Many Christians consider going into full-time ministry at some point. It's almost a rite of passage for young believers. We spend years hearing how God is calling us to spread the Gospel, and honestly, can you imagine anything more exciting than sharing your faith in an exotic, far-flung country? The reality though, is that most of us will never go into missions work. We'll get normal jobs, start families, and maybe find a hobby in-between. How can we serve God in our daily routine?
While it might not sound as particularly glamorous, an ordinary life still offers numerous opportunities to serve Christ. Here are just a few simple ways Christians can grow their faith in a day-to-day routine and discover the joy of serving God..
Invest in Other People
"The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" - Galatians 5:14
It's remarkable how often we interact with people but never make the effort to know them. The cashier at your favorite store, the woman who cleans your office, the man you pass on the way to work every morning; each of these individuals is someone God created and gave His Son for. Christians looking to share Christ can begin by forming relationships with the people around them. Ask them about their day, compliment their outfit, or simply take a moment and listen to them. By investing in other people, we open their hearts to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Offer Help Where It's Needed
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" – Matthew 25:40
There's an old saying about how an act of kindness, no matter how small, can never be meaningless. Even minor displays of love can change lives for the better. Do you know a couple who just had a baby? Take them a meal some night. Is someone moving into the house next door? Welcome them to the neighborhood and help carry their belongings.
Is someone you know sick? Perhaps offer to watch their children for a day so they can rest. Don't pass up an opportunity to help where it's needed. These moments may be brief, but they'll be remembered.
"How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!" - Proverbs 16:16
Cars need gas, knives need sharpening, and Christians need to stay educated. It's tempting to leave this in the hands of our pastors, to simply ingest whatever they have to say each Sunday morning, but real wisdom has to be earned by the individual. Every Christian needs to spend time studying the Bible on his or her own, and supplement that knowledge with other readings from godly men and women. You can learn how to apply the truth of God's Word to everyday life. Remember, tests are easiest when you study for them!
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2
When my grandparents were younger, they never let a Sunday go by without inviting someone new over for lunch. My grandmother would cook up an old-fashioned Sunday meal, complete with a big helping of my grandfather's favorite dish, rutabaga, and they would spend the day getting to know a member of their church.
There's a reason why Jesus frequently chose to share meals with his followers. Hospitality creates trust between strangers and builds bridges over the rough landscape of our lives. If Christians want to share God's love with their neighbors, they simply have to invite them over.
"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." - Mark 11:25
Forgiveness, true forgiveness, can be a difficult thing. As much as we like to believe we understand the concept of grace, some of us are still learning what it means to let go of our anger and pain. There are dozens of moments in life where even Christians would rather not show forgiveness: the guy who cut you off in traffic, the coworker who still hasn't sent you that important email, the friend who blows you off at the last minute. God teaches us that forgiveness means letting go of grudges, of the expectation for payback, and choosing love over retribution.
Make Space to Worship God
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." – Galatians 5:24-25
It's easy for Christians to get swept up into our daily schedules. We wake up, go to work, eat dinner, maybe watch some television, and prepare to do it all again tomorrow. In such an environment, we can often forget to worship Christ regularly, but that worship itself refreshes the soul. Before you step out the door each morning, sit down and take a moment to thank the Lord for a new day. If you work in a nice area, spend your lunch hour walking around and praising God for his workmanship. In the evening, make a space where you can be alone with God.
We are called to love God, so let us make time for Him. Start today in experiencing God's goodness and blessings as you seek to serve him daily.
Publication date: September 30, 2015