The older I get the more contented I am with these lifestyle directives…
“…love each other… more and more… make it your ambition to lead a quiet life… mind your own business… work with your hands… so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thess. 4:9-12).
These are commands I can manage when I am weak and when I am stro –… or rather, less weak.
It is good to know that serving Christ is not only for the strong or supple. Working with God need not mean building a habitação in Brazil, ascending the Andes with gospel Bible/radios for the Quechua, or growing churches in Benin – all ministries those near to me have done. I need not aspire to doing some “great work for God,” but as Mother Teresa has said, “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”
Doing our best at what we can do, and doing it for the glory of God, these are the very best things that we can do. Scripture warns against doing exact inverse of that as Don pointed out to us in the words of Jeremiah: “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them.” (Jer. 45:5).
I like that directive too. It’s not complicated. “Should I…?” No! “Do not…?” A guy at any age appreciates that sort of simplicity… much moreso as the clock ticks on.
Instead, give a glass of cold water… go visit someone who is sick, or someone in prison (There are many kinds of prisons.) Live as a testimony of purity–an example to younger believers, be hospitable to visiting missionaries or guest speakers traveling by, donate clothing to your local Thrift Shop, check in with a widow, a shut-in and help out or find help where you can. Each of these is also a command of scripture:
“…if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” (Matt. 10:42 – NLT)
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27 – NLT).
“…I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’…‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matt. 25:34-35, 40 – NLT).
All of these are little things, yet all become extra-ordinary things when we do them… live them… for the glory of God… as we go about our so-called ‘ordinary’ days.
Today the Lord’s message to us is this: Don’t do nothing because you can no longer do the extraordinary — get out there and be ordinary!