Prioritizing Our Life Around Our Faith

A few weeks ago I posted a point from Sunday’s service regarding time. Below you will be able to read that post by clicking the link under resources at the end of this post. In today’s post I want to revisit the thought of priorities and leave you with a scripture and brief statement.

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

As the early Church grew they prioritized their life around their faith. I fear we are so far removed from that concept. Instead, we prioritize our faith around our life. If our faith gets in the way of our life…we choose our life, or way of living. Far be it for us to base our schedule around what would be most beneficial as it relates to our spiritual growth.

The difference between those people who made up the early Church and what we’ve come to know as the Church is that the early believers prioritized their life around their faith not the other way around, their faith around their life.

Resources – More Reading On Life of Pursuit:

  • You Have Time, 168 Hours to be Exact
  • Am I Speaking Clearly
  • Spiritual Disciplines are Memorials
  • Making the Bible a Priority Makes a Difference Today

    On September 1st I started month four of a six month journey through the New Testament. In June I invited those who were a part of the congregation to join me. Each month we have created bookmarks, like the one in the sidebar, and gave them to those who wanted to take the journey. As we started  on the first day in June I was so excited from promoting and kicking off the reading plan that it was a breeze those first couple of day’s.

    Read the Bible in order that you may grow in your relationship with Christ. Not merely to finish a “goal.”

    After the newness of starting something wore off I found myself having to push myself to keep going. Not because I didn’t want to read, but because I approached reading the New Testament as something monumental. Instead of focusing on getting into God’s word I began to focus on finishing a goal. As I continued to press through and read on, God has begun to change me. He’s changing me through His word. I am finding that as I wake I can’t wait to get into the reading for today, not because it will take me closer to finishing the “goal” but because it will take me deeper into my relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Bible reading is for personal growth first.

    As a matter of fact, as a Pastor it’s our “job” to be in the word, right? To pull out the deep truths of God’s word and reveal them to those he has called us to Pastor? I am afraid that for many getting into the word has become just that, our “job” and not a pleasure. Don’t get me wrong over the last few months the messages have been coming from a text which we have read together as a Church the previous week but as I read in my quiet time my approach is for personal growth first. As I have finished reading through Acts 13 this morning, the last 3 months have been truly transforming. My personal time with God has come first. If I can leave you with one thing it is this… Make scripture a priority in your life today.

    Engaging in the Bible is more than just something to be checked off as a believer. Engaging the Holy Scripture keeps you grounded as you follow Christ.

    Spiritual Disciplines are Memorials

    Acts 10:4 (NKJV) – “Your prayers and your alms (deeds of charity, a donation to the poor) have come up for a memorial (that by which the memory of a person or thing is preserved, remembrance) before God.

    There is no secret formula for hearing from God or being used by God. I have found through scripture that it is God’s desire to use you and I for his purposes. Its amazing to think of some of the people whom God chooses to use. I am sure you know a few (starting with yourself) that makes you stand back in awe at God’s mercy and grace. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea at the point I am trying to convey by posting the above scripture. Before I go any further I believe it is important that I state, I do not believe you can buy off God. However, I do believe that the spiritual disciplines we have set up in or life have a way of causing God to remember that we are available for him to use.

    Our scripture text does not give the impression that Cornelius (the man whom this passage is referring to) was doing these things as a selfish motive to get in God’s good graces. What scripture does reveal is, “Cornelius was a devout man who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always” -Acts 10:2. In my simple thinking Cornelius was just reaching upward (connecting with God) and reaching outward (helping others). Because of Cornelious’ discipline of continually seeking God and helping others it allowed him to be remembered by God and the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles (non Jews) and the gospel of Jesus Christ advanced…see Acts 10:44-48.

    In short, the point is this. Keep establishing a pattern of disciplines in your life no matter how hard it gets or how easy it would be to give up. You are not doing what you do to be seen by anyone but an audience of one, our Lord Jesus Christ. The process by which you make yourself available for God’s use is by establishing Godly disciplines in your life today.

    Forgiveness

    Forgiveness should have no contingencies. For example, I forgive you if…

    In Luke 23:13-49 we see where Jesus offered forgiveness in his most agonizing moments on the cross. Not because those around him asked for forgiveness but because the essence of his very nature is to offer forgiveness freely.

    Our conscious act to forgive should come from a pure desire for the other persons good

    Take a moment, read through Luke 23:13-49.

    How has offering forgiveness allowed you to freely operate in The purpose God has for your life?

    How have you been held back by choosing to not forgive?

    Who do you need to forgive today regardless if they have asked for it or not?

    Prayer, The Key That Is Often Misplaced

    I just started “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. I have only read two chapters and am already uncomfortable, convicted is actually the right word.

    Prayer for believers is a lifeline yet I am amazed how easily it can be to “misplace” it like a set of car keys. For instance, key’s are necessary to start the engine of the machine that can physically get us from point a to point b, prayer is that instrument that fires the cylinders of our soul to propel us into dialogue with our creator, savior, and teacher.

    I have been challenged, prayer must be a personal priority.

    Prayer, The Key That Is Often Misplaced

    I just started “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. I have only read two chapters and am already uncomfortable, convicted is actually the right word.

    Prayer for believers is a lifeline yet I am amazed how easily it can be to “misplace” it like a set of car keys. For instance, key’s are necessary to start the engine of the machine that can physically get us from point a to point b, prayer is that instrument that fires the cylinders of our soul to propel us into dialogue with our creator, savior, and teacher.

    I have been challenged, prayer must be a personal priority.