Tuesday, 2 October 2012

All Saints Word - Passionate Spirituality

Passionate spirituality. A spirituality nurtured through personal and corporate prayer which supernaturally naturally exudes the love of God in Christ. People obviously love God and therefore love His people. #3/8 Qualities of Healthy Growing Churches

What is this Quality
 Rom 12:9-21, Mk12:38-44
Look atthe sort of words used in Rom 12: love– hate – affection – zeal – aglow – rejoice – weep; in other words, make sure that your spiritual life soaks down to your emotional level too.

Mark 12: putting in everything that you have = passion.
Egg and bacon: the chicken is involved – the pig is committed. Passion demands commitment. Commitment is costly.

How is it shown in Jesus?
Jesus recognises the heart response of the poor woman in the temple. She knows these two halfpennies that she has to rub together will not repair the roof or pay the Priest. But her heart wants to give. Whereas the rich – who supply what is really needed – do not. Their giving does not soak down to their emotional level. Jesus could say of himself “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” and “These are my mother & brothers”. Jesus wept.

How is it shown in NT Church? 
Time and again the disciples met with opposition and persecution. Every time their response was one of prayer, thanksgiving, determination, sacrifice. Paul is always “rejoicing and giving thanks when I hear about you” - even their sorrows and suffering are a joy to him as he welcomes them into that fellowship. The problem with the NT church was often stopping them being “other-worldly” - expecting the imminent return of the Lord to the detriment of their family life.

How is it shown in Our Church? 
Where is our passion? What do we just have to do? Sunday – Cell – Youth – Children – healing – prayer – music – art - cooking – sport – money – time – energy? And do these things have a spiritual element? Are they things in which we encounter the living Lord? Do they naturally and regularly lead us to prayer, to worship, to thanksgiving? Do they naturally and regularly lead us to talking and thinking about Jesus?
It's possible to let the “thing” get in the way of the relationship. House renovation can be so expensive and all consuming that the family by whom it is done breaks up through neglect and strain before the job is completed. We get so engrossed in the Church Building, Church Music, Finances, Management, Projects – that we lose sight of the Lord . “Serve the Lord” says Rom 12. Remember whom it is that you love.

How can we grow?
It doesn't matter how beautiful the building is, how skilled the choir, how professional the music group, how tidy the churchyard, how full the coffers, unless our passion is for the Lord Jesus and our daily experience is of His presence, our spirituality will be impoverished. .

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