and the results of a lazy life. One proverb describes a man who is so lazy that having put his spoon into the bowl from which he’s eating, he can’t bring himself to lift it back out (Proverbs 19:24; 26:15). Another describes laziness in a man burying himself under his blankets and staying there: “As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed” (v 14).
By contrast, the ultimate goal of Spirit-empowered zeal is to serve the Lord. How important it is for us to keep that goal in mind! When we do so, we recognize how even the most trivial activity—greeting a client, cleaning up a mess at home, loading or unloading the dishwasher, teaching each other, taking notes, giving an injection, speaking to our children, anything—can become a spiritual act of worship. Even the most routine part of our day can reflect our divine enthusiasm.
What brings your spiritual zeal to the boiling point these days? Serving Christ in worship? Sharing your faith with a colleague or stranger? Caring for your aging parents? Supporting the work of Christ across the world? Whatever it is, don’t let up on your zeal. Keep the water boiling by serving the Lord in every moment of every day in response to the grace that He pours out on you every moment of the day. Come to Him each morning and ask Him to ensure that you will not grow weary. Then in all things His name will be proclaimed, and He will be glorified.
Bear One Another's Burdens
1Brothers,1 if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5For each will have to bear his own load.
6Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
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