Christ-followers (disciples) are on a journey. Just like the “wise men” (magi), we too, are on a journey of seeking Christ. Not only do we seek Christ, we seek to learn from him, and to live like him.
“If you stop learning, you will forget what you already know.” (Proverbs 19.27)
Resolutions for a Revolution …
Today, I want to share some resolutions I am personally making as we enter a new year (2005). These are my resolutions, and I invite you to make some/all of them as well.
I RESOLVE …
1 — To be a reformer, causing spiritual revolution!
In the Wesleyan movements …
I once started a blog briefly called, “The Way of Wesley” that was about “reclaiming the Way of Wesley in the 21st century.” Essentially, I want to make impact among Wesleyan/Methodist leaders by reflecting on what Wesleyan ministry should/could look like in current culture.
In the Juniata Valley …
As much as I want to impact “my world” (i.e. the Wesleyan/Methodist movement), I even more so want to impact this Valley, causing and/or furthering a Jesus Revolution!
2 — To ruthlessly eliminate hurry!
I talked about this a couple weeks ago, but I want to come back to it, simply to say this is an ongoing resolution for me. I must eliminate hurry in my life.
3 — To focus on both Being and Doing!
If you’ve listened to me during the last 2.5 years, you know that I am huge on “faith in action.” I believe that the life of following Christ is one that involves action. A faith not lived out, is a dead one!
But I hope that you’ve also heard me emphasize being as well as doing. We are “human beings,” not “human doings.”
But it has to be both …
- If you emphasize being without doing, our faith doesn’t get lived out.
- If you emphasize doing without being, we simply become
busybodies, do-gooders; we become nothing more than a social action
For example, PBS’ documentary on FUMCOG. I thought the documentary was disconnected. The original idea for the documentary was the struggle with new pastoral leadership. They got sidetracked with the homosexuality issue, which was interwoven into everything. This is the congregation where Beth Stroud, recently defrocked for being a
“self-avowed practicing homosexual,” was serving.
There appeared to be a real lack of spirituality. I don’t recall hearing much about Jesus or the cause of Christ (making disciples), but I heard a lot about social action. I don’t have a problem with social action, but it doesn’t preclude discipleship, IMO. Some of the members seemed to equate the church with other social organizations.
Hearers and doers of the Word …
I think this is what James was getting at: “… be doers of the word, and not hearers only …” (James 1.22). Hearing represents formation, and doing represents the living out of our faith.
4 — To immerse myself in the Scriptures!
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119.11)
Through systematic reading, meditation, study, listening. For Bible reading plans, check out backtothebible.org, which offers 5 different reading plans: Chronological; Historical; OT & NT blended together; Beginning to end; Blended.
5 — To learn to pray!
After 16 years of praying, I am still learning! Learning to pray is an ongoing, never-ending process. We never graduate from the “school of prayer.”
It’s not about learning to pray the right words; it’s not about twisting God’s arm so God will do what we want him to do. It’s simply about being in conversation with God. We’ve been invited to listen and to talk to God!
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” (Colossians 4.2)
6 — To surrender myself to God through fasting!
Fasting is a discipline that helps us focus our prayers.
The Wesley Fast: Fast (liquids; no food) and pray, beginning Thursday evening until mid-afternoon on Friday.
“Fasting helps to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything – to sacrifice ourselves – to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.” (Andrew Murray)
7 — To influence people to follow Christ!
“You have nothing to do but to save souls; therefore spend and be spent in this work.” (John Wesley)
Invitation to Christian Discipleship …
As we enter a new year, you are invited to join us on the journey of seeking Christ, the journey of becoming more and more like Christ!