Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 1 January 2018
Page 13

Pushing Ourselves

Dean Kelly

Dean KellyEcclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV) reads, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Colossians 3:22-24 says, “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

I have been sick since Monday of this week. Sparing all the details, I have been home most of the week. Sometimes illness overtakes you, and you have no choice but to give in and try to get better. However, way too often, I am afraid, some tend to give in to the slightest problems—a headache, being tired, various other ailments—and use them as an excuse not to meet one’s obligations. Sometimes, it is necessary to push ourselves to do what we do not necessarily feel like doing. We cannot give in to every little problem and be successful in life.

We Need to Push Ourselves to
Do Everything with All Our Might

We should work hard to meet our obligations and to be the very best we can be at what we do. I know some people who are always pushing themselves to do the best they can. Quite often, they get out of bed not feeling well, yet they keep on going. They are going to accomplish what they need to do, no matter how they feel physically or if they dislike what they are having to do. They believe in working with all their might. On the other hand are those who are going to get out of anything they can, and who will just give up working at the slightest suggestion of feeling bad or disliking the job. The first group includes successful people, whereas the second group is much less successful. The first group believes in pushing themselves to do whatever they have to do with all their might.

We Need to Push Ourselves Because
We Recognize That Whatever We Do,
We Do It for God and Not for Man

Christians should be the most trustworthy people on earth. Christians should be those upon whom anyone can depend because they recognize that they are responsible not just to man but to God Himself. When we allow ourselves to bow out of obligations at every opportunity and for every little excuse, we are not only letting ourselves down, and those to whom we are obligated, but we are letting God down.

We Need to Push Ourselves
Because We Recognize Our Priorities

We must get our priorities straight. There is nothing wrong with staying up late at night, as long as we recognize we have to get up and go tomorrow anyway. There is nothing wrong with resting, when the time is appropriate and it does not interfere with our obligations. We need to prioritize our lives and make sure that the obligations we have, whether they are school, work or even Bible Study and worship are put into such a priority that we are willing to push ourselves to get them done.

One Personal Example

When I was a child, I was running a high fever. I did not go to school, which was the wise thing to do. However, some of my friends started playing ball after school, and I went out and started playing. I was still sick, and I should not have done that. Yet, it quickly showed where my priorities as a child lay. In adults, I often see the same type of confused priorities. Let us push ourselves to do what we should do. We will have enough times when we cannot function, due to illness, etc., but let us not use every excuse to keep from doing whatever we do heartily as unto the Lord.

The Humble Servant

Derek Broome

When we look at the life of Jesus, we see the Son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in several different stages of life: as a newborn baby, as a young boy and as a man beginning His ministry. Every aspect of His life pointed to the fact that Jesus was here for a purpose. His purpose was to bring salvation to the world. His purpose was to bring about the kingdom, the church. However, many thought His kingdom would be of this earth. They thought of an earthly throne. It is conceivable that many thought of great riches, glory and powerful armies. Yet, that was not the kind of King Jesus was to be. Yes, He was God in the flesh. He had all power at His disposal, but Jesus was to be a different kind of King than the world had ever known. He would not take glory for Himself. Humbly, He submitted to the will of the Father, and humbly, He came to serve.

One of the many great lessons Jesus taught while He was here on the earth was about humble service. On one occasion, while Jesus was delivering that great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about a few different ways we can humbly serve God. In Matthew 6:1, Jesus first gave a clear warning to not practice righteousness to be seen by men. He then went on to talk about three different topics: charitable deeds, praying and fasting.

In Matthew 6:3, the instruction given regarding charitable deeds was to not let one’s left hand know what the right hand was doing. Instead, we are to do charitable deeds secretly and in a way to glorify God and not ourselves.

Matthew 6:5-7 changed the subject from charity to prayer. In these verses, Jesus clearly taught, that like our deeds, our prayers are not to be prayed to be heard by men. We are not to pray prayers with lofty words so that we sound smarter or more spiritual than our peers. Instead, we are to pray prayers secretly and from the heart—always giving honor to God.

Lastly, we come to the discussion of fasting. In Matthew 6:16, we see that when we are fasting, we should not try to draw attention to ourselves. Like our charity and our prayers, our fasting should be done in secret. God is the one that should be glorified.

Humble service was taught by the very life that Jesus lived. The King of Kings humbled Himself to assume the form of man, fell to His knees to wash His disciples’ feet and went to the cross to die for you and me. Jesus is the Humble Servant, but He is also our Lord and Savior. As we live each day, let us remember the lessons that Christ has taught us. Let us humbly serve in such a way that God will receive the glory.

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