I'm often asked, how to live a thriving life. Often it isn't in those words but no matter the choice in vocabulary, many Christians are lost, wondering how they go from surviving to thriving in a world where things seem to be spinning out of control.
The key is getting back to basics. We must remember the foundational principles the early Church understood.
The early church practiced simple, foundational things that we too often forget.
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. ~ Acts 2: 37-45
Jesus was the center of the early church. The early church realized the Messiah had been with them. Can you imagine Peter declaration in Acts 2:35-36 and the resulting realization that the long awaited Messiah really among them but crucified by the masses?
What a heart-wrenching revelation. Now, they wanted to follow His teachings and His example and they turned to Peter and the other disciples to learn how to live as Christ commanded.
In this culture of technology, social media, and 12-step programs we overlook the power of simple disciplines we should set as a priority in our life with Christ. We oft forget that Christ should be the center of all we do. The motion in our lives should be a reaction; a ripple, from a motion started by Jesus Christ himself.
From Christ comes many examples of how to live but the early church put into practice 4 key elements that we see in Acts. These are disciplines we too should incorporate into our lives.
If every believer in Jesus Christ practiced these disciplines our relationship with would Christ thrive and the church at large, would look vastly different. Individually we would be in tune with our purpose, we would make wiser decisions and we would live out the command we were given to go and make disciples. Don't define thrive as a monetary gain alone.
A thriving life is not one of earthly reward, social status or monetary gain. On the contrary, a thriving life is about a spiritual fulfillment that comes when we step into that which God has called us to do.
Thrive: To prosper; be fortunate or successful. To grow or develop vigorously; flourish.
This is what I want, a vigorously developing relationship with Christ that shines out into every area of my life. I want it for you too. This site and this ministry are about seeing people free and thriving. Let's start now.
How do we get there? Let's look at what the disciplines and new believers did in Acts:
- They spent time in the Word
- They took time to Pray (Conversation with God)
- They had Fellowship with other believers
- They Stopped for the One
Over the next few days we'll examine these disciplines and how we can practically implement them in our lives.
Time in the Word: We'll examine why we should rest in God's where and tips on how to make that happen on a regular basis.
Time to Pray: Learn the reasons we should pray and the types of prayer we use. This isn't about scripted monotone repetition, but spirit to Spirit prayers that draw us closer to God.
Fellowship: Explore what fellowship meant to the early Church and how you can live this out in modern day life.
Stopping for the One: Break out of your comfort zone and do what Jesus did. Learn how simple it is to do what Jesus did when He met the needs of the people, one by one.