‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you.’
Would love to here your comments on this question. enjoy the video!
Here is an interview of author Eugene Peterson. For many years Eugene Peterson was James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College. He also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. A prolific author, he is probably most well known for The Message. He is one of my all time favorite authors. This interview from 2007 is worth a look if you have a half hour free.
I came across this post a couple of weeks ago (12th March?) by Jason Salamun called ‘Rhythms of a Disciple’ I think these are some very practical things to consider as we continue in our journey as followers of Jesus.
Being a Christian is so much more than a mere label, it’s a way of life. A pattern that’s integrated into everyday life not because we have to but because we get to. Not so much out of religious obligation but compelled by a love for God and people. Love is what a disciple of Jesus should be known for and these are the rhythms we are striving for.
Above all, we seek to know, love, and follow Jesus in our thoughts, words, and actions. In every day and every moment, we look to Jesus as our great King and example. Following Jesus is a series of next steps, each resulting in us becoming more like him. His footsteps may be large but they mark the path of the life in full.
Jesus sends us out, on mission, into culture, to be salt and light everywhere we go. In this sense, we are missionaries wherever we are.
To love God with all our minds means we are to be curious and filled with wonder at what God has revealed- in particular in the scriptures. By regularly reading the bible, we learn what it means to live the lives we’re meant to live and we are shaped by the very words of God. We also discover more about our Creator and his creation in all realms of learning through story, wisdom, song, nature, imagination, and more. However, our highest authority is our divine conversation with Jesus through the reading of scripture.
We choose not to waste our meals. We will seek to commune with others when possible and view each meal as a blessing from God. With each food and drink we consume, we will remember the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf as his body was broken and blood was shed for us.
We reject any notion that we are to create our own subculture. Instead, we dwell within culture in order to influence, shape, and redeem it. We believe this whole world and everything, and everyone in it, belong to God. Like Jesus, we choose to enter the story in order to change the story.
We are charged to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. One tangible expression of love is listening. We will take opportunities to hear the stories of others. To rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. We also will listen to God and create deliberate moments of silence and quiet our hearts before our Creator.
Backyard BBQ’s, gathering at the local watering hole, inviting friends to our home for food and fun. These are just a few examples of what it means to party. We choose to celebrate and enjoy life with people inside and outside our community. This is what Jesus did. A good party is like a little drop of heaven on earth and is a way of life for the follower of Christ.
We are blessed by God to be a blessing to others. This can come in many forms. An encouraging email, a note of appreciation, a kind word, an unselfish act, a helping hand. Wherever your imagination takes you. Being a blessing is to make deposits into the accounts of people. Showing grace is to do so whether someone deserves it or not. We will look to tangibly bless others daily.
Growth is a natural byproduct of every healthy, living thing. This includes people. Since growth comes from God, we will continually fix our eyes on Christ, search our hearts for any cheap substitutes to him, and repent of our sin and place them at the feet of our King. We will seek to live lives of health and wholeness remembering there’s one throne and one source of genuine growth.
The arm of God is big enough to wrap around the whole world. The least we can do is wrap our arms around our neighbor, the people we come across in our daily lives. We will not play favorites based on social status but view all people as equally valuable under an almighty God. Our community is one where people can belong before they believe and find grace overflowing. All are welcome to the table.
We will be a people of constant conversation and communion with God. As we live our lives, we will pray without ceasing according to God’s will. We will thank God, worship God, be honest to God, confess our sins to God, listen to God, and always seek opportunities to pray for others. Our hope is to be the go-to people for prayer in our relational networks without making a big show of it.
We will seek to share our time, talent, and treasure with others. Generosity will flow out of the grace God has given us. We are to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. We will be an authentic community who shares one another’s burdens with a battle cry that “no one stands alone.” This is pleasing to God and a fingerprint of a true disciple.
We will stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves and offer hope to the hopeless. We will fight against injustice and guilt-based religion by our actions and the Gospel. We agree with scripture and believe for justice to roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. In serving others, we serve Christ. We will never forget that our ultimate mission is to bring good news and be good news to those around us.
Romans 12:9-18 (ESV):
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”