Dear saints, I trust that the Lord had been keeping and blessing you. The world teaches us to be go-getters. It eulogizes self-reliance, picking ourselves up our boot straps, spitting into the wind and a do-or-die attitude. The world rewards those that play by its rules (Matthew 4:9). Competition, another name for civilized murder, avarice, and lust for power are all camouflaged as a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, when the real goal is self-enrichment (1 John 2:16). Please don’t get me wrong, as a firm believer in capitalism I believe that God has given us this earth to nurture and reap from (Genesis 1:28), and that those that sow should reap a rich reward (Zechariah 11:12, Proverbs 13:4; 14:23, Luke 10:7). However, the world’s definition of self-reliance or capitalism makes us hard, greedy, egotistical, self-centered and callous. God’s way of Christ-reliance and being centered on Him makes us compassionate, benevolent and truly prosperous (in spirit, and God willing, materially - Luke 6:38).
I’d like for us to consider Acts 3:6-10. This is the well-known story of a cripple being healed by the Apostles Peter and John. The key verse to me is Acts 3:6, “In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise and walk.” The Name of Christ comes with His Omnipotence. The cripple experienced that power of being Christ-reliant or Christ-centered. The power that comes from being focused on Christ also alters us profoundly. Notice how the healed cripple began praising God and giving thanks to God (Acts 3:8-10). This is in stark contrast to success from self-reliance where one only brags about himself (1 John 2:16).
The Lord Jesus Christ’s life is a splendid example of a powerful life centered on God (Acts 10:38). He walked, talked, lived and served in the power of the Holy Spirit only to please God our Father (John 8:29). His God-centeredness made Him bold (Luke 4:30), unstoppable (Luke 13:32), successful (John 19:30), powerful (Matthew 26:53), prosperous (Psalm 50:10), and invincible (Revelation 1:18).
Do we long for the eternal prosperity and invincibility of the risen Christ? Then we should be more Christ-centered and not dwell much on the fleeting power and wealth this world offers. Are we truly Christ-centered? Then His power and life should be flowing through us to others (John 7:38).