I had been having some pain in my hip. Normally I would jog a few times a week, but I had not jogged for several weeks. Something strange happened when I started jogging again. I noticed I had more energy. What about that? Exercising actually gave me energy. It seems backwards. You would think that exercise would make you feel more tired. For many people, however, it actually gives them more energy.

Our Christian walk is a lot like that. The more active we are in serving the Lord, the more we enjoy it. If we sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, we'll get tired and sluggish. When we give, we gain blessings in return. Jesus said it this way:

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38 NKJV).

When we sacrifice to honor the Lord and to bless others, we find joy. The great apostle Paul said, "Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all" (Philippians 2:17). I have seen many people sacrifice time and money to go on short term mission trips and come back full of joy. I have also seen sacrificial giving and other kinds of help extended to those in need locally, and seen great joy in those who gave and sacrificed.

When we think of others, we take our eyes off of our own problems. Like a friend of mine said, "A dog in the hunt doesn't notice his fleas." Paul's words come back to me as I think about this principle:

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).

As one preacher said about life in church, "You get out of it, what you put in to it." So let me ask you a few questions:

If you are bored in your church, are you actively serving?

Do you praise the Lord from your heart during the song service or are you busy critiquing what is being sung?

When we sacrifice, we find joy!
Do you greet new people or are you frustrated because people aren't more friendly to you?

Do you reach out to those that are hurting or are you focusing only on your own hurts?

When it comes to our relationship with the Lord and His Body, the Church, the more we do, the more for others and God, the more we'll enjoy things for ourselves. Just like exercise gives energy, giving of yourself to the Lord in serving, and exercising your spiritual muscles, will give you more joy and spiritual energy.

Once more, let's hear from the apostle Paul:

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (Romans 12:10-11).