I sometimes believe that I am meditating on things that challenge my heart to be more than a church-goer, or even a common pastor. I don’t say this to boast of myself (my life is not one worthy of boasting).
Does the longing exist in you? That is, does not your heart burn within you that there must be more? Do you even consider the cost of that “more”?
Enduring Sanctification: is freedom that lasts. It is the entrance to a place in life where your God problem is over, and your God solution begins. This reality will usher you into a life where your needs are no longer the priority. You become missional. According to Wesley, the gradual work of sanctification is when, “We are enabled “by the Spirit” to “mortify the deeds of the body,” of our evil nature; and as we are more and more dead to sin, we are more and more alive to God.
Intentional Discipleship: is the ongoing increase in the knowledge of God and His Word. None of us have arrived to perfection, but we should strive daily to better know the One who saved us. The mark of a true disciple is not merely learning more about Jesus. It is to follow Him in suffering and in abandoning the soul’s tie to the things of this life. It is, according to Bonhoeffer, to “…cut off from all immediacy with the things of this world.” Thus, making Jesus alone the center of everything.
Missional Living: is where Christ’s agenda is your agenda. It is a life where as a follower of Christ, your main concern is the mission given to you from God in fulfilling the great commission to preach the gospel to every creature; that our souls would be far removed and indifferent to our own desires, while enraptured with His desire. The day of striving for personal gain and accomplishment ought to be foreign to us, while the moment of seeking His will and obeying ought to be everything to us.
Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first (Mark 10:28).
If you take your agenda and make it first, you will be last. But if you like Abram put your own agenda on the altar (Genesis, you will be the one spoken to by God. Everyone else will continue to wonder what God sounds like, while prioritizing their own lives.
“Many people have dreams and visions of doing mighty things for God and making an impact in the world. That was my prayer also. And then Jesus said to lay it all down, and let your vision be no bigger than the next person that you meet ” (Arthur Blessitt).
These are values we hold at First Love Fellowship, and here’s why:
Our times demand it, and there is a false answer going forward from the corporate and overly political “Christian” movements. The promotion of the gospel through the means of the Spirit’s power has always been God’s strategy, and this will never change. (Acts 4, Roman 1:16, Mark 16:16, Acts 1:8)
Greater hatred for the American church has become a reality, especially with the overturn of Roe vs Wade. Angels do not rejoice when legislation is passed. They rejoice when sinners come to repentance. They do not wait for the acts of the Supreme Court, but instead, the acts of the Christian – you and me.
“Corinthianism” is spiritual expression mingled with carnality and offenses, and I am concerned that if we are not careful, we can end up, here. “Are ye not carnal?” (1 Corinthians 3:3) says Paul as he addresses perhaps the most spiritually expressive church in all of Asia minor.
Spiritual warfare is not to live a lukewarm life, and then screaming at the devil, afterwards.
Finally, it does not look like much when I do this. It looks like much when WE do this.