Thursday, December 30, 2010

Becoming a community of disciples...

I came across this quote in Josh Harris' Stop Dating the Church, a phenomenal little read. The fact remains that Jesus did not merely call us as individuals to be worshipers, evangelists, ambassadors, and disciples, but rather he called us to be a community of disciples. Josh Harris quotes Eric Lane as saying...

"To be a member of a family is to belong to a community bound by a common fatherhood. To be a stone in his temple means to belong to a worshiping community. To be a part of a body means to belong to a living, functioning, serving, witnessing community. Put together, you have the main functions of an individual Christian. Evidently, we are meant to fulfill these not on our own, but together in the church."

Josh Harris concludes...

"He's right. We can't live out our Christian lives on our own. When we're saved from our sin, we become part of something bigger than ourselves- a family, a body, a temple."

Monday, December 27, 2010

On Intentional Living in an "Always Connected" World

I have been reading this excellent book on how facebook (and other forms of social media) help and hinder life and community. It's called "The Church of Facebook", and the section below highlights how being constantly connected to the internet (and therefore, to one another) can hinder truly living with a purpose.

"There is no such thing as an unintentional life. All of us have, at times, felt like we were drifting through life or wandering aimless. Perhaps that's exactly where we find ourselves this moment. It is a common experience, but it does not mean we do not have intentions. It simply means we are not conscious of our intentions. We are not aware of them, even though they are present and determining the direction of our lives as much as a well-thought-out list of goals. This is what is meant by the old saying, 'Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.' When we are not aware of our intentions, we find that passivity and restlessness (most often in the form of boredom) take root and sprout up like weeds, covering over a clear life path until we are thoroughly lost.

The great challenge in being always-on [i.e., always connected to people and information via the internet, facebook, etc.] is that it rarely enables us to be consciously intentional. More often than not, it thwarts on-purpose living by creating in us a need to respond to what is most urgent rather than what is most valuable. In other words, hyperconnectivity can lead to hyper-reactivity."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Persistent Prayer

Enjoy the below from John Wesley on being persistent in our prayers.

"Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). Immediately after our Lord answered this request of His disciples, He showed them the absolute necessity of using prayer if we would receive any gift from God. 

He told the story of a man who begged his friend at midnight to get up and lend him three loaves of bread. Though his friend would not rise and give him because he was his friend, yet because of his troublesome persistence, his friend will rise and give him. Jesus said, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given to you."

How could our blessed Lord more plainly declare the means- persistently asking- by which we may receive of God what otherwise we should not receive at all?

"He spoke also another parable, to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1) - to persevere until they receive of God whatever petition they have asked of him: "There was in a city a judge...and there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Avenge me of my adversary.' And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her'" (Luke 18:2-5).
Our Lord Himself made the application for those who cry day and night to Him: "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily" (Luke 18:8)."

What a penetrating truth- God doesn't answer lackadaisical prayers; he answers persistent ones.