"A Rule for Life" Pastor Doug Kamstra, Acts 2:41-42, February 16, 2020 AM

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A Rule for Life (Discovering God’s Will Together; #11) Acts 2:40-42

“The real issue is not these forces, it’s the ‘meltdown’ of Christian behavior; North American Christians are virtually indistinguishable from the world” (Os Guinness)

A. The church is facing a spiritual crisis

1. We need to get serious about our spiritual life!

2. Imagine we’re building or remodeling our spiritual “home” – the only

question is “How serious are we about actually moving in...?”

B. Deepening our walk with Jesus requires more than intellectual assent

1. We need a conscious, intentional, well thought out action plan

2. We need the discipline to follow it

“Athletes, musicians, writers, scientists, and others progress in their fields because they are well-disciplined people. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to think that in matters of faith we should pray, meditate, and engage in other spiritual disciplines only when we feel like it.” (William Paulsell cf. Rules for Prayer)

A RULE-DRIVEN LIFE

A. How do we arrange our life for what our heart most deeply desires?

1. Answer: we need an intentional rhythm - a set of habits

2. This is known as a “Rule of Life” (from the Greek for “trellis”)

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

B. Acts 2:41f tells what happened after Pentecost

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (Acts 2:41)

“They devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)

C. In Acts 3 we see Peter and John going to the temple...

1. They were following Jesus’ rhythm

2. When new believers came to “church” they needed to be trained

“Your way of acting should be different than the world’s way. The love of Christ must come before all else!” (St. Benedict)

D. These regulations (from regula) were habits that regulated their life

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17) A RULE OF LIFE

A. Everyone has a “spiritual strategy” – it’s either intentional or unintentional, helpful or harmful

“It is very unlikely that we will deepen our relationship with God in a casual or haphazard manner. There will be a need for some intentional commitment and some reorganization in our own lives. But there is nothing that will enrich our life more than a deeper and clearer perception of God’s presence in the routine of daily living.” (William Paulsell)

B. Writing your “Rule of Life”

1. It begins in silence, listening to God

2. Then, it involves developing a written pattern

3. Then reflect (ruminate) on it: a. Is it personal? – Does it reflect who you are? b. Is it practical? – Is it attainable? c. Is it balanced? – Is it both comfortable and stretching? d. Is it flexible? – Is it adaptable to changing circumstances? e. Is it simple? - Is it easy/short enough to remember?

“My yoke [lit. rule] is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30)

4. Then do it. Keeping the rhythm is most important!

C. If you love Jesus with all your heart, it is time to get off the log...

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