Posted by: richard | 8 January, 2008

The Year of the Discipled Rat?

2008 is the Chinese Year of the Rat. Judging from our discussions yesterday, we share a vision for 2008 to be, for us, a year of discipleship; of growing in faith in our Lord Jesus and in obedience to His call to follow Him.

Jesus said that the most important commandment is “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (NIV, Mark 12:28-30)”. Let’s break this up – and perhaps make this a mediation for the rest of the week as we mentally prepare for the year of the Discipled Rat….

  • Hear O Israel – this is a commandment to us as individuals but also, and vitally, to us as a community, as God’s people. How well are we functioning as a member of the body, rather than a “lone organ”?
  • the Lord our God, the Lord is one – Three in One. Are we being filled with the Spirit?
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart – this speaks to our passion, to a singular desire for God. How strong is our passion for the Lord? What desires are competing for our hearts?
  • and all your soul – I think soul can be translated ‘life’ – the entirity of who we are. This speaks to a discipleship that reaches all aspects of our lives. How far does our faith manifest itself in good works?
  • and all your mind – this speaks to our growing in knowledge and understanding of God and his purposes for us. What is our programme of Bible study, Christian reading and reflection for 2008?
  • and with all your strength – this speaks to our commitment to pursue God through faithfulness and discipline. How ready are we to apply our mental and physical strength and energy to grow in discipleship?

Why not mull over this verse a bit this week and ask the Lord to help us to love Him in this multifaceted way, more and more in 2008?

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