Reflections by Jeremy Alger

There is a lot that a Christian is asked to do in the Bible. There is more that church members are often asked to do within their own church and community. Sometimes it is hard to find motivation to do those things.
Many Christians have a lifetime of service on their “spiritual resume.” They have been doing the work of the church for a number of years. Over that span of time many of those people have seen and experienced some things that sapped their motivation.
For example, if you take on the daunting task of teaching a middle school Sunday School class you will no doubt have to watch as young people that you loved and prayed for and poured your life into choose to not follow Jesus and walk away from the church. You may even have the misfortune of seeing what some people do with their lives that is completely against what God wants. You may even attend a funeral for someone who made every wrong decision in their life.
How tough it is to decide to engage with the next crop of youngsters after seeing a life wasted. It is very hard to choose to do that work again after it being so fruitless before.
Other, less dramatic, examples are people who spend a lot of time and effort starting some new ministry that people believe is going to change their church or community, only to see it fizzle out after a while without the results that had been hoped and prayed for.
Where do they find the drive to get up again and put their support behind yet another new ministry idea?
I often wonder how Jesus feels when He sees us struggling to stay motivated. I wonder what motivation deficit He might have had during His earthly ministry. He spoke in frustration to the disciples a number of times. He said things like “Are you so dull?” “Will you never learn?” “How many times do I have to tell you?”
Clearly Jesus was experiencing the same disappointment when the people that He was pouring into were not receiving what He gave.
A familiar verse struck me today in a new way that I find encouraging within this topic. Romans 5:8 says, “God proves His love for us in this; while we were still sinners Jesus died for us.”
You’ve probably heard or read that verse before. But as I try to look at my own life through “Christlike” eyes I can’t help but see the different tasks that sometimes feel hopeless or fruitless or even undeserving of what it will cost me to finish them and see myself there. I was hopeless and fruitless and I still don’t deserve the cost that Jesus paid for me life.
By giving His life for me God has proven His love for me. He didn’t have to prove it because I deserve proof. He had to prove it because God needs me to know that He loves me. So He sent His Son to die for me and for you!
When I look at the daunting tasks that come with being a follower of Jesus and a member of a church I am not going to do them because they are worthwhile or because they are going to work or change the world. I am going to do them because God loves me and He loves the other people that may benefit from my efforts.
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland Church of the Nazarene. For more information please visit