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Ephesians 6:18-20 January 12, 2020 Part 2/4

I will start this off by admitting just how perplexing it is to me to see what is at best a casual interest or at worst, an indifference by the church for pursuing traditional avenues for spiritual growth. I would be the first to welcome tried and true alternatives that achieve the same ends. And there are certainly pockets in the church that aspire to being disciplined followers, to training in such a way that foreshadows certain growth and fruit. But I don’t see these alternatives emerging.

The oft used word from recent past that described the tasks that develop these kinds of results is Disciplines. But it seems to be a word that has fallen out of step even in the church culture. It nonetheless describes well what kinds of activity that is needed to nurture deeper growth and maturity. If we are to truly lay the basis for spiritual growth, both short and long term, there needs to be a resurgence of the pursuit of disciplines. Not as a rigor that bogs us down but as tool that frees us up to be as free as we are intended to be.

It is not that they are opposed (no one would ever say that), to the idea of growing but seem to want it to come about in some new way, which as I said, I am open to discovering. However until that time or those new tools arrive, I suggest we revert to tried and true methods that are biblically consistent and certainly time tested. These simply include study of the Word with integrated fellowship, corporate worship, serving together, hospitality, and praying together – sharing life generously together.

It seems that the engaged pursuit of these things via the things already in place here at Hope would feed this need. We have seasonal Life Groups, weekly Sunday School, monthly Gro Groups, and are developing mentoring resource for 1 on 1 relationships, in addition to limitless options for individual disciplines, plus participating in various planned educational events such as the Biblical World View Institute with John Stonestreet on March 6.

Engaging in these types of activities help make sure we’re on the right path as we go on living the lives we’re called to live. It is not enough to rely upon instinct or residual knowledge. Day old manna will not suffice. We need the word of God afresh.

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