Getting involved in the work of the Lord!
This is the last of a series of posts focused on personal spiritual growth, not just for new Christians, but for Christians of every “age”. We’ve used Acts 2:42-47 as a template for growth and have, therefore, given thought to devoting ourselves to the apostles’ teachings, devotion to prayer, devotion to fellowship, and devotion to worship assemblies. The last thing we’ll look at in this series is phrased this way:
“And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” Acts 2:44, 45, NAS95.
On the face of it, you might think that we’re about to talk about benevolent acts as an avenue for growth, and you’d be partially right. What these benevolent acts amount to in a broader sense is involvement in the Lord’s work; involvement really helps us to grow.
It needs to be both individual and together work
It needs to be part of the Lord’s mission for us. Although there are plenty of “mission statements” among churches these days, there’s one mission statement to which we really need pay attention, Jesus’. Where is it found? In the New Testament; let me list them for you.
- Give glory to God (e.g., Eph. 3:21)…this is sort of an “umbrella commission”
- Share the Gospel (e.g., Matt. 28:18-20)
- Assemble for worship (e.g., Heb. 10:24-26)
- Teach (e.g., Eph. 4:11,12)
- Fellowship (e.g., Acts 2:42-47)
- Benevolence (e.g., Gal. 6:10)
So here are a number of broad areas in the church’s God-given commissions that you could could get involved in. You don’t need to be a leader in any of them, but getting involved is crucial.
Why? Spiritual involvement is like exercise with the physical body; the more we exercise our faith (obedience to the Lord’s commands), the stronger our faith gets. The more we participate with other Christians in the Lord’s word, the stronger our fellowship and love grows. The more we make efforts at teaching God’s word, the more we learn and internalize God’s word. The more we encourage each other in worship or private conversation, the more we find to be encouraged about ourselves. The more we work with others on different projects, the more we learn how to do it, the more our talents grow, and the more capable we are to lead others. The more we give in benevolent help, the more we realize the blessedness of giving and the more our faith in our faithful God’s provision to us grows. The more we are involved, the more we grow
Sadly, most of the religious world has sold the world on the idea that the limit of religious involvement can probably end with weekly or even occasional attendance at one of their worship services. When new New Testament Christians buy that “bill of goods”, they find their growth terribly stunted. Older Christians may find their spiritual strength and stature decreasing and growing weaker. Little or no involvement leaves us weak and struggling.
Get involved and grow.