Are you tired of everything being so complicated? I swear to you, if one more piece of mail shows up at my door requiring 92 steps to do…whatever, I’m going to set it on fire on my front stoop. Like the new credit cards we got this weekend, which required wrangling with robots on the phone so we could fail to set up new PIN numbers.

For crying out loud.

I’m in a season of study and growth, learning how to do this writing ministry well. I’m up to my armpits in good advice from lots of modern experts, but this week I’ve been stuck on Acts 2:42-47. In this little passage, the early church is exploding in numbers.

And it wasn’t from the complicated inter-generational programming or the internet marketing team, either. Praise the Lord.

The early church grew exponentially because they were doing the right things. And they did them well. They were so focused on Jesus that they burst with joy and generosity. They devoted themselves to biblical teaching and to prayer.

And then the Lord took those excellent things, done in an excellent way, and added more people to the number.

Take that in for a minute. Soak it up. We’re all in ministry in some form or another. Maybe we have a few people living in our house with us, or a sea of cubicles surrounding us, or an entire company at our direction. What if we could all do the right things well, and then let the Lord determine the outcome?

What if we burst out in generosity in our homes, with joy at our jobs? What if we were so full of God’s love that others were drawn to Him through us?

I don’t think that’s just a model from two-thousand years ago. I think it matters now and works now because God still matters and is still working.

So, your challenge this week: soak up the early church’s approach and apply their efforts to your own life. Then see what God does through you!

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.

A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.  And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.  They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 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 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.
(Acts 2:42-47, NLT)

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9 Comments on Simple. Successful. (Are you interested?)

  1. Gleniece
    November 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm (2 years ago)

    I like your approach, Jessie. The simpler, the better. Our focus should be on doing the work God set before us well, and not burden ourselves about all the rest.
    You have a peaceful day.

  2. cherifields
    November 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Yes! It’s a superhuman balance: we are responsible for learning and doing nearly as much as those who believe everything depends on our abilities and smarts, but all the results are actually God’s.
    At the beginning of the year this really hit home with me about my email list. If I didn’t start getting more names faster, it would be a decade before any publisher would be interested in me.
    So, first I turned all those people over to God and dedicated any new influence to Him and his glory. Then, I sat back and waited…. Not! I kept my eye open for people God might bring my way to help me be wise as a serpent.
    Oddly, for a little while I worked harder than I had when the list was mine, after all, God deserved the best quality steward possible. But, I refused to let it bug me when nothing happened.
    Now God is building his list twice as fast as I was and I’m not stressed out abut the limitations my life and budget put on me. Plus, every time I check my stats, I’m filled with gratitude and a sense of God’s care. Each new name (including yours) gets prayed over and writing my weekly newsletter is a little like putting out a missionary prayer update to my supporters.
    His ways are far above our ways and remembering to focus on what God thinks matters for eternity is vital. Why would we want to do anything that didn’t directly help us connect with God anyway? 😀

  3. David
    November 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm (2 years ago)

    You say the things I have been thinking but with much greater clarity Jessie.

  4. Jessie Clemence
    November 9, 2015 at 9:49 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve been rewording that post for a week! And that’s what came out, I guess.

  5. Jessie Clemence
    November 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm (2 years ago)

    Good reminder! It all has an eternal purpose, although I don’t understand it from this vantage point. 🙂

  6. Jessie Clemence
    November 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks! You too! 🙂

  7. Anthony Baker
    November 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm (2 years ago)

    Spot on, Jessie. I should know…I’m doing a series through Acts 😉

  8. Jessie Clemence
    November 10, 2015 at 10:54 am (2 years ago)

    There’s a lot to be learned in that book, I’m finding. I keep getting stuck on passages I’ve read for years!