Archive | February 2013

A Rule of Life (Focus on God)…

A Warm Welcome to you Friend

and

Thanks for taking time to stop by and visit today!

I do hope the words you find here encourage and inspire you

as you continue on your journey seeking Jesus Christ – your Friend and mine. 

Also,

I am prayerfully believing ALL  is Well with you –

and you are blessed with much love, laughter, joy and peace in your life.

Praise God!

Our Scripture focus today is from the book of Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11:

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace …to give you a future and a hope.”

Friend,

I rest calmly each day knowing I don’t know it all

but

my God does

and

He has promised you and me a future and a hope.

Isn’t God AWESOME!

and

it is wonderful to know of His promise to us!

Now friend,

you can be sure

that each of us has our part or parts to do in order to receive His promise. 

One being to develop a “Rule of Life” –

which very simply,

is an intentional, conscious plan to keep God at the center of EVERYTHING we do.

Please don’t be intimidated by the word Rule.  

The word comes from the Greek for “trellis” which is a tool that enables a grapevine

to get off the ground and grow upward, becoming more fruitful and productive.

In the same way,

a Rule of Life is a trellis that helps us abide in Christ

and become more fruitful

SPIRITUALLY.

It provides guidelines and direction for us to intentionally 

pay attention and remember God in all we do.  

We should all have a desire to be with God and to love Him.

Recently,

I read that very few people have a conscious plan for developing their spiritual lives.  

Most Christians are NOT intentional, but rather functional,

like cars on autopilot.

Is it any wonder that most people live off other people’s spirituality

rather than taking the time to develop their own direct experience of God.  

Most Christians talk about prayer but don’t pray.  

Most believe in the Bible as the Word of God but have little idea what it says.  

One example in the Bible of someone with a Rule of Life is Daniel –

who was carried off to Babylon as a slave – where the goal of the Babylonians was  to eliminate his desire to focus on God.  

God’s Word tells us  that Daniel renounced certain activities,

such as eating the king’s food and engaged in others such as daily prayer and

somehow fed himself spiritually and grew into an extraordinary man of God in a hostile environment.  

I believe by the grace of God –

Daniel knew to resist being absorbed into the Babylonian culture and their values

required a plan that would enable him to pay attention to God.

Friend, God has made each of us unique and different –

but,

our goal is the same:  

union with God in Christ,

transformation into his image,

and

the freeing of our hearts from anything that stands in the way of Christ living in and through us.  

How we get there will vary, depending on our personality, gift mix, temperament,

geographic location, and our calling from God.  

Wrapping  up –  consider the following  four broad categories and sub-categories

as a way to start developing your personal Rule of Life:

Prayer

(Scripture, Silence and Solitude, Study)

Rest

(Sabbath, Simplicity, Play and Recreation)

Work/Activity

(Service and Mission, Care for the Physical Body)

Relationships

(Emotional Health, Family, Community-companions for the Journey)

Know that developing your personal Rule of Life takes trial and error.  

You will need to learn a great deal about yourself.  

Such as what kinds of spiritual practices bring you closer to God?  

What drives you away from him?  

Give yourself lots of time for the slow development of what works best for YOU.  

Example:  an outline for Prayer might be:  

-Pray the Lord’s Prayer each day at work, several times a day

-Take fifteen minutes for silence at lunch three times a week.

-Fast for one meal every Wednesday during Lent.

Last, if possible – find a companion for this journey.  

It may be a mentor, a trusted friend, a mature Christian or a small group.  

This will serve to keep you on track.  

Remember Friend – God loves you.  

Ask Him (as I’ve done) to help you – I believe He will.

Let us bow our heads and pray —

Father,  we love you – please show us what one small step we can take to begin to build a life around you.  

Please help us pay close attention to your voice and give us the courage to faithfully live your unique life in Christ.  

Let your love invade us Father and teach us what we must do.  

We praise you and thank you.  

In Jesus Name.  

Amen.