April 17, 2008
I wonder how our thinking would change if we thought of the disciplines as We-Thou encounters rather than I-Thou.
At first I wanted to know what to do in the church. I needed those disciplines to guide me as to the stated rules of the game. I through help from friends and family, then Jesus and God have gone beyond the disciplines as a general rule. Love God and Love One Another and as you go about your day what you see as the love of God and Jesus for you is what you will give to others. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have had the book of discipline shoved in my face more than a few times. But, it was from those who thought they knew better and used the disciplines to get what they wanted done. It reminded me of the young man standing on a soap box only giving you the part of the bible that proclaimed what he wanted you to know. Not the whole of the story, but just enough to show you his side of the story. The book of discipline is a guide to use to show the whole story of the love of God for us. It, like the bible is not there to help you get what you want from the program or from the congragetion. In God's Grace John
As in worship, all of our service should be in response to what God has already done for us. (e.g. I John 4:19). Those who "give to get" have the cart behind the horse. What is potentially confusing is that God does bless those who are faithful in following His principles. But that should motivate more love, obedience and service in response... What a wonderful cycle if we can catch it.
I agree totally that spiritual that the focus of spiritual disciplines need to be to glorify God and in turn edify His people. With that being said I think that not enough attention in today's church is paid to the practice of spiritual disciplines. Sometimes we get caught up in the trap of since so many people are doing them for the wrong reasons let's not do them at all and I think that just takes us from one extreme to the next. I think it is up to the leaders of our local churches to teach these disciplines the way Jesus intended them to be and then it's up to the individual believer to follow through with what has been taught. But I think the bottom line is the spiritual disciplines are a part of true discipleship and as is true with all that we do, it should be done to the Glory of our Great and Powerful God.
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