Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Resolution

I know it's a month early to be making new resolutions.  However I want to recognize a slight course adjustment on my journey.

In particular I am reflecting on the community I desire that I posted about 2 years ago.  Nothing has changed with this desire. However for the sake of sanity I need to consider what direction I need to move in the absence of such a community. What if the vision I have for my ideal community of believers is not going to happen any time soon in my life?

What do I need more of in my life?  

1) Love God
Matthew 22:36-38 (NIV)
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

2) Love People
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (vs 39 - 40)

I'm recognizing two different types of loving relationships that are essential to growth.

2. a) Loving Mutual Relationships

I need to continue to invest in some mutual relationships with other Christ followers where the goal is to build each other up to become more like Christ. (1 Cor 14:26, Eph 4:11-16)

On a practical level, for where we are right now, this may look different than some ideal I've had in the past. It may not be a regularly scheduled group of believers that gathers and identifies themselves as a unique group by any name.

However what I need can be found simply by getting together with believers.  We are blessed to have many mature believers in our lives. Over the past year we have been making it a regular part of our life to invite many brothers and sisters into our home. 

My desire is that these times we have with other believers will be used to do the 'one anothers' we see in Scripture:   teaching one another, encouraging one another, loving one another, forgiving one another, submitting to one another, singing together, serving one another, and more....
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:33-35 NIV)

2 b) Sacrificial Loving

I also recognize I need to build into others where I don't expect to get anything in return.

Some of these people may be difficult to love.

These may be relationships that are not as easy or natural for me.

I can't expect these people to encourage me to become more like Christ.

However through these relationships growth will occur.  I believe these are the people that Jesus is most passionate about. If I want Christ to grow in me, I need to be investing more into lives that need Christ's love desparately.

In fact, the reason I get together with other believers should be to encourage each other to go out into the world and share Christ's love with others.

If we invest our time and lives primarily into other believers I fear we will become less and less like Christ.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Related Posts:


Genoise said...

Hey Jon, I've been following your blog for a while now and am always refreshed and encouraged by the things you share on your journey. I am on a similar journey (mine began a little over a year ago) and find myself somewhat alone, but I only recently quit the IC. So I'm feel like I'm exploring what it is to breath out from behind the Veil. I'm not overly anxious to "do" anything just yet. Right now I'm watching and waiting...
I met with a couple of friends last week who are like minded about church: what is is & what it isn't. One thing that was shared ws from he 23rd Psalm, about The Lord preparing a table in the presence of our enemies. My friend who shared this said that when a shepherd in the Middle East took his sheep out to graze, he had to prepare that pasture for them in a dry and arid land. He would go and dig irrigation ditches, enrich the soil, and make the way safe for his herd to get to the pasture, this took great time and energy. In the same way, He is preparing a place for those who leave the IC and are trying to renew our minds and unchurch ourselves. That is a HUGE process.
I realize you've probably been on your journey for a lot longer than myself, but your story gives me courage. :)

Jonathan said...

Thanks for commenting and sharing where you are at. I think most people on this journey go through a process of detoxing where we let go of things that once controlled us, and learn to follow Jesus with others in fresh ways.

I have had 4 years now of changing my way of thinking about church. However we still attend an IC, because that is what most of our brothers and sisters like to do on Sunday mornings. Trying to be all things to all people to maintain some unity with relationships God has put in our lives. This approach may make the transition longer for something new to be formed... But we sense God is at work, and the journey has been good.

Thank you for the encouragement! God bless!

Steve Martin said...

Good luck, Jon.

I hope you're able to do all those things and have some rest in the Lord, too.

Praying for you, friend.