Forty days after Jesus died and rose from the dead, He met with disciples and instructed them to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit that would empower them to be His witnesses. (Acts 1:8) When the Holy Spirit came, the apostles received amazing power and boldness. They traveled about, preaching, healing, and leading people to the Lord. They were known as people who “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) because their ministry brought about radical change—new life—to those who received Christ.
After being imprisoned for spreading the gospel in Acts 5, the apostles were released from prison by an angel of the Lord and given a command: “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” (Acts 5:20)
What is “this life” of which the angel spoke? Today we cover four aspects of the Christian L.I.F.E:
God has called you to loving relationships because you were not designed to live life alone. Life journeys, such as career development and spiritual growth, were not intended to be solitary experiences because you were created to live in the context of relationships.
God has called you to loving relationships because you were not designed to live life alone.
As a Christian, you need to live in the community of a church, surrounded by people who can challenge you, sharpen you, and help you grow. Walking alone is like being a hot coal that is taken from the barbeque; you will get cold and die without the warmth and shelter of the other coals.
Ministry simply means connecting someone to God, giving hope, or helping someone in the name of Christ. In light of that, Pastor Miles offered a challenge for this coming week. You probably have a regular place that you frequent – Starbucks, a restaurant, or a local business – where you see the same barista or worker on a regular basis. Next time you see him or her, try gently asking, “Do you need prayer for anything?” It may feel rather awkward and it’s likely that the person will say “no,” so don’t press or preach. Simply go about your business as usual. But the next time you come in, ask again. Just make it a habit of asking in genuine concern each time you encounter him or her. Soon, while experiencing a crisis or a time of need, the person will remember your offer and may actually say, “yes!” Without holding up the other customers or drawing a lot of attention, you can offer a quick prayer of peace, comfort, blessing, or healing. It’s that simple – and you never know what God will do from that one little spark or how He can turn your everyday choices into impacting ministry.
Are you properly managing the resources God has given you? These may be intelligence, relationships, resources, opportunities, or talents, and God gives these to you so that you may be a witness to Him and bring Him glory. He made you in His image and wants to see Himself in you. God wants your life to be lived in such a way that when people experience you, they experience Him! Evaluate all He has given you and whether or not you are using it in a way that honors His will.
Evangelizing the Lost
All of us know lost people. If those people were to die today, they would go to hell. Are you praying for them? Are you encouraging them, witnessing to them, and inviting them to hear the Gospel?
Imagine if you poured into these areas of your life—loving relationships, impactful ministry, faithful stewardship, and evangelizing the lost. This church would not be able to hold all the people and our city would never be the same!
Pastor Miles encouraged us to seek out these three relationships in our lives:
- A Barnabas
And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Acts 9:26-27
- A Silas
But at midnight [while imprisoned together] Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25
A Silas is a peer who sharpens you and speaks biblical truth to you in love, someone you trust. S/he is someone who loves God and who walks alongside you in ministry and friendship.
- A Timothy
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
To Timothy, a true son in the faith… 1 Timothy 1:2
A Barnabas is someone who is encourages and helps you. (Pastor Miles doesn’t count!) This is someone you can call on the phone or meet for coffee, someone who spends time with you and teaches you things or explains things you don’t understand. You may have a different Barnabas for each area of your life: work, relationships, health, spirituality, etc.
The more God can use you, the more you will grow.
The more God can use you, the more you will grow. You will not grow by being entertained and isolating yourself, but if you put yourself into action then you will see God work, you will see lives changed, and your faith will grow.