top3 for September 23, 2022

Before you head out for the weekend, here are three quick hitting things that I’ve been reading and thinking about this week. Hope they are as helpful to you as they have been for me. Have a great weekend!

#1

“I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.”

Martin Luther

Queue the “I could never do that!” and the “How did he get anything done?” and the “I am not much of a Christian compared to him.” But I don’t believe Luther was attempting to shame anyone to pray more, or lift himself up as a super-Christian, but rather give us insight into his conviction that prayer is the reservoir from which everything else, including work, flows.

Why does burn out happen? Because we deplete the reservoir of energy in our life well before the work is done. We have finite resources quite often well short of those needed to accomplish that which is before us. But one Source never runs dry and prayer is the conduit to drink from the Living Water which leaves you never thirsting again.

So, how are we doing? Really doing? Running on empty by chance? My guess is that we need two things if so. More prayer. More sleep. What could it hurt? It’s obvious that what we’ve been doing isn’t working…

#2

As he formulated his plans, Asbury conscientiously worked to maintain his devotional life. Reading, especially from the Bible, was an important component of this, but prayer and meditation formed the foundation of the holy life. “It is plain to me the devil will let us read always, if we will not pray; but prayer is the sword of the preacher, the life of the Christian, the terror of hell, and the devil’s plague,” he wrote in September 1779.

American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists.

For Asbury, prayer was the work of Christians. What would our prayer life look like if we believed it made hell retreat or laid the devil up in bed with a fever? Yep…

#3

And, by the grace of God, we have often (although, not always) demonstrated that it is possible to have faithful dialogue and to cling to each other despite our differences. We do this in the belief that it is the Holy Spirit who binds us to each other.

Prophetic Preaching by Leonora Tubbs Tisdale

Bound to each other by the work of the Holy Spirit is Tisdale’s conviction. I could not agree more. Unity is a gift of the Spirit not a goal of our religious works. That is incredibly important to note. When we choose a path other than unity we choose a path built upon our works not the Spirit’s. That, my friends, is never a recipe for the common good but instead a zero sum exist of winners and losers. Okay…end of sermon.

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