Notes from the pastor
Discipleship: A Lifelong Pilgrimage
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.  And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.  Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.  (1 John 4:16-19)
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions?  Can that kind of faith save anyone?  Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, "Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well"—but then you don't give that person any food or clothing.  What good does that do?  So you see, faith by itself isn't enough.  Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.  (James 2:14-17)
A word that we use a lot in the church is discipleship.  But what is discipleship really?  Well, from the scriptures above we are reminded that God is the first mover in this spiritual relationship between God and Mankind.  God initiates a relationship with you, and your positive response is called discipleship.  It is that life-long pilgrimage that begins with simple faith and continues into a life of active servanthood (see James).  It is life fully lived in the Kingdom of God.  It is a life we live both individually and collectively as the Body of Christ.
Along the way that journey needs to include training or equipping.  That equipping could be furthered through activities such as Bible study, skill development, leadership training or learning one’s spiritual gifts.
The journey will essentially embrace opportunities for deepening your faith and trust in God.  Participating in scriptural study beyond simple daily devotionals can help a Christian learn more about the heart and mind of God.  Worship, fasting, and meditation are all good ways to reach more deeply into the spiritual life.  Life in a small group will certainly lead to opportunities for Christian conversation that opens doors to meaningful dialogue and the revealing of truth by the Holy Spirit.
Alongside equipping and deepening activities are necessarily opportunities made to engage the world in the name of Jesus Christ.  James reminds us that faith, no matter how sincere, must be lived out in the lives of our neighbors or it is useless.  So, we must always ask ourselves in any situation, “How can I go beyond loving God to loving neighbor?”  For when we truly put our hands and feet to work in the name of Christ, not only do we become a witness for the Lord, the love of our Lord grows deeply within us and we find ourselves embodying more and more the person of Christ.
If you are interested in learning more about this amazing pilgrimage called discipleship, please contact me or any of our other wonderful staff members here at Front Street.  Any of us can help you find a place to live out your faith through service.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Ross
Last Published: August 10, 2017 11:42 AM
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