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I always wanted to play football but time and circumstances kept me from it until the eighth grade. We moved around quite a bit and my dads last duty station took us to Texas. Texas, where a babies first crib toy is a football and his first pair of outdoor shoes are cleats. Now in Texas most boys my age had been playing football since Pee-Wee league and have a good knowledge of the of the game and its language. Truth is they speak it better than the Kings English. I wanted to be a part of the game so bad and any amount of humiliation and effort was worth it. So I gave it the best I had and made the team, even after the coach said my lack of skill would get me killed. Well that is a bit overstated but I did get on the team……at the end of the bench. Now in my golden years I sometimes re-visit those early days and that’s how this blog came about.I kind of believe that even in church some of us feel like we are at the end of the bench. We want to be a part of what’s going on and to actively become involved in some type of ministry within the church but if time has taught me anything, it is preparation and knowledge goes a long way.

 Psalm 25:5

Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.

It occurred to me that maybe my football experience was due to my lack of knowledge as to what the game required and my lack of preparation. Admittedly, serving God is no game but it does require knowledge and preparation. I once wrote about getting out of the pew, go and serve. This is about getting off the bench, preparing yourself to serve and getting in the game.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

Here are some good points as to where you can start your preparation. These are from a sermon by Tom Shepard, Quite Life Ministries.

John 1226 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

 Develop a servant mentality.

“Possessing A Servant’s Heart. God’s Word teaches that greatness in the Kingdom is defined by serving others in the body of Messiah. Having the heart of a servant is an important component in our spiritual walk with the Lord. God shaped each one of us for service.” (Tom Shepard, Quite Life Ministries.)

How do we define selflessly? Perhaps servanthood is a better word, or rather a clearer definition for us. Servanthood literally means serving others, putting them and their needs first. (“It means willingly giving of oneself to minister for and to others and to do whatever it takes to accomplish what is best for another.”)*Tom Shepard, Quite Life Ministries.

Gal 6:9-10 (Phi) Let us not grow tired of doing good, for, unless we throw in our hand, the ultimate harvest is assured. Let us then do good to all men as opportunity offers, especially to those who belong to the Christian household.

Have a determination to serve.

Determination also requires endurance.

 Psalms 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

 1 Corinthians 9:24-27  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good

We Christians will have times of doubt and fear and even worry. Allowing fear, doubt and worry to rule our lives weakens our faith. The word of God gives us strength and determination in our daily walk with God. God’s word gives us hope. Consider the following verses…

 Psalms 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

 Proverbs 20:13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.

 Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Commit to following God.

“Each believer is responsible to respond to God’s call by committing their heart, mind, body, and life to serve Him, to share the Gospel, and to be His ambassadors in this world.” (https://bible.org

 Acts 20:32 “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.

 Serve where you are.

Many times people believe that in order to serve or be a part of ministry, you have to go overseas or commit to a month long mission trip. While being involved in those type of things is commendable and even worthwhile, we need to understand that we can serve right where we are. There are so many opportunities that we miss out on by thinking mission work is done some place other than where we are. When we chose to not serve and be involved where we are I think many times it is because we have conditioned ourselves to think that mission work is done some place other than where we are. Look around there are many opportunities in our neighborhoods, schools and even our own church or home.

“God has called believers to “go and make disciples” in Matthew 28:19, but we must realize that we can fulfill this command in class, with the neighbors down the hall, and even at work. Wherever you are, just go! Go, and make disciples.” (Tom Shepard, Quite Life Ministries.)

Get off the bench, get in the game.

jk

 

 

 

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