How to be an above average Christian:
Ac 2:42 ¶ And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
People who want to succeed in life are never average. When we search for something special, we don’t desire just average. For example, if we search for childcare, although price is a factor it is not the main concern. You look for a childcare facility that has a good record and reputation. When you go out for that special anniversary or birthday, you don’t settle for an average restaurant, you seek out a quality place to dine for the special occasion. Here are 5 quick thoughts using the text above on how to be an above average Christian:
Emphasize the Bible-vs 42
There must be a special emphasis on the Word of God. In Acts 2 after people got saved and baptized, the Bible says they continued in the apostle’s doctrine. They made the Bible and what they were being taught a priority. This may seem redundant to hear but it is so critical. Just reading your Bible every day, even on the days you don’t feel like it, puts you in a special class. Most of us feed our bodies 3 times a day. It should be obvious that we need to feed our spirit daily, otherwise we become spiritually malnourished. People often say, “Pastor, my faith is not strong.” Well truth be told; your diet of the Bible is probably not what it should be.
Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Fellowship with God’s People -vs 42
I must acknowledge that in most Baptist churches when we say “fellowship” most connect it with food. There is some truth to this and there are even some scriptural references that would support this practice. However, Fellowship according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary refers to it as: “companionship, association or partnership.” Who do you associate with? What are your associations? It is critical to have good fellowship with God’s people. This includes faithful church attendance. The Bible even says we should put consideration into our fellowship.
2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
The fact of the matter is we are all influenced by people which is why we should be very cautious who we allow to influence us.
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Have a Strong Prayer Life vs 42
Prayer takes work! Prayer takes time! Prayer takes consistency! Anytime you see a person God has greatly used, whether in the Bible or someone you know personally, you know they all had a strong prayer life. It has been said that, “Prayer is the link that connects us to God.” You will never be more than an average Christian if you don’t have a regular, planned prayer life. Thousands of Christians wake up each day searching for answers and they look everywhere except where they should be looking.
Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Learn to Give Cheerfully vs 45
Our main text shows us that people sold their possessions to meet the needs of others. That is what we call sacrificial giving. Many times, the automatic response is, “Pastor, I can’t afford it.” Friend, you can’t afford not to. When we fail to give the Lord what belongs to Him, we fail to trust him. I will not spend too much time on the point, but the Bible tells not to just give but to give cheerfully.
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Do your part to Spread the Gospel vs 46
The Bible tells us that they went “house to house” and not just in the temple. Paul taught the scriptures publicly and from house to house.
Ac 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
We are also told in the book of Acts that they did everything they could to “publish” the Word of God.
Ac 13:49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
That means in church, house to house, at your place of business, at the grocery store, at school, your neighbors and everywhere you go. One of the methods we do this is by literally going door to door despite those that believe it is not relevant for today. Personally, I find it fascinating that we expect our missionaries to go soul winning but don’t expect our churches to do that in our local communities. I also find it repulsive that “gospel” preachers are willing to go anywhere to preach the gospel on any platform but won’t walk to the porch across the street to give the gospel to their neighbor. We ALL as Christians have a responsibility to share the gospel.
Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Friends I know that many of the principles shared in this devotional are very basic and elementary yet I’m finding more and more that the average Christian does not faithfully practice them. It’s like the pro basketball player who forgets to practice dribbling, lay ups or free throws. It’s time we get back to the fundamentals of the faith. Since God shed his blood on Calvary for me, He deserves committed Christians who desire to be “above average.” If you practice these biblical principles, you will by default be an above average Christian.
“Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.” -A.W. Tozer
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