a blog from our pastors and staff
Hello all [from Pastor Andrew],
I am not sure how many people are reading these blogs, but it does help me to organize my thoughts and I hope that they are making an impact on your life.
The next several blogs I want to write as a series. I will spread them out month to month. They can stand alone as a good word and message, but also will relate to each other. They are going to be about specific habits or disciplines that a Christian may undertake in their spiritual walk with God. They will be on simple concepts, like prayer helps and my thoughts on worship, or more in depth, such as fasting, keeping your Sabbath holy, and so on. All of them are difficult to maintain and put into practice. I think that is why they call it discipline.
In my 'Doctrine of Holiness' class they state that the more modern term, rather than discipline, is: becoming more like Christ. So that will be the title of the series: How to become more like Christ.
I believe we are all on a spiritual journey and as Christian’s this is the call we have on our lives. We need to be able to reflect on the things of Christ and how he is using us, molding us, and changing us.
"That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Pastor Nila shared a handout on the Holy Club of Oxford during our last prayer retreat and I have continued to review it since that time. It is a good exercise in order to challenge ourselves in growth with Christ to reflect on these questions.
In my reflection I have made it a point to not get stuck in condemning myself for ways that I do not measure up, but rather, with joy, give these areas of growth to God in prayer.
Take an hour and do them all. Take 10 minutes and just reflect, journal, and read the Bible thinking of one question. I recommend writing or typing them out. Holiness is a high standard in our society today. Growth is the goal.
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?
4. Can I be trusted?
5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to me?
Lord God, help us to understand the love and grace that you give us as children of God. God also help us to step up in our devotion to you. Help us to step up with our time with you. Help our lives have an abundance of prayer and help us to rely on you with all that we can do.
In Jesus name, Amen.
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