Sat 25 May 2019
When John wrote about himself he didn’t himself us an evangelist, a gospel-writer, an apostle, he identified himself as the one whom Jesus loved.
The situation where John leaned on the Jesus’ chest: we cannot just read it, we have to have the experience it ourselves. Living like a wife whose husband left for the far away country (business, solider) and she doesn’t know she has means of instant communication, so she just reads his old love letters. We are just reading the old love letter of Bible instead of the instant messaging with him.
The biggest spiritual exercise we all need to do regularly is how to let ourselves to be fools. Perhaps in every situation we don’t see the expected of our following of what we believed was God’s voice is our training to be willing to be a fool for Christ. Perhaps when we leave our shopping in the supermarket and nothing happens, we should say “Thank you, Lord, that you gave me strength and courage to actually follow on what I believed was your voice and that a bit of my pride got shed off.”
“We are more than conquerors in Christ” (not sure how accurate quotation this is, and I am certainly not sure my interpretation is correct). “Conqueror” here as a survivor, somebody who get to the other side of the story and still lives to tell the tale. However, we are not supposed just to survive, we are supposed to live. We may not be the one at the helm of the history (no need for control freaks, Jesus is the one at the helm), but we should be changing the flow of history not just follow or react to what happens to us.
Don’t wear Saul’s armour! We are all unique, we are all special, we are all individuals (“I am not”), and we all should serve the Lord according to our special gifts.
Mental and spiritual deprivation:
- if our parents were not Christians, so they cannot teach us how to live as a child of God,
- too busy, so not enough time (or interest) to deal with the intimate relationships
- they own vulnerabilities (her father was a solider in the Second World War)
Deprivation lead to the defensive detachment: standing on the outside, cynicism, lowered expectations.
Ex 16: gather only as much manna as needed. Those who gathered more and kept it for themselves, it got mouldy.
Satisfaction: godly (full of gratefulness and thankfulness which in healthy manner hopes for more) and ungodly (self-sufficiency, lowered expectations). “As a doe longs for the living waters …” do we long for more? Do we pray, that God could make us more thirsty? We are too often satisfied with just what we have, we have our salvation and that’s enough. It is not easy to recognize we need to hope for more.
There are some things which are required for small groups:
Equal exchange for everybody — there is no one who would be above others (not like in the professional psychotherapy session). We all are equal and all should be very authentic.
Decision to be authentic is very challenging one: no everybody is the same and we have a great pressure to emulate others, or even worse the leader. Some small groups are very cold and not very secure. Only deep relationships allowed deep resilient against shame, we have to know how others are able to sustain difficult conversations.
Mutual inspiration and mutual respect. Say “Thank you!”, simple things. There are many groups which are not like that, they are more oriented on plans and schedules.
Don’t advise, but lead each other towards God to search your own answers. Lead each other towards God for confession as well (provide testimony, but not direct confrontation).
We need to have compassion with other other and for yourself, so that we could be honest and not judge each other.