When we watch great athletes compete or great musicians perform, we never assume that their great performances on the field or on the stage are isolated to just a few set hours of game time or concert time. We understand that long before they ever ran onto the field or walked onto the stage they have already spent hours and hours in repetitious training so that they will have the strength, endurance and skill to do what they have to do, and that what they must do will come to them automatically, even under great stress or pressure. And we also know that if we have any aspirations of being like them in athleticism or musicianship, we must commit to do the same kind of intentional training to which they have committed.
Our understanding should be the same when we look at the ministry of Jesus. We cannot look at His public life of miracles, teaching and dealing with opposition and overlook the fact that Jesus also spent hours of time engaged in spiritual practices that would strengthen and equip Him for all that He had to do as He engaged the people around Him, things that would make Him spirit-strong, so to speak. And so we have to understand that if we want to be like Christ, to be able to live the fruitful, obedient life that He did, then we have to not only learn from His public acts but also pay attention to and imitate His more private and intentional acts of preparation for ministry.
In I Timothy 4:7b-8 Paul instructs Timothy with these words: "Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." Those words are the basis for the sermons and Life Group lessons that we will be working through together this fall as we focus on spiritual practices as we view them through the lens of Christ's life. After all, Christ's life is the perfect example of a life well-lived, a life that was life-giving and that fully glorified the Father. We need to learn to do things that will build us up and make us spirit-strong too, just as Christ was, and able to live the life God has called us to live.
Depending on where you look, you will find a variety of lists that people have come up with as possible spiritual practices. This study will focus on the ten that are the most obvious in the life of Christ, namely solitude, prayer, worship, confession, study, submission, fasting, simplicity, celebration, and service.
What is Trinity Christian Reformed Church? A better question to ask would be, “Who is Trinity Christian Reformed Church?” because a church should not just be seen an inanimate object; but rather, if it is fulfilling its God-given purpose, it is both alive and life-giving. At Trinity CRC, our mission is to be a community of servants called by God to become fully devoted followers of Christ, committed to knowing God, growing relationships, showing God’s love, and sowing God’s Word. In terms of where we fall theologically, we are of the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition and part of the Christian Reformed denomination.
For those who have grown up in Western Michigan we only really know the Detroit area by the numbers, interstate numbers that is. But now we are committed to getting to know and love the brothers and sisters at Rosedale Park Baptist Church, just a few blocks from exit 182 on I-96. There in this community we have found a home away from home and find that we have mutually grown in so many ways, the most important being that the Kingdom of God is so much bigger than race, politics, economics, culture and prejudices. Click here to be linked to Rosedale's website. Find out more about this partnership here:
Take a glimpse at our site and discover who we are. We are Trinity Christian Reformed Church, a community of Christ followers located in Jenison, Michigan. See what we are doing to grow together in Christ.