For by grace you have
been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8 WEB

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New Life of Beauty and Grace

The "Big Five" Connecters

There are 5 things that every Christian needs to steadily do in order to stay well-connected to the Source: Your life depends upon it! The great thing is that Jesus in you loves doing these 5 things. They are delights, not duties. If you keep them in good repair, they will keep you powered up and rescue you when you aren’t.

Keep These "Safety Nets" In Play!

Jesus is our entry point to both eternal life in heaven and new life on earth. He is the source of it all! It is therefore of tremendous, life-saving and life-enhancing importance that we stay connected 5 Connecters: Bible, Prayer, Worship, Fellowship and Serviceto the One who is the Way we now live, the Truth we now live by, and the Life we want to experience!

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 ESV
 

Since Jesus says that we can "do nothing" without Him, staying connected is the name of the game![1] Don't believe me? You have an enemy who never doubts it for a moment. He is relentlessly seeking to get you "disconnected"![2]  To help us in this struggle our God of All Grace has provided five grace-based ways of keeping connected to Himself. He doesn't do them for us, but He will do them with us—and work supernaturally through them to keep the connection working.

They are not magical. They do not work "automatically." You have to work with them to keep you connected, or they will just become another thing on your list to do, or worse, a source of spiritual pride. They can become rituals or routine if you let them, but beware: All life will seem to go out of them if that’s your approach. God isn’t going to love you less if you don’t do them and He won’t love more if you do. You aren’t doing these things to please or placate God: You do them because you want to stay vitally connected to Jesus! 

Why We All Need to Do the “Big Five”

We do the Big Five Connecters for three excellent reasons:

1) Our life in Christ depends upon them. This is how we get connected, stay connected and increase the connection to our Source of peace, joy and confidence for living. Just as a battery needs continual recharging to stay powered up, so too we need to stay “plugged in” to our power source. Our new life streams into us from a Source outside of and beyond our own understanding and abilities.

2) They are our meeting place with Jesus. Jesus did all of these 5 things when He walked the earth. They were His lifeline to the Father and to His true purpose on earth. He still loves to do them. That is why they work so well as connecters. He is inside of us now by His Spirit wanting us to gain the graced-pleasure of doing the Big Five with Him and through Him. These aren’t duties—they’re delights!

3) They lead us into our destiny. None of us is smart enough to figure out why we're here. That's one of the reasons why we need a Savior! There definitely is a big reason why each of us is on the planet. In fact there are two reasons: two assignments and two purposes that go right along with them. The Big Five will draw us into our assignments and keep us flowing in those pathways of purpose!

The Danger of Not Doing the “Big Five”

The important thing to keep in mind is that we are not given these connecters for God's benefit, but for our own. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by ignoring your Big Five lifeline to the Lord. Think of them as safety nets. They won't always be in tip top repair. Sometimes you may neglect one or more of them for fair reasons or foul. When that happens, always be quick to mend them before any size-able holes develop. You don't want to fall past the "do's" into the "don'ts"!

I have worked with men with addictions for years and have never yet seen someone fall back into the addiction who was faithfully working these five do's. The men, however, almost universally think that the problem was doing the don'ts. Yes, of course we don't want to do the don'ts, but the do's keep us from the don'ts!

More to Explore of the “Big Five” Connecters

If you need help remembering them, try this: “Big Pigs Wear Fancy Shoes” as a way of remembering the acronym (BPWFS) formed from Bible, Prayer, Worship, Fellowship and Service. Let's take a closer look at each one:

The Bible  Think of the Bible as Jesus in written form. He is the Word—God’s eternal counsel—made flesh.[3] The Bible is much more than a mere book. It is the living Word of God.[4] Jesus spoke the words that brought all of creation into being. If His spoken Word can do that, think what His written Word can do for you, to bring you fully to life.

Prayer  We are promised that all who call on His Name will be saved.[5] Prayer is calling on God for mercy, for help or for fellowship. He delights in listening—no request is too small. Learn to let your need drive you to Him every time: You cannot wear out the welcome mat and He has promised to always answer us.[6] Prayer brings us through communication into communion.

Worship  Worship is that higher form of our conversation with the Lord where we are not petitioning Him for what we need, but thanking and praising Him for who He is and what He has already done. This brings us speedily into close communion with Him.[7] We can worship with others in church, in our quiet times, and simply by doing all that we do as a love gift to Him.[8]

Fellowship  Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit are always in perfect love and fellowship with One Another. They are now working through the gospel to draw us out of our self-focus into genuine fellowship with one another and with God.[9] By intentionally seeking out friends in the Lord who are seeking to grow in Spirit and in truth, we stay refreshed and strengthened.[10]

Service  Serving others leads us out of ourselves into living more like Jesus does—selflessly. Almost everyone has work that they need to do for their own survival, which, nevertheless, benefits other people (if it is honest work!). Service takes us into the realm where we learn to give ourselves, expecting nothing in return, simply because it is the right and loving thing to do.[11] God always rewards those who follow Jesus in laying down their lives for others.


Scriptures and Foot Notes

[1]  "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5 ESV
[2]  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
[3]  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1, 14 ESV
[4]  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV
[5]  For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13 ESV
[6]  “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
[7]  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalms 95:2 ESV
[8]  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 ESV
[9]  That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3 ESV
[10]  We have fellowship in the Holy Spirit: Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit. Philippians 2:1 NKJV
We have fellowship in truth (the light): But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. 1 John 1:7 NKJV
[11]  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-25 ESV