By J. B. Sisam | 04/16/2009
Acts 2:40-47 (NLT)
40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” 41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. 42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.People have been on a health kick for quite some time. We see on TV all kinds of ways that one can lose weight fast. Take this pill, drink this potion and if you don’t see a significant notice in your weight loss in two weeks get a total refund and keep the steak knives as our free gift for ordering. What people fail to realize is in order for these potions to work properly the purchaser needs to maintain a healthy and balanced exercise and food diet. Stay away from sugar, carbohydrates and fatty acids. This is what will help you lose the weight, the miracle pill or drink will only work on the fat build up, but it will fail if we don’t hold to a healthy diet.
The same is true with our spiritual lives. We think that going to church, reading the newest spiritual self-help book and listening to the latest praise and worship album will help us become strong in our spiritual walk with the Lord. This is what we’ve taught ourselves and have seemed to get away with. The harsh reality of it is this, though each of those components are important, our walk with the Lord will only make us grow if we spend quality time with him.
1.) Quality not Quantity
We have this mindset that the more push-ups, sit-ups we do the better our health will be. In the F.B.I. the agents hold to harsh conditions in their exercise program. Each exercise has a proper way to hold the body. With the sit-up the agent has to hold their knees at a 90-degree angle, feet together toes pinned down by the partner. Hands are to be interlocked behind the head elbows out in a horizontal position and maintain it all the way through. The spine needs to be completely straight upon the apex of the sit-up, and upon the laying back down, the shoulders need to touch the ground. Push-ups are to be done in a similar manner. The hands placed at shoulder length apart or just beyond, back straight from buttocks to shoulder – no dip in back. Starting position is chin to ground and push-up keeping back straight through out. The reason chin to ground and not nose – the chin allows you to get closer to the ground and maintain a straight back and keep from over straining it.
The FBI looks for quality not quantity. Someone had mentioned that if you are getting a lot of people saved – yet none of them are actively in church, that person is not fulfilling their full potential in the Lord. Yes our goal is to bring them to Christ but if we are not discipling them and teaching them how to live their new lives in Christ than we are not doing our job. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.” Quality not quantity. If we bring someone into the kingdom of God, disciple them and they in turn become the next Billy Graham that is a good thing. If we bring someone into the Kingdom of God, disciple them, and they in turn follow our pattern and do what we did with them and they lead someone to Christ and disciple them, than we’ve done our job. I would rather see one person strong in their walk with Christ than a lot of new baby believers who know nothing about God wonder what this Christian life is all about.
2.) Prayer and Devotions
This is the diet we need in our spiritual lives, prayer and devotions. If we do not have a healthy balance of both in our lives, one will falter. If we have all of the Word and none of the Spirit we will puff up and dry up, if we have all the Spirit and none of the Word, we will blow-up, but if we have the Spirit and the Word we will grow up. Remember that the Word of God is like the seed and the nitrogen in the soil of our hearts, and the Spirit is the water that we need to bring life to the seed of the Word of God, our lives will be beautiful before the Lord and others will see it.
What is prayer? Prayer is that deep communication we have with God. Without prayer, we cannot communicate to God. Because Jesus came, we are now able to come before God without aid of a priest. We can come boldly before the King of all kings. Prayer needs to be a central part of our lives. This is what our relationship with God is based off of. Yes the Word of God is important because it is a roadmap through life, but prayer is that communication. It’s like OnStar!
There are all kinds of prayer. Faith, tongues, exhortation, healing and the list goes on. We need to pray everyday. It will build us up. The other thing we need to do daily is our devotions. Whether you have a devotional book or not, it is important. I encourage you to set to even try just reading the Bible and not the devotional book, then go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to give you the revelation rather than someone in a book giving you the revelation. Without both prayer and devotions working together as one cohesive thing in our lives we will not have a strong walk in Christ. Prayer is the water for our lives and the word of God is the bread for our lives.
3.) Importance of church community
In my church the average person arrives to church anywhere from 10 – 15 min late for Sunday morning service. If we are to be living lives that are healthy – church attendance is a must. I’ve had conversations with numerous people that believe the organized and institutionalized church on a Sunday morning is not what Jesus intended. In the book of Acts we see a very institutionalized church, one with a leader, elders, and a finance holder. Life in the body was encouraged through a variety of small home meetings throughout the week and synagogue attendance on the Sabbath.
Living a balanced and healthy life today requires us to not only pray, read our bibles but also to have communion with one another. Everything works together and you cannot do one without doing the other. Here is a question. If in our physical lives we eat, sleep, exercise and work daily to maintain our earthly lives why should it be any different with our spiritual lives?
What would your boss say if you arrived late for work everyday during the week? You probably would not have job very long. Why than do we think it is ok for us to arrive late for church each week? This tells me one thing – our jobs are more important than our fellowship with believers and more important than our spiritual lives. Church is one of the most important things we can do in our spiritual walk with Christ. We are to fellowship together with fellow believers. The Bible says to not forsake the fellowshipping of the assembly together with one another.
If we are to see our lives become successful in the Kingdom of God, we need to hold all these in perfect harmony – Relationship in prayer, reading and supplication with the Lord, fellowshipping together and arriving on time to church – so that we can receive all that God has for us and not miss anything, and the leading and discipling those who don’t know the Lord Jesus. If we do these on a regular basis, we are beginning to live our lives in a balanced way and living a healthy spiritual life. To begin to experience the supernatural we need to have the deep relationship with Jesus. We have to always be looking for him and not trying to focus on our current situation. When this takes place we will begin to see people saved and rejoicing in the salvation and healing that only He can give.
The Church is to be a living a growing organism one that is moving in the power of the Holy Spirit impacting our society for the Kingdom of God. However if we are to be the beacon of hope for this day and age we need to continue in the doctrine that we are taught, being in the fellowship and breaking of bread and in prayer daily.
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