Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Don’t Hold Back
A budding martial artist spars with his instructor. As time goes on and more and more energy is expended, the student’s technique becomes sloppy. His kicks and punches don’t land with much impact. It becomes clear that he is no longer giving his best effort. The instructor urges him, “Don’t hold back! Give it all you have, all the time!”
As Christians, how often do we feel like that? Our daily struggle with the lies of the devil, the influence of a godless world, and the temptations of our own sinful nature wear us down. So we hold back from serving the Lord and serving others in love. The husband holds back from being a selfless, loving leader of his family. The business professional holds back from being forgiving and understanding with her fellow employees when there is conflict among them. A young man at school holds back from defending and speaking well of a classmate who is being ridiculed by others. How easy is it for our service to God and to others to become sloppy, inconsistent, and lazy.
So what is the solution to that very real problem? Try harder? Beat ourselves up over it? If our zeal to serve God is lukewarm, then concentrate on the love of God shown to us in his Son, our Savior, Jesus. The Bible says, “We love because he first loved us.” God’s love for us sinners never cooled. His desire to serve us in our greatest need never waned. His love for us burned so intensely that Jesus, our Savior, gave his holy life on the cross to forgive sloppy, inconsistent and lazy service. The Lord Jesus didn’t hold back from us. He gave his all for us to save us from sin and death, and to give us eternity with him.
Now by his grace and blessing, we offer ourselves out of thanks to him. Jesus didn’t hold back from us. So don’t hold back in showing his love to others. Give it all you have, all the time.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for being lazy in my service to you and to those around me. Fuel the fire of my faith with your love. Help me to share that love with all the people in my life. Amen.
Source: WELS Devotions