St. Arbucks Chapel- March 31, 2021
The Apostle Paul said it this way…”…until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”
We have witnessed the goodness of God at work in, through us, and among us in ways that remind us of what Dallas Willard once said, “We live in a God-bathed world.” In the words of the hymn, “This is my Father’s world….and though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet!” It is such a blessing to see people freely share what they have freely received – the grace and love of Jesus.
I have to confess to you what I really believe….the pandemic has revealed the power and grace of God at work but has also revealed our lack of spiritual maturity generally as the Body of Christ. The petty and pernicious attacks on Christians by Christians is very disheartening. I know of a congregation that is likely to split because of different views over masks. Are you kidding me? If Jesus or the Apostle Paul were in our midst physically, I think they would challenge us to grow up and be mature disciples.
We have a word for this process – sanctification. Growing in grace. Too many of card-carrying Christians with our life insurance policy in pocket. That doesn’t mean we are growing spiritually, right?
I think the Holy Spirit is challenging us to grow. Not to think about growing. But in the words of Nike, “Just do it!” The big question is, “How?” So, what is your plan? Would you like some help?
I encourage you to begin where Fr. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement began….with a list of questions. You dare not, according to Fr. John, move on too quickly until you can answer each question with certainty and confidence.
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
- Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
- Can I be trusted?
- Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
- Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
- Did the Bible live in me today?
- Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
- Do I pray about the money I spend?
- Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
- Do I disobey God in anything?
- Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
- Am I defeated in any part of my life?
- Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
- How do I spend my spare time?
- Am I proud?
- Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
- Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?
Next week….part 2.
p.s. We have been working on a path of discipleship. Abigail Cook, our Director of Adult Discipleship has been working on this in cooperation with James Bryan Smith and myself for many months. We are excited to share it with you.
Have a blessed week!