Responding with Love

Disciples of Jesus are committed to following his ways. Since God is love, we learn to love from him. In particular, we learn to give agape love– love that expects nothing in return. Here are a few pieces to continue your reflection on love as God wants us to understand it.

Learn from a child that “Love Cannot be Measured.”

Love is God’s instrument for binding the world together. There are also other attempts to accomplish this task. Some will try hate to unite people. Some will use fear. Both will work for a season or two. So will suffering and need. But love has enduring power. In contrast, sooner or later hate becomes self-destructive. And the causes of fear, suffering, and need eventually either resolve themselves or fragment into self-interest. But love never ends.

Read on in “Do you Build Fences or Dig Wells?”

In a world where we feel as though we have to ‘return the favour’ or wonder why someone is being nice to us, there is power in being people who do good simply in order to do good. The first step to changing is knowing what needs to change… So how do you know if you’re keeping ‘score’ in your friendships? Tim offers some advice.

Books for Disciples who want to Remember

This list is in now way exhaustive, but modern disciples may want to spend some time with the following books as they study Jesus’ biblical invitation to follow him. Each of these books teach us what remembering can look like when it is lived.

Books about the Christian Community
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together by Scot McKnight
The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Books about the Spiritual Disciplines
Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster
The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Foster
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Books about Discipleship
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene H. Peterson
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard

Modern Disciples are Humbly Receptive.

We began to explore this week the four of the postures of disciples, as they are laid out in Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ through Community by James C. Wilhoit.

Here is more on the discipline of humility, starting with a definition from John Dickson.

The guys over at The Blazing Center have provided two different sets of ways to practice humility. There is a shorter (but not easier) list of seven, and a list of twenty-two. Both are worth at least a quick glance.

How about a book recommendation? Read this review before you buy Tim Keller’s The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness.