Changing our mentality from getting to giving has never been an easy feat. But for the student of God’s ways, you have already probably figured out why God’s kingdom has been termed the upside down kingdom. Want be great? Serve. Want be exalted? Humble yourself. Want to live? Die. Whoever wants to save his life–will lose it. It’s that simple.
The discipline of service is perhaps the most crucial, yet unfortunately it is the most overlooked. God expects us to bear fruit. To give of our time, to give of our resources, to use the gifts He has given us to meet the needs of others AND to demonstrate a life a life of service to those we are called to lead. Well done is always better than well said.
There are four critical aspects God expects us to cultivate in order for us to thrive! Leave one out and you might as well be sitting on a two legged chair. Of the four, the second is perhaps the most neglected and the primary reason for our lack of joy and contentment.
I) First, the internal self leadership and infrastructure of our lives: integrity, honesty, managing relationships, managing time, managing finances, attaining vision, setting goals, becoming persons of value–this is PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.
II) Second, becoming givers. Believer’s who serve, who give of their time, who give value to others, who are compassionate, who build their families, neighborhoods and communities. Disciples with inlets and outlets, who don’t just seek to get, but who are passionate about finding ways to use their skills to serve those in need–this is the DISCIPLINE OF GIVING.
III) Third, we must be properly grounded in our faith and convictions. A student of God’s ways is a reverent worshiper, a student of the Word, a soul winner, always growing in wisdom. This is where our convictions are housed and where courage, boldness and clarity of vision is birthed–this is SPIRITUAL GROWTH.
IV) Lastly, we must be grateful. Through the eyes of gratitude, everything is a miracle. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. And giving thanks always precedes the miracle. Jesus healed 10 lepers, only one (a Samaritan at that) returned to give thanks.“Where are the other nine, He asked?” He knew where they were alright. They had neglected an important virtue–this is the DISCIPLINE OF GRATITUDE.
Consider this: Every year, God will check up on you to see how how fruitful (productive) your life has been. What will heaven find this year, I wonder?
Then (Jesus) told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”Luke 13:6-9
Rivers and streams with inlets and outlets bring flourishing growth and verdant life to the surrounding communities, but not the dead sea. The dead sea has inlets, but no outlets. It receives from the Jordan river and many smaller streams but gives nothing except through the heat of evaporation. The dead sea is so salty, so dead, that no animals can survive in it. Nothing grows around the dead sea. And nothing will grow and flourish in or around you unless you work on becoming a giver, a servant, a person with outlets. A person who gives value to others.
For HIS glory!