Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Preview of Rule One: DO NO HARM

Bishop Reuben Job in Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living, says this about rule 1: "Even a child can understand what it means, and it is applicable to everyone at every stage in life. And when practiced, it works wonders in transforming the world around us."
While this is a simple rule, it is not an EASY rule. It is difficult to do no harm. Why? Because following this rule requires a radical trust in God: we give control over to God. It is difficult because striking back or striking out seems to be in our nature. It is the way of Jesus. If we are going to followers of Christ, we must commit to this simple rule. Try it out for the rest of this week: consciously focus on doing nothing that would harm anyone or anything else. Maybe you can check in on the blog here and give us a story or two.

Here are the Scriptures for this Sunday:
Matthew 5.21-26
Matthew 5.38-48
Ephesians 4.17-32
Romans 12.17-21
Romans 13.8-14

Why not read each Scripture and think about how it relates to "do no harm". You could even leave your thoughts in the comments.

The worship bulletin for Sunday, February 1 is here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Three Simple Rules Week 1 Discussion

This last Sunday we began our series in The Refuge on Reuben Job's Three Simple Rules, which is an adaptation of Wesley's General Rules (see previous post).

Here is a summary of our study from 1/25/09:

If someone asked you, "What does it mean to live as a Christian?" what would you say?

Read the article "Studying for the Wrong Test".

In our Christianity, can we say that the foundational truths that we live out are those found in Matthew 22.36-40?
Can we say that our Christianity is fulfilling Jesus' prayer in John 17 that all believers would be one--be unified--just as Jesus and the Father were unified?

In many ways, we have gotten into such deep ruts with how we express our faith that we cannot see any other way.
It matters how you live. Jesus expects you to live your regular, daily life in a certain way.
The way of Jesus is not complicated, it is not too difficult, and it is not just for hyper-spiritual people or religious professionals.
The way of Jesus will unite Christians and give life to their souls.
The way of Jesus will truly transform our world.

Paul fleshed these concepts out some in Galatians 5.22-26 and Colossians 3.12-17.

Questions for reflection and discussion (feel free to leave your responses as a comment and feel free to comment on each other's responses):

1-Jesus said that all Scripture could be summarized by "love God with all your heart and soul and mind" and "love your neighbor as yourself". What do you think it means to love God?

2-How can love--which we would normally consider to be an emotion--be commanded?

3-Read Matthew 7.12. How does it compare to Matthew 22.36-40?

4-We face so many problems trying to live as followers of Christ. How can "three simple rules" [do no harm, do good, stay in love with God] address these difficulties?

5-If Jesus were to make a list of the major issues facing Christ-followers today, what do you think he would put on the list?