I was watching Alabama play LSU in college football this last week. They were two great teams that were full of great coaches, players, and staff. Yet Alabama certainly rose to the occasion shutting out LSU in all 4 quarters. Alabama has become an unstoppable force. Year after year they are in the top 5 teams and have done it consistently. The same it true about the Patriots, Michael Phelps, and the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls. You have to ask why they were so great at what they did… They were consistent in their devotion and commitment to a common cause.
Then I look at the church, some local churches thrive, some stalemate, some flounder, and some never take off. When you read about the early church, it was anything but stalemate, flounder, or never take off. It was electric. People did crazy things for the Gospel of Jesus. It changed cities, regions, and eventually the whole world. What did they do that made it so contagious?
Acts 2:42 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. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
It was a powerful church displaying God’s promise of provision, healing, miracles, and the lost getting saved. The church did something crazy, it grew EVERYDAY! They gave irrationally, worshiped together daily, and did life together everyday. That seems crazy to our American culture, but they created a new norm. They did not blame the government, school systems, or how small they were for the culture around them. They got in the game and did something crazy. What if that is what you did? What if you devoted yourself to the apostles teaching, worshiped daily, gave irrationally, talked to lost and broken people, and invited other people to do the same?
What if instead of complaining about what you wish your church did, you become the church and go do it? I DARE YOU TO LIVE THIS WAY! This is not extreme christianity, this is what it looks like to follow Jesus. ALL IN HOLDING NOTHING BACK, BET THE FARM RISK TAKER, SUBMITTED TO AUTHORITY, AND GENEROUS IN LOVE! This is my church. This is who I want to be.
So ask God what your next step is in following Him. Then do it and watch what he does!
Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus