[Update: see my background thinking in Draft 2]
Christianity Beyond is a movement of ordinary people who are learning how to make the same kind of extraordinary impact as the Jesus they love. We honor all the ways people have sought to follow Jesus in the past and present, but dare to go beyond that in order to demonstrate to a watching world just how good and worthy Jesus is.
It may be too late to have a happy childhood, but it is never too late to have a turbulent adolescence!
We as a society have lost sight of what it means to grow up. And that’s a good thing!
The gift (and curse) of the Enlightenment is that each of us must answer the question: who do I want to be when I grow up? It is tempting to envy our ancestors and traditional cultures who had well-defined “markers of maturity”, e.g., marriage, mortgage, and making money. There is enormous security, stability, and support in having society validate who you are supposed to be.
But there is also enormous danger, especially for Christians.
Enjoy, Love & Glorify
God, Ourselves & Others
As Jesus Does
Corollary: The Meaning of Life
God, Us & Others
Enjoying, Loving, & Glorifying,
God, Ourselves, Others & the World
Worship: He’s Worth It
The whole point of becoming a Christian is to know and love God, ourselves, and others the way Jesus did. But what exactly is love?
We use the word “love” whenever we strongly desire or value something. But there are three very different kinds of love:
- Happiness: because it what we want and makes us feel good
- Glory: because it helps us become or be known as our best
- Relationship: because we feel or want to be connected to it
Thank you that our family belongs to you.
We confess we need you to free us from our sin and shame so we can love like Jesus.
Give us the grace to:
- Trust you with our desires
- Face our fears
- Reflect on our anger
- Speak the truth in love, and
- Ask for help along the way
We ask this by the blood of Jesus, Amen.
In Which We Begin to Pursue the End…
This is the final lesson in our series, but hopefully just the beginning of your journey in understanding what it means to lead others — and yourself — into the “name” of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As we proceed to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (cf Philippians 2:12), it is essential to continually rejoice (cf. Philippians 4:4), because the “joy of the Lord is our strength” (cf. Nehemiah 8:10). We may occasionally become discouraged when we realize we will never reach complete perfection, either in our discipline, our character, or even our theology (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:9). On the other hand, the good news is that this means we will always have room for improvement!
This course has tried to give you the basics, but there are even more wonderful truths about Christ to be understood, deeper works of the Holy Spirit to be experienced, and greater glories for the Father to be won.
May we persevere together in that pursuit until the day we are all finally united with our Beloved Bridegroom, to celebrate His matchless “name” for all eternity.
Memory Verse: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” — Matthew 25:13 (NKJV)
Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline
- 13. Celebration
Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
- 13. Perseverance
Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
- 8. Joy: “We Laughed, We Sang”
- 11. Perseverance: “They Never Could Keep Me Down!”
- A Long Obedience: Epilogue
Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms
- 9. A Rule of Life: Cultivating Rhythms for Spiritual Transformation