November 27, 2013

{Day 27} Saved and Called: The Corporate Disciplines

If you're just popping in on this November series, you can catch up here.
There's also a give-away in progress, get your name in the drawing here.

Ah!  The last two posts have been too long.  I'm sorry.  Today, I will very briefly share about the last section of Foster's book Celebration of Discipline.  After that there are only three more posts in this series!  Final topics include: the discipline of thanksgiving, heaven, and a conclusion post with the give-away winner announced.  One friend wisely pointed out that each discipline that Foster addresses in his book could be its own post.  So over the next several months, I will write one post per week about a spiritual discipline, which will allow us all more time to reflect on and apply what I'm rushing through in these posts.  I needed some direction for the future; thanks for the feedback, Jan!

What does Foster include in the corporate disciplines? Confession, worship, guidance and celebration.  A few sentences on each.

Confession: Obviously confession is something we do individually, for it is the Lord who forgives sin.  Confessing our sins to a brother or sister in Christ, however, is vital for keeping us all close to the cross and focused on Christ as our only hope, drawing us nearer to one another in Christian community.  We are all sinners saved by grace; let's not act like we're not.

Worship:  Worship is a response to God to be practiced all day long, not just on Sunday morning.  Gathering with other believers in the presence of the Lord is an important aspect of worship, though.  Enter into your church building for worship with "holy expectancy" - expecting God to show up!  We should leave corporate worship with a greater desire to love and obey the Lord.

Guidance:  God guides individuals, but he also guides His people (e.g. Israel and the early church).  God's people can together, in groups large or small, seek God's guidance for big group decisions or for His leading in a decision one person in the group is trying to make.  [Foster gives many examples from history.  This has not been common to my modern experience, but seems worth exploring.]

Celebration: Sure seems like celebration is much better done corporately than alone!  Foster ends on this note because it is central to our Christian life and the pursuit of any of these disciplines; celebration comes from joy and joy from the Lord.  True joy in the Lord is found in obedience, walking in the Lord's way up and down the rolling hills of life's journey.  We have to discipline ourselves to really celebrate when celebration is due, not taking ourselves too seriously or settling for anything less than GREAT JOY because of who God is and what He has done.

Hopefully that wets our whistles for future posts on the topics!  The short story is that Christians need one another:

Have a good Wednesday.  If you're traveling for the holiday, I wish you a safe and happy journey.  Till tomorrow!

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