Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...service with a smile

Have you ever been greeted with an enthusiastic attitude of someone serving you? Possibly at your local Wal-mart or a hostess at your favorite restaurant. Sometimes service with a smile or enthusiasm is rare to find.

The word "enthusiasm" comes from the Greek words en theos, which means "in God". To have enthusiasm is to have the spirit of God within us. How different of a Christian could we be if we really lived out this definition.


WHY DON'T MORE CHRISTIANS FEEL ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THEIR FAITH?
  • Winning sports teams generally get enthusiasm from their fans without even asking for it.

  • Singing stars sometimes have to step back from the enthusiasm of some of their fans -like when the fans charge the stage.

  • Political delegates have enthusiastic supporters who wave signs and applaud every move they make.

~When is the last time you saw Christians express enthusiasm for praise and worship without the worship leader in church prodding them to?

~Have you ever seen church members charge the sanctuary stage as your Pastor preached God's Word with more enthusiasm than they could contain?

~What banners or signs do you see being waved in the Sunday morning service at your local church?

Enthusiasm, according to a football coach is simply stated as, "Having a winning team, and having good cheerleaders!" How do we get this kind of enthusiasm in the church laboring for the Lord?


In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, the question was asked - "Of the things you do for the Lord, which one do you have the hardest time enthusiastically doing?" The top 3 answers were...

  • 1. 50% of those voting said they have a hard time being enthusiastic serving on church committees.
  • 2. 40% of those polled, voted and said that it is hard to be enthusiastic about sharing their faith with others.
  • 3. 10% voted and said they struggle to be enthusiastic in some other form of serving God.

This poll reveals to me that when it comes to laboring for the Lord, some of us lack enthusiasm for it. Paul addresses this to the people in Colossae in the book of Colossians:

COLOSSIANS 3:23 "And whatever you do, do it heartily (or enthusiastically), as to the Lord and not to men"

Many times when we are doing work in the church, it is to please people. We want people to think that we are creative, or dedicated or even righteous. We look for satisfaction in pleasing people. And when we don't get it - we feel let down, discouraged or sometimes even disgruntled.

A well-known saying warns us -

"You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time; but you cannot please all of the people all of the time."

Those who try to please everyone will soon grow discouraged, and when this happens how can we remain enthusiastic about what we are doing?

Seeking to please Christ, in all the things that we do, will keep us from being discouraged even in the midst of those who seem ungrateful or unappreciative for our acts of service. When we serve Christ and serve others, God always sees and He always appreciates. This is why He warns us in Matthew the following:

MATTHEW 6:1-4 "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in Heaven. (2) Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (3) But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4) that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."

Part of building enthusiasm in our service to the Lord is remembering what our true reward is. When we focus on people, we focus on earthly rewards. These type of rewards are often times disappointing. The rewards of the world often times do not come through for us.

  • We can work for many years trying to earn a promotion, only to see that promotion given to someone else.

  • We can build up our financial fortune, only to have it lost in a stock market crash or law suit.

Those that achieve success almost always will look around and ask themselves - was it worth it? When wealthy and famous John Rockefeller was asked how much money it took to satisfy a person, he responded, "Just a little more!"

We can be confident that the reward of God's kingdom will be worth it all! That is why Paul encourages us to work towards Gods promises with enthusiasm. Serve God with a smile!

HOW ENTHUSIASTIC ARE YOU ABOUT YOUR FAITH?

I have been studying the book of Colossians, and these are some thoughts of what I have learned from Paul this week. It is my prayer that you will have an attitude of servant hood that oozes with enthusiasm as you serve God with a smile!

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: Please take time to vote in this week's poll. It can be found on the side bar of this blog. Remember your opinion REALLY does matter!

2 comments:

Debra said...

Laurie,

So true! So true! My son was just telling me yesterday that he was being chastised by someone for being 'so happy'!! And what had him so stumped was it was someone who professed to be a Christian!!

We have such a great reward awaiting for us...oh how we should be excited!!

Blessings to you, my friend!

Laurie Ann said...

Laurie, thank you for taking a stand for the roles that the importance faith and serving God (not man) plays in our lives! Amen, sister! I love it!