Just as Jesus lived in a relaxed, loving union with the Father, we are invited to a similar relationship with him. “If you remain in me as I remain in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He promises that if we do this, “fruit” always follows. Jesus doesn’t say that we cannot do things without him. He doesn’t say that we can’t lead or build a ministry without him. He does say that, unless these behaviors flow out of a relationship of loving union with him, they are worth nothing. I name God’s invitation to us loving union. Love captures the way we remain. Union speaks to the depth of the connection. It is helpful to think of the level of our loving union on a continuum that ranges from 1-10. Use the brief assessment that follows to get an idea of where you fall on. Read more.
Jesus’ leadership flowed from a deep centeredness of loving union with his Father. His activity flowed from a total dependence and unceasing communion with him. He invites us to a similar relationship with him: “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John15:5). I call this loving union. Love captures the way we remain. Union speaks to the depth of the connection. Top 12 signs I am in loving union with Jesus 1. I am relaxed and unhurried. 2. I am deeply aware of God’s great love. 3. I appreciate and love one person at a time. 4. I am content amidst suffering and setbacks. 5. I praise and promote others easily and joyfully. 6. I am generous with my time, money, and gifts. 7. I listen for God’s voice and will throughout the day. 8. I forgive and let go. Read more.
If you had one word to describe Jesus, what would it be? Loving. Kind. Compassionate. Powerful. Generous. It is true that many words might fit. Dallas Willard, one of the most influential thinkers on spiritual formation in our day, offered his own word — relaxed. While the author who recounts this story felt the word unhurried was a better descriptor of Jesus, I believe Willard got it right.(See Alan Fadling’s very good book, An Unhurried Life). When you are centered in God, you are relaxed. Imagine yourself today leading and carrying your responsibilities today out of a relaxed inner posture. It may be the best gift you and I offer to those around us.
During my summer vacation (or mini-Sabbatical), I had the opportunity to visit a few churches. I heard some well-delivered sermons with excellent illustrations, sharp deliveries, and technological grabbing support. I had, however, some observations that, I think, are worth pondering about what makes preaching out of a paradigm of emotional healthy spirituality quite distinct. While this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, this is what I would like to say to myself and my fellow-communicators who have the unique privilege to speak for God to His people out of what I heard this summer: 1. This is not about us or our validation. It is not about people moving towards us but towards Jesus. 2. We must preach out of deep place of prayer as foundational to our preparation. 3. Respect complexity. especially as it relates to applications. What does it mean, “God wants us to triumph?” “Position yourself properly?” Praise God sacrificially?” “Trust. Read more.