From The Minister...
Every month Melbourn Baptist Church Minister, Stuart Clarke gives us a roundup of the latest work and challenges within the Church. This month's article is below.Archive >
As we have shared the task of preaching in our sharing ministry team at Melbourn Baptist it has been great to look at how God shapes us as a people together through being spiritually disciplined.
Paul lives the spiritual disciplines; he commends the early church to run the race with a clear goal to win the prize. Paul says we need to be focused, intentional and alive in Christ as we follow Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life.
When we reflect on the life of Jesus we see a miracle maker who is fully divine and fully human.
- Jesus, who worked and then lived the adventure of a Rabbi for three years ministering.
- Jesus, whose life of adventure also contained days of solitude, fasting, prayer, sacrificial serving, giving, healings and miracles.
- Jesus, who lived, died and rose again.
- Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.
- Jesus’ way was a spiritual journey, he taught world changing truths and lived the life of adventure.
Paul follows the practices of Jesus, whose life of adventure also contains days of solitude, fasting, prayer, and sacrificial service. Paul’s life was full of discipline and gives evidence of being strengthened by solitude, fasting and reflection amidst the adventure. Paul has a rigorous committed disciplined lifestyle that gives us an excellent example of how to follow Christ.
I particularly enjoyed preaching about the dynamic life of the apostle Paul and how his life was shaped by the assumed spiritual disciplines of his day.
Paul has a robust spirituality with a love for God and others through suffering, persecution, dangers and crisis.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28
Paul says I have been in prison frequently, been flogged severely, exposed to death again and again, received forty lashes minus one, beaten with rods, once stoned, three times ship wrecked, a night and a day in the open sea, I have been consistently on the move, danger from rivers, bandits, countrymen, Gentiles; in danger in the city, and from false brothers. I have laboured and toiled and have gone without sleep, known hunger, and gone without food; cold and naked. Besides all of this, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
Paul’s life of adventure, discipline allowed him to reflect and become a great philosopher as he followed Jesus his Lord and Saviour. Paul has the inspirational life of a missionary adventurer, tent maker and deep thinking philosopher.
I hope that as we learn more about people from the early church, church history, and how contemporary churches put the spiritual disciplines into action, that we will be inspired to implement them in our own lives of discipleship.