Friday, August 14

Top 10 Joy Killers: Sidelined Christians

Someone once described a football game as 22 men in desperate need of rest being watched by 80,000 in desperate need of exercise. Think of that as you watch your college football game from the stands or the lazy boy this fall!

The Pareto Principle is known as the 80/20 Rule and pretty much follows a standard bell curve. 20% do 80% of the work. 20% give 80% of the money.

When it comes to being a Christian, 80% might be missing out on joy because they are sidelined and in desperate need of ministry exercise.

Read: 3 John 1:1-4; Philippians 1:3-6
1 The elder,
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Philippians 1:3-5
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

For both John and Paul there is joy when Christians are active with their faith. These two Bible passages represent an entire NT theme of joy associated with relationships and partnerships in ministry. There is joy in serving and joy in watching others walk with the Lord.

For John, he can almost not contain himself. Hearing that the believers in Asia are walking with the Lord, John calls it, "great joy". That is how it feels when believers are in the game and not sidelined.

For Paul, he prays with joy because the believers that are partnering with him in the gospel. Hearing that the believers in Philippi are sharing the gospel, Paul turns to the Lord with joy. That is how it feels when believers are in the game and not sidelined.

For Jesus, He is said to be full of joy when the disciples return from preaching in the cities. I believe this is the only time in the NT that says Jesus experienced joy. Surely he did more than this but this is the only recorded time that HE experienced joy. It was when his disciples were doing ministry and making a dent in the darkness (Luke 10). That is how it feels when believers are in the game and not sidelined.

Are you in the game? Every believer should be involved in:
1 Daily Devotion
1 Worship Service
1 Small Group
1 Ministry Activity

Evaluate where you are with this? Are you in the stands? Are you in desperate need of exercise? If you get involved you will bring great joy to the leaders in those ministries and joy to Jesus too. I bet you will find joy for yourself as well as you see the Lord use you.

Do not be sidelined. Get in the game.

Maybe you are concerned that you do not know where you fit or think you have nothing to offer. Well, everybody is a "10" somewhere. God has given you gifts TO serve him and others. Ask your pastor to see what you might be able to do. You have a SHAPE that will help determine where you might best serve.

Spiritual Gifts

Get in the game!

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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