Pastor's Blog

Thoughts regarding the life of discipleship

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Pastor Mathews is contributing these blog posts to share his thoughts with the people of Hope Church. Check back monthly to see what he has to share. 

Teaching Regarding the Path of Discipleship

Martin Luther, the great reformer of the 16 Century, was big on discipleship.  That is why he spent over a year while he was hiding in the Wartburg Castle, translating the Bible into German.  He did this so the people could read for themselves the truth of God’s Word.  Luther encouraged the people (the believers) under his care to not only read, but also remember (memorize) the truths of God’s Word as well.  And he challenged parents, that is, reminded them of their task as parents, to teach God’s Word to their children.  That is why he wrote the Small Catechism in 1529.  It was a “manual” for parents to use in order to teach their children.

 To further help the people under his care, he wrote two prayers – one to say in the morning and one to say in the evening.  Here is Luther’s Morning Prayer:

 I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from  all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You.  For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.  Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me.  AMEN.

 This is a prayer of thanksgiving, but also a prayer asking for help in the walk of discipleship. A help that we all need.

 That is why this past summer, our sermon series was focused on Paul’s letters to various churches, instructing and encouraging the believers how to live as disciples of Jesus.  This theme has been continued in our current series called Cultivate where the focus has been on the tools God gives the disciples of Jesus to use with the spiritual gifts with which He has blessed them.  Throughout this series, the hearer has been reminded that although our spiritual gifts with which we are blessed are different – God supplies each of us with the same tools.  There are many tools which God provides, but only four have been the focus – Wisdom, Witness, Words, and Pause.

 But as disciples we also remember Paul’s words to the believers at Rome when he said Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

 Therefore we examine those things in our lives which we do, more often than not, because we are comfortable with them or because they are so easy to keep doing, understanding that they are things of which we need to let go.  Things like anger, comparing to others, blame and shame.

 And finally before Christmas we will be reminded of the importance of knowing God’s Word as we examine several different phrases people claim God speaks as truth in His Word.  Phrases like – God wants you happy or God helps the industrious or God will not give you more than you can handle.

 You are invited to join us on this journey as we explore the truth of God’s Word and what it means for those who are the disciples of Jesus.

 

Craig MathewsComment