[Diakonia] ——> Service
[Diakonia] is a term meaning “service, to serve, to render selfless service unto. Can refer to helps and service of various kinds which can range in meaning from spiritual biblical teaching (Acts 6:4) to the practical giving of provisions, supplies, support, and finances to those in need. (2 co 9:12)
[Diakonia] is also the worldwide movement of those commitment to the vision of Christian service, action, and justice making.
When I was doing some research, I could help but see the statement “to render selfless service unto.” This rattles me, I want to “render selfless service unto The Father” no matter the cost or restriction. We have seen over and over again where God does the impossible for those that believe and trust in him. Are you willing to
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.””
“To progress is always to begin again.”
Let’s go back to the heart of worship today where it’s all about Jesus and less about us!
“Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.””
What’s up God Gold family, hope y’all have an awesome day today!!!
Wanted to share a thought with you this morning that really hit me in a very real way in some spots that didn’t feel too good but was much needed! I feel like these moments of conviction while reading God’s Word are like “Grace punches.” What do I mean by that? Well, it’s when the truth of God’s Word opens you up to see just how messed up and inadequate you really are, which is the punch that brings that feeling of conviction and realness to our lives. But they aren’t just punches, they are punches filled with Grace as God opens us up to see the truth of our weakness, by His grace He allows us to learn from His truth even in the midst of realizing our failures so that we don’t have to stay stuck there. He allows us to learn and move forward in the ways He is teaching us here! We all need some grace punches in our lives and I’m excited to share one with you today.
The setting is in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is in the middle of His ministry on this earth when a scribe comes up to Him and says; “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” What a bold statement to walk up to Jesus and say right? Have you ever made a statement like this to Jesus? I know I have! So many times in prayers I’ve uttered these very words, trying to show Jesus that I’ll do anything, you name it Jesus I got you homie! But the question is, which Jesus challenges us with in these verses, “will we really follow Him wherever He goes?”
Jesus responds in a way that gives this man a peek into what a “Jesus Lifestyle” looks like. Jesus says; “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Jesus lays it down straight for this eager beaver and shows Him, this lifestyle of following me and living in my ways isn’t easy, it’s actually extremely difficult. Mainly here and throughout these two encounters, Jesus is showing the COST of following Him is not a cheap one by any means. In a way, it’s almost like Jesus is saying; “so this is what it’s like to live in my ways and follow me, so you sure you want to make that bold statement?”
When I read this I immediately found myself relating a lot with this scribe. I’m always trying to say the right things and by that I mean saying what I think Jesus wants to hear but how much do I really mean the words I speak and the promises I make? When we say things like this, am I really willing to follow Jesus wherever He goes? Am I really going to embrace this lifestyle of uncertainty, not knowing where I’ll lay my head down from night to night or if I’ll lay my head down at all? What’s easy is to say things like this but before we decide to make empty promises, we should consider the cost of what that would look like and mean for us to actually walk that out faithfully in our lives!
The cost is shown even more in the next encounter. Once again, a man, it says; “a disciple,” comes up to Jesus and says; “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” When talking about following Jesus the disciple says hold on one minute, let me bury my dead dad real quick and I’ll be right with you. Now that sounds like a pretty good reason to tell Jesus to wait just one second right? I mean burying your father and making sure he is taken care of in our human eyes and the standards of this world is a pretty big deal but look at Jesus’ response.
“And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.””
WOAH!!! Wow Jesus that’s pretty harsh to say that! That was my first reaction which may be yours too but is it really? What Jesus is saying sounds harsh when we see it in the light of what we think is right and what we see as the right thing to do but the lesson Jesus is teaching us here is far greater than even this task! Jesus is showing us when it comes to following Him, there are ZERO excuses in doing so and there should be nothing that takes higher priority in doing so. The cost of following Jesus is as literal as Jesus is making it out to be, it’s laying down your life and following Him. Sounds like a pretty great cost because it is! To lay down your life means more than to give some of your time or energy towards following Jesus. Laying down your life is laying down EVERYTHING about you, everything in your life. We could argue all day and say but burying your father is pretty important. But once again, this disciple is doing something we too can find ourselves doing on the daily. Jesus calls us to follow Him, to be completely and fully obedient in leaving our old life behind of this world and following Him on an eternal journey that never ends.
This is what struck me along with being really good at saying all the right things and making all the right promises to Jesus. When it comes to the real cost of following Jesus, how many times in my daily life does He make it clear that this is the next step to make, the next right thing to do, the way I should go to be obedient. But then I find myself saying “okay I will do that Jesus but first let me ______ (fill in the blank here with your excuse.) The thing about this disciple’s excuse and ours is so often in our human eyes and compared to what’s right in the world’s perspective, these excuses are “good.” Jesus shows us the way to follow Him but we then step back and choose another way first, our way, and we make up lies in our head that this step we won’t to make instead or this thing we think we should do is a really good reason so it makes it okay to put Jesus in the backseat and tell him I’ll get back to you when I’m finished with this. These excuses we make in our lives that we think are “important” when compared to following the Savior of our lives who Has died to give us victory and freedom in His name. To follow the One who has given us a purpose in the kingdom of God and allowed for us to be adopted as God’s children. When compared to God’s terms in the standards of His Kingdom, no matter what earthly duty comes up, even if it is burying your father, it is not even close!
The cost of following Jesus is that of surrender and obedience, no matter what comes up or what our opinion is, Jesus makes it clear that it takes giving up everything to truly follow after Him! So we have no reason to make empty promises and speak nice sounding words to Jesus without counting the cost first. We have no reason that is more important than following Jesus, even when it sounds like a really good reason at the end of the day it’s just another excuse. Jesus invites us to follow Him, wholly and fully, it will mean laying down our life but when we do that Jesus gives to us life that is so much GREATER and so much more AWESOME than any life this world or we could ever come up with!!! Count the cost, lay the excuses down and follow JESUS!!!! There’s is nothing better you could ever do in your life!!!
The Conversion of Saul
“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.”
Thanks to a coworker’s recommendation, started reading Paul’s story from the beginning. All I’ve ever heard about Paul is how he’s one of the greatest Christian warriors ever to walk the earth, but I never paid attention to where he came from, his beginning. Paul was the baddest of the bad. He literally searched out Christians to have them murdered. We see it all the time of how God uses imperfect people to do his work and Paul is the most imperfect I’ve seen in His Word. It made me really think to when I was running as far from God as I could get, doing things that weren’t anywhere close to right. At times I thought there is no way I can come back from this; I’m too far separated from God. Funny thing is that God was right there the whole time. He let me hit a breaking point and I crumbled into His open arms. What’s so cool about that is my story is all of our stories and so many stories that hasn’t been lived out yet. With the Lord being the church and us being the hands and feet, instead of keeping our testimonies to ourselves we can spread the life we’ve been gifted into all of the lifeless people around us. My brother said something to me earlier, “what’s worse than being lost? Being lost with no one looking for you.” Even though our beginning isn’t as bad as Paul’s, everyone has their own beginning. No matter how much we think our story doesn’t matter or how far gone we think someone else is, think back to your beginning and think about the difference after you were gifted life, wouldn’t you say that’s enough of a reason to share it?