We forgot we swim in milk and honey

I really like this band called Kings Kaleidoscope. Like… I’ve attended their concerts and bought their expensive merch kind-of-like. They’ve got a song called “About to Break” in which the lyrics say;

Clouded mind, proud in plain
Loud and blind taking aim
Won’t hold the line ’cause hope will reign
And breach the walls about to break

Funny,
we forgot we swim in milk and honey
Letting go, we’re breaking and becoming
Leaning in and holding on we’re falling, falling, falling, falling

The band plays with the idea of letting go of what we believe and instead, letting hope reign and falling back into God. Letting go and leaning in. He’s enough and He has provided in advance. So often though, we forget what we’ve been gifted to us. We forget about the milk and honey.

Recently at the Aroma we’ve been in a sermon series called Work + Rest. In this four week series we’ve explored what it means to work and what it means to rest and how each are a gift given to us by God.

Simply put: Working and resting should not be difficult. (1 John 5:3,  In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome) However, when we do them in our strength they are. We were never meant to take them on by ourselves. God always provides! We just work and rest as a testimony to what God has already given us. Just look at the Israelites in Exodus 16. They were given everything they needed to live. Manna in the morning and quail in the evening… and yet they still went out on the seventh day and looked for food; Even though they had been provided double the blessing, double portions, the day before! God had already provided for their Sabbath. Genesis 2 reminds us that even before the fall God had given Adam and Eve work: Name the animals, go forth and multiply, subdue the earth! God didn’t need them to do this. He had just created the world and called it perfect, yet he gifted them this purpose. God provided.

We don’t work to survive, and we don’t survive just to rest. These are lies that our culture has bought into and when we see these two things as gifts from God it’s easy to see how He has given them to us as worship. Both underworking and overworking rob us of the capacity to enjoy God and his world. (John Mark Comer, emphasis added.)

Friends if you feel cozy; God has given you work. Stand up, work hard, and watch how God works in you and with you. If you feel tired. If you feel burned out. God has given you rest. Simply choose to receive it, thank the Lord for it, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and he will bring you into life giving rest that only He can provide.

Thoughts: Discipleship & Church Planting

Question
How do you define discipleship?
Do you disciple anyone in a particular trade, hobby, or other life skill? How do you lead others?

What is a disciple?
A disciple is simply someone who believes in Jesus and seeks to follow him in his or her daily life.
Billy Graham

What is discipleship?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said, “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”

Realistically, how do we follow Jesus in today’s culture? Lots of people have many different opinions of Jesus and who he is and what he taught. Here are two things I believe we need.

  1. God’s Word and the written examples from Jesus’ life.
    • Let’s go to the source! These are first hand accounts of what Jesus did.
  2. Someone to lead us and help navigate 21st century questions.
    • 1 Corinthians 4:15-16 (NIV)
      [Paul talking to the Corinthians]
      Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

Throughout the Bible we see God using unqualified people to fulfill his purpose. In Taiwan I teach this to many young people of which many are not anywhere close to considering having biological children. This leads them to thinking… how could I ever be a parent? Yet my question to them is… “Why not you? Who are you fathering?

You see imitating people takes time. Have you ever tried to dance, or even drive a car by reading a manual? It’s truly difficult. I believe this to be part of God’s divine design to accomplish His mission through us, people.

Have you ever heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”? I believe this to be true. We work better together. Paul stresses that the Corinthians already have so many teachers (guardians, see the Greek), but they lack fathers. As older Christians lead younger Christians we see the Body of Christ take form; With Jesus Christ at the head!

In many ways discipleship and church planting go together. A church is a group of believers who follow Jesus together while leading others to do the same.

Christians could be called shepherds from behind, sheep from the front. There’s always at least one person who is following your lead.
Mike Breen

In this way community takes form. With everyone leading as they follow a space is born in which people learn to belong and discover their identity, gifts, and purpose. There’s a reason we often call church a big family.

Community
Someone who cares for you (mother?)
Someone who teaches you (father?) +
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Family (The Church)