Tag Archives: Body of Christ

His Divine Rhythm

The word perichoresis comes from two Greek words, peri, which means “around” and chorea, which means “dance.” It is a term that the early church used to describe the relational intimacy between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s what some have referred to as The Dance of the Trinity.

I believe God wired us in such a way that our deepest longings can only be truly satisfied when we are in a relationship with Him; learning to dance in His divine rhythm.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

I long to do life more and more in step with God’s unforced rhythms of grace. And I long to see the church – the body of Christ – do the same!

I’m reminded of Jesus’ invitation here in Matthew 11 when I hear songs like the one below: One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful. You may not care for the song but you can’t help but be amazed at how these five guys do their part to contribute to one rhythm.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Church, Dance, Discipleship, God, God the Father, Grace, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, involvement with the church, Jesus, Music Video, Perichoresis, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth, Teamwork, Trinity

What New Path?

Where he was, who he was with, and the circumstances of the request all combined to help determine the path Jesus would take. Do we expect any less of Christ today? How open are you to surprises? Are you willing to take paths that Jesus is blazing and follow him as he hacks a way in the wilderness?

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Paul and brought the Gentiles into the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Saint Francis and brought all of creation into the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Martin Luther and turned the altar toward the people, who are the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with John Wesley and strolled out into the streets and the fields to find lay leaders who would lead the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Charles G. Finney, and an industrial, urban world was claimed as part of the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Billy Graham, and a multiracial, multinational, multicultural world was affirmed as part of the body of Christ.

What new path is the Spirit of Christ walking with you and with your church?

~ Excerpted from What Matters Most by Leonard Sweet

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Filed under Christmas, Holy Spirit, influence with the world, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality

Are you hungry for God?

“…I don’t want to go to a church that values our experience of God above our hope in God.  As difficult as it is, and it sometimes can be agony, I want to experience my emptiness or loneliness and learn to hunger after God as I hunger for no one and nothing else.  I want to be convinced that no experience available to me in this life, from God or the devil, can satisfy that hunger.  Paul said it best: if there is no heaven, no better world where satisfaction is lasting and deep, then living like Jesus in this world is stupid (1 Cor. 15:19).”  ~ Larry Crabb in Real Church

A lot of focus in the church today has to do with creating satisfied customers so that they’ll return and our numbers will grow. More activities! More excitement! More buzz! But is this really of God?

Consider how we engage with one another as the body of Christ. We strive to support and encourage one another, which is good; but in the process we tend to rush toward solutions that will alleviate discomfort. We don’t want to see others struggling and if we’re honest, it makes us uncomfortable to be around those who are struggling.

But what if that period of struggling is exactly what God intends? What if God wants to use that dissatisfaction to grow in us a deeper hunger to find our ultimate satisfaction in Him alone?

When you walk away from your church gatherings, are you content with the amount of God you’ve encountered or are you hungry for more of Him?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Church, Consumerism, Contentment, God, involvement with the church, Relationship with God, Spiritual growth

Church attendance a poor indicator

A recent CNN article listed 10 exercise myths that won’t go away. One of those listed was:

Myth #10 – Your cardio machine is counting the calories you’re burning.

“It doesn’t mean anything,” said Mark Macdonald, personal trainer and author of “Body Confidence” about the calorie numbers spit out by the cardio machine.

Some machines don’t even ask for your weight or gender.

“It’s not asking your body composition,” he said. “If you’re at 18% body fat, you’re going to burn a lot more than if you’re a female at 35% body fat.”

And how many people know their body fat percentage? The number calculated by your machine is likely not accurate. It is an arbitrary number that gives us the illusion of how much progress we are making.

The same thing can happen with church attendance. The body of Christ – the church – is God’s design and serves many essential purposes; but being an indicator of our spiritual progress is NOT one of them.

You and I know lots of people who have attended church services for years and years but don’t do life any differently than before they attended church. Gathering with others is important as we join to celebrate God, encourage one another and learn from His word. But attendance alone does not equal spiritual progress.

Spiritual progress – living and loving more and more like Jesus – happens as we pursue greater intimacy with the Lord and live it out with our neighbors. A better indicator of our spiritual progress is based on Jesus’ greatest commandment in Matthew 22.

Do we have an increasing capacity for loving God and others?

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Filed under Christianity, intimacy with the Lord, Loving God, Loving others, Morphing