Last week, we considered the advent of the new fall season and millions of Americans going back to school. With everyone settling into new schedules and making plans for the fall semester, we were encouraged to not neglect vital spiritual disciplines in the Christian life. We promised you six different spiritual disciplines, but we only looked at the first three: being in God’s Word, praying regularly, and evangelizing. This week, we’re going to look at the other three as we consider the importance of these practices and see how we can better incorporate them into our daily or weekly routines going forward. So, without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off…
4. Prioritize serving in your local church and in your community. One of the most practical spiritual disciplines we can engage in, is service and servanthood. Jesus said that anyone who wants to be first in the Kingdom of God must be last and become the servant of all. A Christ-like life is a life of service and sacrifice. What are some ways that you can weave regular volunteering or service into your weekly routine as you plan out the upcoming fall season? In which areas could you serve the church and your community in a way that demonstrates the sacrificial love of Jesus and a desire to love others as He loved us? Take an inventory of the gifts with which God has blessed you and then put them to use in whatever context fits best.
Are you good with kids? Volunteer to serve in the youth at your church, or even host a college ministry or bible study at your home. Are you good with computers and technology? Offer to run sound for worship at your church, or be ready and willing to help out the seniors at your church, or your aging next-door neighbors, who have weekly computer or smart phone issues and no one to help them (pray for plenty of patience along the way!). And if you’re good with your hands or are a carpenter or mason, talk to your pastor(s) and find out where you can help in your community and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Whatever or wherever it is, make a point to put your talents and skills on the altar to be used in service of the Kingdom.
5. Make giving a regular part of your financial practices. This is one we talk about often here at Faith Driven Consumer. But one of the most practical ways in which we can embody faith driven practices as believers is through the use of our money. And while spending wisely, saving money through platforms like FDC Marketplace, and using the FEI to ensure you’re supporting faith compatible brands, it’s also important for us as Faith Driven Consumers (FDCs) to be giving regularly to further Christ’s Kingdom. Whether it’s to your local church, a ministry or directly to help the poor, the orphans, or the widows, giving of your resources and your money for causes prescribed in Scripture–and that align with our values–is one of most important spiritual disciplines we can perform.
There are many reasons why giving regularly is such an important spiritual discipline in which we should be involved. But an important one that comes to mind is that giving regularly and sacrificially is a defense against idolatry in our hearts. In a world where most people are obsessed with the money, the pursuit of money, and the things money can buy, it’s important for us to remind ourselves that money is not our god. Giving regularly and sacrificially can help train and teach our minds to remember that all money is God’s anyway and that it can easily become an idol if we are not careful.
6. Worship God throughout each and every day. This one is obvious and may seem like an umbrella term for all of the other practices we’ve been considering. But while that’s true in a way, worship is the most important of them all. And it’s so important for us to consider and work diligently to practice because it’s the thing which should undergird all the other disciplines we’ve discussed. That’s because worship is not a specific practice or a task to be performed. Worship happens from the heart. When we respond to the goodness of God with a spirit of praise and honor to Him, we are worshipping God. When we, by Jesus’ work on the cross and through the power of the Spirit, reflect the character of God back to Him and to the world, we are worshipping God.
That’s why worship is so important – it is a spiritual, heart response of love, adoration, praise and thankfulness that should be the foundation of all that we do as believers. So, whether we are reading God’s Word, going to our Heavenly Father in prayer, or giving of our talents, our time or our money, we should remember to practice this important spiritual discipline of the heart and the mind: worship. And when we do, not only will God be glorified, which certainly is reason enough, but the world will also see and bear witness to power of the gospel. Then, by God’s grace, they might “see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
As we mentioned last week, this is not an exhaustive list and there are many other practices like fasting, meditating or even journaling which can be very helpful in your walk with Christ. But we have considered six different practices that are prescribed for us in Scripture, and that if we incorporate them into our regular routines, it will help our minds be renewed in the Spirit each and every day. As Faith Driven Consumers, let us not neglect to do so as we go into the next season of our lives and tackle all that this world throws at us.