Living Out the Sacrifice – Not lagging behind in diligence

One of the college courses I teach is entitled Kingdom Life.  It is the last worldview course students take and one of the final courses they have prior to graduation.  I love the course because the curriculum is balanced between principle and practice.  In the first class, I discuss faithfulness.  I trust there are several quality definitions for this concept.  The one I share with the students is:

I am to do the right thing at the right time in the right way for the right reasons.

Within the context of Romans 12, “not lagging behind in diligence” is connected to serving the Lord (12:11).  Some translations render the verse, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (KJV).  That led some commentators to focus on our callings in the world.  However, I believe John Gill rightly understands the intent of Paul when he writes,

“Meaning not worldly business, or the affairs of life; though slothfulness in this respect is scandalous to human nature, and especially in persons under a profession of religion; men should diligently pursue their lawful callings for the support of themselves and families, and the interest of Christ: but spiritual business, the affairs of piety and religion, the service of God, private and public, to which we should not be backward, nor slothful in the performance of; such as preaching, hearing, reading, praying, and other ordinances of God; yea, we should be ready and forward to every good work, and particularly, and which may be here greatly designed, ministering to the poor saints in their necessity; in doing which we show that kind, tender, affectionate, brotherly love, and give that honour and respect” (eSword).

Truth be told, we can become spiritually lazy.  All Christians will admit seasons without passion.  We all burn out from time-to-time.  Paul’s challenge to us is:  “Don’t burn out. Keep yourselves fueled and aflamed.  Be alert servants of the Master” (Rom. 12:11; The Message).

Our pastor called us a “sacred assembly” next week.  He did the same last year as we approached “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.”  One of activities planned is concentrated prayer for our nation.  However, he also stated, “we will call out to God for the spiritual renewal of God’s people.”  That excites me because I need spiritual renewal.  I need to be refueled.

“Keep yourselves fueled…”

Did you notice that wording in the Message?  God refuels us as we take the effort to refuel ourselves.  Church is important in that process. For me, studying God’s Word and regurgitating my thoughts in this blog is another.  During my week, I will often listen to sermons.  I do so almost out of a feeling of desperation.  I need the fuel.  Without it, the flame threatens to expire.  And as the flame begins to lose its light and heat, I begin to become slothful.  But I am called to diligence; to fervency.  All believers have the same obligation.

How full is your tank?

What are you doing to fill up?  How can you tell if your tank is full?  God spills out of you and splashes on others.  We serve Him by serving others.

Allow me to close by sharing the song we sang Sunday at the end of church.  It’s a great prayer for all of us.

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner’s fire
My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy

Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within

Words by Brian Doerksen. Found on:




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