John Wesley gave us Methodists three general rules to follow. Typically, we break them down to three simple statements: do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God. Sometimes we miss what he meant when we simplify these rules too much. He had more to say about these rules. Mr. Wesley offers us six practices through which we can stay in love with God.
Yes, fasting is still a spiritual discipline worth practicing! Fasting means we refrain from eating for a set period of time. Perhaps you may just want to begin with just fasting a particular meal that you normally eat. The purpose of fasting is simply this: to glorify God. Fasting ought not to be about anything other than turning our focus toward God. Fasting reminds us that we are sustained by God.
5) Searching the Scriptures.
Consider starting by reading the same psalm every day for a week. There are great Bible apps available at no charge to make your reading convenient. Start this Monday with Psalm 1 and read it each day during the week. Then move to Psalm 2, etc. Does something different stand out for you each day? What have you learned about the love of God each day?
4) Family and private prayer.
We should pray with our family. We should reorient our meals so that our focus is giving thanks to God for food and those who made the meal. Consider praying the Lord’s prayer at the beginning and/or the end of the day together. How does praying together change our understanding of forgiving one another? What do we lean about the power of God through regular prayer?
3) The Supper of the Lord.
Every 8:30 Sunday worship service celebrates the Lord’s Supper. The first Sunday of the month we celebrate the Lord’s Supper at both worship services. Taking part in the Lord’s Supper re-members us, that is, reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. It reminds us that it was not us who loved God first, but it was God who first loved us!
2) The ministry of the Word, either read or expounded.
When we come together to worship God, our love for God can be shed abroad in our hearts when we hear God’s word spoken to us. As your pastor, I vow to you that the meditations offered each Sunday will take this phrase to heart: that God’s Word will minister–that is, tend, heal, and offer hope–to our spirits.
1) The public worship of God.
When we worship God together, we are encouraged and reminded of the Good News that God loves us so very much! When we worship together, we can practice loving one another through offering reconciliation to one another and sharing our joys and concerns. When we’re present with one another, we can care for one another. When we care for one another, we share God’s love for one another.
I encourage us to allow these practices to have a very high priority in our lives. When we prioritize centering our awareness around God’s love for us, we will truly find we love each other more deeply in return. In so doing, we will fulfill the desire of Jesus Christ who asked us to love one another.
Grace and Peace Abound!