4 Goals of Effective Christians

4 goalsMany of us wonder how to live a more Christian life and how to know God’s will.  God’s will—in our lives at least–is rarely a destination point, but often more of a journey that gets confirmed by the Holy Spirit as we pursue 4 goals that ensure our effectiveness as Christians.

In one verse of Scripture (Acts 2:42), Luke lays out Four Goals of Effective Christians:

Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

So here are the Four Goals.

  1. Be Devoted to the Scriptures
  2. Be Devoted to fellowship
  3. Be Devoted to remembering Christ’s sacrifice, which in turn reminds us of our identity in Him.
  4. Be Devoted to prayer

Devoting ourselves to Scripture is more than just committing to read our way through the Bible in a year or flipping through a Scripture-a-Day calendar, one day at a time.  Devotion implies a heartfelt desire to learn and moreover, a desire to put it into action.  Anyone can read the Bible for 15 minutes, close the cover and keep the contents safely lodged in there for the next 24 hours.  It is far harder to read the Scriptures with an eye to letting them change us by the Holy Spirit.  To letting God’s Word find its application in our lives.

Devoting ourselves to fellowship doesn’t mean that we make plans for coffee and donuts after the service or even a pot-luck every other week.  It means genuine koinonia which is a reflection of the kind of fellowship that we have with God.  We can enjoy that same bond of love with God’s Image Bearers who are also our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Devoting ourselves to the Lord’s Supper means remembering our identity in Christ because Jesus came to save us.  That’s what the Eucharist is: a remembrance of what Jesus did for us.  For Christians that takes on a special meaning.  It is what made us a family of faith.  Apart from Jesus’ sacrifice we’re all a bunch of loners, but because of what Jesus did, we’re a family.  Jesus is our perfect brother and God the Father is our Father in heaven.  We have been given the right to be called children of God.  That is our new identity and we remember this each time we observe Communion.

And finally, devoting ourselves to prayer doesn’t mean a lick and a prayer before shooting baskets or taking tests or before a meal. It involves asking God’s input into every activity of our lives.  We respond to His prompting by getting rid of sin, repenting the ones we’ve already done and asking for forgiveness, and we respond with obedience to His command to get up and go!

How many of us are devoted like that?  Most of us probably can find significant room to grow.  What about you?  Do your goals match those of Highly Effective Christians?

Questions for pondering:

  1. Read Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  What do these say are benefits to being devoted to the Word?
  2. Is fellowship always fun?  Or as with any family situation, what might be some of the functions of fellowship?  Read Matthew 18:15-22, 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 for insights.
  3. Read Ephesians 4:1-5:2.  What does this say about how we are related within the Body?  And what does it say about our identity as Christ followers and how we are to treat one another?
  4. Read Philippians 4:6-9 and James 4:1-3, 5:13-18.  What does this teach us about persevering in prayer, the benefits of praying, and the power of prayer?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 2, 2014

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