Athletes who run a race to win it put everything they’ve got into their effort.  In the same way, we should demonstrate passionate dedication when it comes to following the Lord.  There is an interesting verb found about a dozen times in the Bible that refers to this type of intentional action.  It is the Greek word spoudazo (pronounced spoo-dad-zoe), and it means to make every effort in a prompt manner.  It carries the idea of putting your complete and total energy into an action, and doing so quickly.  In other words, it is the complete opposite of laziness or apathy.

Throughout the New Testament, the word is translated into various English words including to “labor,” to “endeavor,” to be “eager,” or to “give diligence.”  Each time, the word is used to depict an action that deserves swift, attentive energy.  Over the next few days, I’ll share various scripture references that include the word spoudazo, and from these examples we can learn what actions are truly worthy of our attention and effort.

The first example is Galatians 2:10: “They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do” (NKJV).  The word seen here as “eager” is the word spoudazo in the original Greek language in which it was written.  When Paul wrote these words, he was saying that he was ready to take swift action when it came to remembering the poor.  We should demonstrate the same passion when it comes to helping those in need.  The parable Jesus gave about the good Samaritan exemplifies this idea (see Luke 10:25-37).  When a man was left beaten on the side of the road, only the Samaritan stopped to attend to his needs while others merely passed by.  We must decide that when we see someone in need, we will take initiative to do something about it and not wait for someone else.  I encourage you today to be on the lookout for people who need help that you can offer.  Move quickly to address their needs, and in doing so you will share the love of Jesus.