The only way to get close to God is to be in relationships of justice, mercy, and truth with our neighbors. We begin this week with rule #1: Do no harm. Followers of Jesus even love their enemies and people who persecute and defame them (Matthew 5:43-48). He equips them with his peace, which is his presence alongside them. Reading and meditating upon devotional classics or a resource like “The Upper Room” helps to center the day in Christ. Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Do all the good you can, In all the ways you can, To all the souls you can, In every place you can, At all the times you can, With all the zeal you can, As long as ever you can. He teaches his disciples how to love by inviting them to do what he did. He also gives them the power of the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide them along the way. The Scripture on which I spoke was this (is it possible anyone should be ignorant that it is fulfilled in every true minister of Christ? New heart-habits are formed as your character reflects that of Jesus. Jesus summarized his teachings in his two great commandments: He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. The early Methodist class and band meetings are excellent examples of such groups. Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church | 11711 East Market Place, Fulton, MD 20759, Churches in the BWC are following local government directives, and their Re-entering Well guidelines Team's discernment while following local government directives with regards to indoor meeting size AND capacity limitations. Pastors. At times witnessing to Jesus Christ and his gospel of God’s coming reign is not welcome. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time—waking and sleeping. John Wesley recommended at least three acts of devotion (see “The United Methodist Rule of Life”): In the film “Shadowlands” Anthony Hopkins played C.S. Blog Education & Clergy Development Thrive in 5 Thriving Clergy. Honor the Lord’s day by going to church . Executive Summary of the Wesleyan Clergy Wellbeing Data. God’s love is revealed to us in the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. He also expects us to ask why people are hungry and then to organize and act to address the causes of our neighbor’s hunger. The Wesleyan interpreter should cast biblical meaning/theology in a way that enables our particular cloud of Christian witnesses to understand and embody more fully a distinctively Wesleyan form of saving faith and holy life (Callen and Thompson, 55). They are performed by you and others united with the church and other institutions working for the common good. God is relational. The cross disciples must take up each day is obedience to Jesus' teachings summarized in Mark 12:30-31: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength . At times it will bring violence and persecution upon the witness. Only the Holy Spirit, working in them by grace, makes discipleship and subsequent growth in holiness of heart and life possible. Through praise, confession, Scripture, proclamation, prayer, giving, confession, thanksgiving, sacrament, and blessing the Christian community builds one another up in love and offers itself in service to God and the world that God loves. This acknowledges that disciples, and the church, are to be for the world. If you take up this challenge for emotional growth in 2020, be sure that you set rules that are kind to where you are at present so that you are not discouraged by the usual “one step forward and two steps back” process of meaningful change. A witness has personal knowledge and experience of a person, place, thing, or event and is prepared to give evidence. The editor, Rueben P. Job, says in his preface that these three rules "have the power to change the world." As you cooperate with that grace to obey all of Jesus’ commands grace flows through you for others and for the world. The General Rule of Discipleship concisely describes the habits required of mission-shaped disciples. John Wesley lists three acts of worship in the third General Rule: Methodists need to participate in worship on Sunday morning in their congregation and other times throughout the week. Wesleyanism, various varieties of Holiness Theologies, Keswick, Deeper Life, Higher life, Victorious Life Theologies all have their root in Wesley’s teaching concerning the Christian life. The “ministry of the Word” is listening to the Word of God as it is read aloud. Other times witnesses are received with indifference. Let us for this faith contend,Sure salvation is the end;Heaven already is begun,Everlasting life is won.Only let us persevereTill we see our Lord appear,Never from the Rock remove,Saved by faith with works by love. In other words, grace is not an idea, but a free gift and experience we can cultivate through practices designed by God. The Rules are a simple and concise description of basic Christian practices, described by Wesley as "means of grace." Pastors. They agree to meet weekly to "watch over one another in love." Epigraphs for each of the three chapters are taken from Psalms and the New Testament. This covenant is the group's rule of life. Witnessing to Jesus Christ in the world requires baptism by water and the Spirit. In addition to being an evangelical renewal movement for the Church, the Methodist movement was also a Eucharistic renewal movement. Lectio Divina is an ancient practice in which reading Scripture leads the Christian into prayer. One of many highlights of last week’s annual meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society was a conversation I had with Michael G. Cartwright about a new resource on the “General Rules.” Cartwright and Andrew D. Kinsey have developed “Watching Over One Another in Love: Reclaiming the Wesleyan Rule of Life for the Church’s Mission” which is a 28 day day study of the “General Rules.” The Spirit will be their teacher. Secondly, a disciple lives and witnesses in the world. They can live this way because they know and experience God’s love in the love they give to one another who are sisters and brothers in Christ. The General Rule of Discipleship concisely describes the habits required of mission-shaped disciples. That is, it’s a pattern for how to work together as a community called to witness and service – but that pattern must be lived out in experience.” from the Foreword by Tomas Edward Frank. They grow closer to Christ as they grow closer to one another. 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