Often, the life of faith is relegated to a moment that we accept the forgiveness of Jesus followed by a waiting period before we get the payoff for that decision (salvation). That’s the least captivating story you could write with your life. And it misses the entire point of Jesus’ message. The kingdom of heaven is at hand, Jesus said. And we are to live now as though that’s the case.
That means a radical reorganization of our lives. It means that we reject every falsehood—about our selves and about our world. In rejecting what’s false we cling to what is Real. We seek to actively bring about God’s justice on earth as it is in heaven. We live lives marked by generosity and abundance rather than greed and scarcity. We deny our ego/false-self and lean into what God has created us to be.
In other words, there’s work to be done—in us and in our world. That’s discipleship and it doesn’t happen without effort. We’re saved by grace through faith and it certainly isn’t our own doing. But keep reading that Ephesians passage. We’re saved for good works. Those good works won’t happen naturally. Because we’re selfish people who are endlessly effective at self-delusion. I am always the hero in my movie (regardless of how much of a jerk I am).
So this year we’re going to establish some rhythm in our lives. We’re going to engage a different spiritual disciple each month. It’s my prayer that these disciplines will be themes in your life and regular topics of conversation. I hope you feel challenged. I hope you have to face the ugliness of your own ego. And I hope you feel the comfort of God as you take steps away from what’s false and into what’s Real.
“He that began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” We’re not doing these things to merit anything from God. He’s already pleased. He already calls us sons and daughters. We’re doing this to become who we are created to be.
Join us this month as we focus specifically on fasting during the Lenten season.
- January- Simplicity
- February- Submission
- March- Fasting
- April- Worship
- May- Service
- June- Meditation
- July- Confession
- August- Prayer
- September- Fellowship
- October- Solitude
- November- Study
- December- Advent (Celebration)
“The notion is not “sacrifice” as if this, of itself, somehow pleases God, but rather consciously letting go of ATTITUDES and BEHAVIORS that are in the way, that keep me from loving God, loving one another, and loving my own dignity.” (Richard Rohr)
This is a great primer on why discipleship matters from Dallas Willard: https://renovare.org/articles/why-bother-with-discipleship-1