Oh, how I wish my faith could be so simple. Yes, I know that I have commandments to obey and obligations to take care of. However, there is nothing about my daily spiritual growth that is cut and dry. There is no basic step by step process that guarantees that I will get closer to God.
However, a piece of scripture came up at church this week that provides a good starting point for how I should approach my growth. It is one of those passages that I am sure I have glazed over dozens of times when digging into the depth of my favorite book of the Bible, the book of Acts.
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. (Acts 2:42 NLT)
When the Church was first getting started based on the teachings, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we find the apostles sharing the good news with anyone and everyone that will listen. As these people accept Christ as their Lord and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are given a breakdown of how the new believers spend their time. This is how they approached their day to day spiritual growth.
First of all, they devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles. They listened intently. They asked questions. They shared the stories of those who had walked with Christ. They sought as much information as they could get about this Savior that they were dedicating their lives to.
They spent time in fellowship with one another. They got to know each other. They shared their interpretations of Jesus’ teachings and how it had changed their lives. They became friends and ultimately a family of believers that readily supported each other, loved each other, and held each other accountable to the teachings of Christ.
They ate meals together. This is by far my favorite item on the list, because I love food. But not only did they sit at the same table and eat food, but they observed the Lord’s supper and spent time together remembering and reflecting upon His sacrifice and His love for all of them.
They prayed. They prayed to communicate with God, to learn about God, and for guidance from the Holy Spirit. For the first time, they were encouraged to pray directly to God without going through a priest. They wanted to know God. They wanted to talk to Him. So they made it a priority.
None of this is ground breaking. We know that we need to be doing these things. Yet, they seem so simple that we often take them for granted.
The millions of Christians on our planet started out as a few hundred people following these simple principles: 1. Get to know God. 2. Spend time with and love one another. 3. Seek unity as a community based on who Jesus is. 4. Pray without ceasing.
Start there, and let the Holy Spirit lead you. There is a good chance that you will be led to continue practicing these things, but then to expand the community with which you share your life. I am very thankful that the early Christians did just that, or else I may not know the Truth.