Love God and love others. Sounds simple enough. How hard can it be? We know it's the way of life that Jesus introduced to the world. It sounds good. I've not met a Christian who disagrees with the sentiment. And yet, in practice, it doesn't always work out the way we imagine. Just how do we do it?
Do we just make a decision, pray a one-line prayer, and we're good to go?
Or do we actually need to invest time and effort and learn new disciplines in order to cultivate a real life of devotion - of living in the Father's love and knowing Jesus? And if, like me, you realise that this is something that doesn't just come automatically, how do we do it effectively?
The reality is that many professing Christians remain too long in the shallows of divine love, and rarely experience the depths that God offers. There are unvisited emotions, locked away under the surface of our lives. There are unrecognised and ungrieved losses that we've experienced. There are unresolved issues and unprocessed conditioning from our past that tie us to old unredeemed ways. There are pressures and expectations, lifestyle patterns and choices, that keep us from the sustaining rhythms and rules of love and devotion.
When we slow down and take the time to face these things and explore them, like many before us, we can find lasting transformation that connects us with the love of God and new ways of living and being.
Peter Scazzero was a leader of a church in New York, which appeared to be flourishing. He was doing all the things that looked good, and earned admiration from certain sectors of the church - but the reality was that he was too stressed and busy to properly attend to his family, his own soul or his life with God. After a crunch time came, he took 4 months out of ministry and learnt some really important things about emotional health, which utterly transformed the church, and has since developed into the discipleship course, which we are preparing to look at over Lent next year.
Back to top of page