May 10, 2015
1 John 4:13-16
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
The Christian life is like a stool supported by three legs. There’s the historical witness– external and objective: And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
There’s the Witness of the Spirit– the internal and subjective experience of the objective reality: This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.
There’s the Witness of the community- interpersonal and relational: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Faith is the crisis of belief which leads to the process of experience which becomes the demonstration of the truth in love.
Bringing it home, where are you strong and where do you need to grow?
EMPIRICALLY: Do you struggle to fully embrace the orthodox teaching of the Love of God in Jesus Christ? If so, I encourage you to develop a daily practice of affirming the historic creeds of the church. Start with the Apostles Creed. Just try saying it aloud every morning for the next 28 days. I might also recommend a daily book I put together along these lines, and also a most helpful short teaching on the creed by Timothy C. Tennent (my boss). ;0)
EXPERIENTIALLY: Do you struggle with the inner experience of the Love of God in Jesus Christ? If so, I encourage you to grow in your practice of the “means of grace.” Scripture (which includes the Daily Text), Prayer (make it defined through posture, voice, time, clear through writing, etc.), Fasting (which takes prayer to the next level of experience), Conferencing (processing experience with other believers), Communion (stop trying to understand it and posture yourself to behold the mystery of the Lord’s Supper).
EXPERIMENTALLY: Do you struggle with the interpersonal expression or demonstration of the Love of God in Jesus Christ? If so, I encourage you to grow in your focused intention. Literally construct experiments whereby you do small (and even hidden) acts of loving service to other people. Maxie Dunnam has authored a brilliant study along these lines.
Summarizing, Faith is the mysterious convergence of crisis and process and demonstration built on three corresponding kinds of evidence: Empirical, experiential and experimental.
All of this is, of course, an artificial construct rather than a formula. We need handles on faith in order to grow in our discipleship. It doesn’t just happen. Let’s get on with the second half of the Gospel– that’s where the action is. Let this summer be a new season to freshly consecrate yourself to Jesus in some tangible ways.
J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.