"That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served — and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage."
-Matthew 20:28 (Message)
I was watching an interview on ESPNews with Barry Bonds. The topic was steroids. Bonds' personal trainer was one of four men recently charged in a steroid-distribution ring that allegedly supplied dozens of professional athletes with banned substances.
Athletes at all levels these days are doing all they can to get the edge. Nutritional supplements — some legal and healthy, others not — are widely used to give athletes an extra boost, better workouts and faster strength gain. I was thinking, what are the supplements of our spiritual lives? What does the spiritual steroid (without the negative connotation) look like? How do we get a boost?
There are many answers that would work here. But as I thought about my own experience, one thing popped into my mind: serving. Some of the greatest boosts in my spiritual life have been mission trips. Back in high school, my youth group would take a mission trip every summer. There was one purpose: to serve others. Whether it was helping to build a church or putting on backyard Bible clubs, the focus was to serve. Many thought we'd come back exhausted. But we came back energized and impassioned to live in the story of the Good News. What seemed to be an emptying of ourselves in service to others actually ended up boosting our faith and strength and hearts. Those service trips were always like "roids" for the soul.
Need a boost today? Try serving someone. It might seem backwards, but so do a lot of Jesus' words … "The first shall be last." "Lose your life to find it." Jesus called his disciples saying, "Follow Me." His life was one of complete love and service.
1. Think back to a time when you devoted time to serving someone else.
2. How were you blessed by that time? How was the other person blessed?
3. How can you serve others through Christ's love today?
1 Peter 4:10