I think best in type! Here are some thoughts that might reveal more about what I have been burning about lately.
Loving God more than anything else and, because I love Him, loving others as much as I love myself.
Radical God Centeredness –
God is real. He is the most real thing. His reality and worth should penetrate and permeate EVERY aspect of the life of His people. Worship should be a life lived out of the fact that God is the most valuable reality we acknowledge. There is no more valuable one. We love Him more than we love ourselves. We treasure and value his infinite worth above all else. There is no more worthy one. Our lives exist ONLY to experience, comprehend, display and enjoy the infinite worth of our God. We do that through a life of righteousness.
Real Righteousness – defined holistically as “doing the right thing.” A life characterized by:
Honest Work –
The word of God encourages His people to work. God gave Adam and Eve a job in the garden. The Apostle Paul worked as a tentmaker everywhere he went. Jesus worked in his father’s world of carpentry until He was 30. The body should be a group of down to earth men and women who live life in the real world of work. Working with our hands to help each other is a big part of this. Whether it is homemaking or sales, construction or teaching; the people of God should not be about leisure but accomplishment, not about retirement but the release of resource. Our work does not define us and it is not the sole purpose of our lives but it is God’s way of providing for us and for others through us.
Resource Cultivation and Investment –
God has given all of us resources, whether they are money, talents and abilities, or relationships He has given them to us for the divine purpose of cultivation and investment. The job of man in paradise was gardening, “Cultivation of the resources to draw out hidden potential and create flourishing.” We are to be about that same task even now. Being used of God to release the potential from every place we see it. In each other, in the financial and business world, releasing the wisdom of God to create flourishing all around us in our own lives and the lives of others; all of us utilizing all of our gifts to make the church and the world all around a better place. Trusting in the power of God to bless our efforts as we align our purposes with His and knowing we cannot do it on our own but are in partnership with Him.
A part of that ethos of work and resource cultivation and investment is the use of the creative facility that God has given to every man and woman. God has made us creative beings. We must make a concerted effort to release that creativity to the glory of the Lord in ever possible way. Whether it is through arts of all kinds or new practical ideas; looking at every situation as an opportunity for the release of the wisdom and resource of God through creativity and prayer.
Study of His Word –
God’s word is his primary means His revelation of Himself to man. If we see God as the most valuable thing, the most treasured one, we will plumb the depths of his word to find the gold and jewels of his beauty that lay hidden there in plain sight.
We read the word to find Jesus: We desperately need Him. Joy in the Lord is COMMANDED in scripture! It is the fuel for life. The joy of the Lord is our strength. It is only through the revelation of Himself in scripture that we see, in as much fullness as we can now, the full Glory of Christ and so are filled with “joy inexpressible and filled with glory” 1 Peter1:8
We read the word to find wisdom: His word is full of instruction and wisdom that enables us to live life to the fullest revealing God through our lives as submitted to the wisdom of His word. That means life done right! Marriage, Finances, Justice, and Friendship in the
REAL Worship – Adoration expressed in song other art forms:
We were built to enjoy God. Our enjoyment is not full until it is expressed back to the source of that beauty and outward to all within earshot. The human heart responds to beauty with joy. This is adoration. Through song and every other art form we will rejoice in the goodness and glory of the king of kings! That the world may know how good He is! Let them taste and see! Worship and adoration are God and His people celebrating each other. Let the party begin!
The Lord commands praise and celebration of all that He is.
We remember all He has done – and respond in thanksgiving
We look to His promises for the future – and respond in hope and joy
We see the matchless beauty of His character and His intrinsic worth, His sovereignty, His goodness – and we respond in awe and knee bending worship
Real Connection –
Nothing about the church should be impersonal. Nothing about the church should be disconnected. The pastor is a man not a god. The power and authority of his sermons should come from the reality of them that people see every other day beside Sunday. Not because he has it figured out, but because with the Lord’s help he is figuring it out. He is learning from the Lord in the full view of the church. Church should be about real people being real and honest with each other at all times; honest about struggles, frustration, pain, joy, sin, victory, loss, and gain. The power of the Gospel should be seen in every life because every life is open to being seen!
We should weep together and rejoice together because we all value each other as much as we value ourselves.
Real Religion –
The Bible defines true religion as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, ministry to the sick, and visiting the imprisoned. Jesus NEVER allowed for a vertical relationship with God that did not flow outward on the horizontal plain of those around us who needed help. Love your neighbor as yourself was connected 100% with love the Lord your God. The whole of God’s revelation to man hangs on “these two” Jesus said. We CANNOT ignore this as a church. Not just ministry to the poor but to mankind as a whole to each what they need! To the poor, to the rich, whatever person the Lord puts us in contact with we release the life and resource of Jesus into their lives.