In Acts 20, Paul bids farewell to the church leaders in Ephesus with a blessing and an admonition to follow in Jesus' footsteps, effectively handing them over to the Holy Spirit and releasing them from his tutelage. And Leeann and I begin the conversation about the practice of simplicity with an overview of how our society has developed a culture of consumerism and a warped view of abundance. Next time, we'll talk about some practical steps for living out the practice of simplicity.
The rain falling today led me to a conversation about Jesus' encouragement in Matthew 5 to treat one another graciously as He has done for us, even in the midst of our brokenness. Also, Comer encourages us to find the enjoyment in Sabbath, stopping, resting, simply BEing. It takes some intentionality, and it's a distinctly counter-cultural practice, but it's life-giving!
Happy Father's Day to all fathers, and blessings to all of us who are called to invest in others as spiritual parents (that means you!). In Acts 19, Paul spends about 3 months in the synagogue of Ephesus, preaching Jesus as Messiah. When hearts harden, he moves to a lecture hall, using the mornings to work as a laborer and the hot hours of midday to point the way to Jesus. And Leeann and I delve into the first part of a poignant and deep conversation about the second practice recommended by Comer: Sabbath. Learning to follow Jesus means being intentional about stopping, resting, and delighting in what God has made and done. Sabbath gives life more like God intended us to have.
Something a little different today: A few brief comments on the experience of a socially distanced visitation and funeral, the life and faith of Rod Nagy, and some resurrection encouragement from 1 Thessalonians 4.
Acts 18 gives us a window into how to gently and lovingly course-correct those in our midst who through ignorance or misunderstanding hold beliefs different than our own. Silence and solitude are Comer's first practical discipline for being less hurried, a necessary solace from a hyper-busy world into which he invites us. My challenge to you: take 5 (or 10!) minutes to simply BE.
Acts 17 finds Paul approaching people with the Gospel in the places and mindsets that he finds them, in the synagogue in Thessalonica, and among the intellectuals in Athens at the Areopagus. Our approach to others in our culture should be similar, starting where people are and moving toward the Gospel. And Comer encourage us to take on spiritual disciplines by reading the Gospels as biographies of Jesus, with an eye and a will to follow in His footsteps.
The 21st century church is not much different from it's 1st century predecessor in that it often faces threats from within and from outside, as Acts 16 shows us. But nothing can stop the Gospel's work, and God's people will inevitably find people of peace in whom to invest for the Kingdom. Creating margin in our lives for relationships and meaningful conversations is vital to our growth into the image of God, as the Spirit of Jesus empowers us.