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What Type of Effort Are You Giving?

What Type of Effort Are You Giving?

For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 1 Corinthians 9:17 (NKJV)

Have you ever noticed people who attempt to do certain projects with little or no effort being put forth?  Sometimes this is because they are good at what they do and they make it look, well, effortless.  Other times this is anything but the case as they are neither good, nor do they care to be.  They don't put forth effort because they don't want to - they lack motivation or interest, and putting forth minimal effort is much easier.

I know I am sounding old here, but I remember when I was much younger and working in the grocery store business boxing groceries - we ran from one check stand to another, and out to the parking lots to retrieve shopping carts in between.  We did this because it was expected and we were required to put forth our best effort.

Effort is simply defined as mental or physical energy exerted in order to achieve a purpose.  Effort is actually utilized in every goal we have, including our Christian walk.  The Apostle Paul believed in putting forth his best effort in being a courier of the Gospel message.  He compared his Christian walk with running in a competitive foot race, and he told the Corinthians he was doing it willingly and for free - he didn't want anyone to claim he was simply a hireling.

We can also see Paul telling the Galatians they were "running" a good race, referring to their Christian walk (Gal. 5:7).  He then asks them, "Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?"  Paul was implying they had stopped putting forth the effort to be a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ -  they had stopped running the Christian race, and they had stopped putting forth effort.  

I think each of us can fall into the temptation to stop putting forth effort in our Christian walk.  It can be because we lose hope or become complacent in our life, or just plain fatigued.  Jesus knew this would happen and He has given us great instruction to press in when we are tempted to stop.  Such is the case with the parable Jesus gave of a man coming over to a friend's house late at night to get three loaves of bread for his guests.  The friend who possessed the bread was down for the night, but the man continued to press the issue until the bread was received.  Jesus drives home the point of our continuing to put forth effort in our petitions of prayer by saying,

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Luke 11:9-10 (NKJV)

We are told, those who seek God with all their heart will surely find Him (Jer. 29:13).  We are told it is the fervent prayer of a righteous man availing much (James 5:16).  Let's guard ourselves from growing weary in our walk. 

Hey Christian, let's seek God for His power and blessings.  Let's put forth the effort to continue to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).  This means talking to our Heavenly Father about everything.  

STUDY QUESTION: According to Luke 11:9-10 what effort is Jesus asking from His followers?

PERSONAL INVENTORY:  Have you found yourself not putting forth the effort to spend time with God in His Word or in prayer?

APPLICATION: Make it your goal to continue putting forth effort in your Christian walk.  God will reward those who are faithful.  

Thank You Father, for showing me examples of how I must press inward when I find the temptation to coast or slack off.  Help me to see what Your desire is for me today.  Help me to have the focus and energy to continue to put forth effort in my walk with You.  Father I know I am not saved because of my efforts, but I know I am strengthened in my faith, character and integrity as I seek to do Your will in each situation.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000