Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stay in Love with God

Sunday, July 26th, is the last Sunday of our series at Bethel on the book Three Simple Rules. You remember that this book is written by a retired Bishop of the church. He takes off on the three general rules of John Wesley for his Methodist Societies. When people were converted to Christ, they asked Father John how they could keep their faith alive and well. They knew that the tendency of human beings who are in love with anything is to let their love fade or cool. Someone who is hot with love for God will tend to grow cool as time passes. It is the nature of human life for that white hot love to cool somewhat.

John Wesley formed the groups called "societies" and encouraged Methodists to meet weekly for mutual accountability and support. The rules were: 1. Do no harm. 2. Do good. and 3. Stay in love with God.

How does one stay in love with one's spouse? By communicating, dating, eating together, sharing, learning, growing, changing, and developing. How does one stay in love with God? John Wesley would say: "Stay in church".

A pastor was visiting a man who had fallen away from the church. A fire was burning in the fireplace. A hot burning coal fell from the fire and turned slowly cold. The man got the point and said he would be coming back to church.

The assumption of many is that when one becomes a Christian the work is done. But, that's just the beginning. Faith requires the nurture, study, prayer, and growth that all of life requires to stay real and true.

Wesley says that we stay in love with God by keeping the ordinances of God. They are:

Searching the Scriptures
Bible Study
The Lord's Supper

These are practices that show one loves God, that keep one in touch with God. God's love and grace don't just drop from the sky. They come to us through practices of faith. When we come to Christ, the work is just getting started.

Do you love God? How do you know? What are you doing that shows that you love God?
See you in Church!
Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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