A new discipline?

Great gathering at The Orchard tonight. Loved hearing from our guest speaker Mark Miller tonight.

I’ve learned when listening to speakers that if something catches your ear, eye, or heart, run with it and don’t worry about getting all the other points written down. Went there tonight. Mark was talking about how we can make “God deposits” into our heart otherwise its going to be very difficult to make wise choices. He mentioned we could receive deposits by coming to a church gathering, reading God’s word, praying, loving…  And then I didn’t hear the rest. I recognize those things as disciplines or practices that can help our spiritual growth but I’d never heard “loving” listed among them.

As a new believer in Jesus 20 years ago, I met one on one with a friend who led me through a “Discipleship 101” book. It listed all the things to do to become a more mature believer: Pray, Read the Bible, Memorize Scripture, Give, Share the Gospel. And then it gave lessons and exercises on how to do these things. No one ever told me until MUCH later on my spiritual journey to love other people without agenda as a way to grow in Christ. My heart expanded quickly and exponentially when I began looking out for others more than myself.

So to help new Christ followers along their journey, what if we communicated simply that one of the richest things you can do to become closer to Jesus, is to treat people the way he did? To see others as intentionally made by God, with a purpose, and as recipients of His grace. How would that change your journey if the spiritual practice of loving one another was given just as much attention as reading, praying or memorizing?

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3 responses to this post.

  1. to love people w/o an agenda is 95% of effective ministry…no one ever told me that, but it is a conclusion I came to about 10 years ago….the other 5% is knowing the verses, etc…so when I read this one I thought…this sounds like basically the same thing.
    I hate it when I sense a “scalp” mentality. (long lost “friend” has a business opportunity for you- Amway) so in my dealings with people, I really work @ not doing that toward them. Even in the blogsphere…how often are we tempted to comment on someone elses blog hoping they will comment on ours, maybe put us on their blog roll, etc. it is so manipulative. Inside most of us long for genuine relationships with people who will accept and love us for who we are, not what we can do for them.
    I saw your facebook status that you were up in the wee hours of the morning and mentioned this posting (as you tried to avoid a stop @ the frig) made me smile. that’s how I got here this AM. good post

    Reply

  2. Posted by Lisa Price on July 12, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I agree completely, Joni! Didn’t see you there last night, but loved hearing Mark. Even J.T. was enthralled!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Momma Donna on July 19, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I agree Joni! How many times have I heard Lee preach the message in the last four years, “Love others as Christ has loved you.” We can only hope, even tho’ the message doesn’t seem to be sinking in at the moment, that we’ve planted the seed and we may not see the mature plant —-but eventually it does take root!

    Reply

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