Blog and Articles | Runnymede Christian Fellowship
Dave Food • August 08, 2022
In recent years, sociologists and educators across the political spectrum have encouraged families to do one simple thing to maintain connections with one another through eating. The issue isn't just eating, of course. That's a non-negotiable for all biological organisms. The issue instead is to eat together. The family dinner might seem cute and outdated in a mobile, crazy-busy current age, but there's something of importance here. Parents often wolf down, in a car seat, a bagged meal they've ordered from a drive-through, in order to get to another soccer practice. Children often eat dinner from a desk, alone, in their rooms, texting friends and playing video games. A family dinner, though, creates a connection. We have explored this at Church, in a sermon titled Table Matters.
The Apostle Paul, from start to finish, warned the church at Corinth about their divisions, divisions that didn't just inhibit their mission but also proclaimed something false, at the most primal level, about the gospel itself (1 Corinthians 1:10–13). That division showed up significantly in the perversion of the communion table (1 Corinthians 11:18). The people were using the Lord's Supper to feed their own individual appetites rather than caring for one another (11:20–21). When this happens, the act of communion becomes something other than "the Lord's Supper you eat," the apostle warned. To restore their fellowship with Christ and with one another, the church had to gather at the table, the way King Jesus invites.
As we serve the table of Christ's communion each month, we are calling the church to a different kind of community. The kind of community that cannot be dissolved by petty conflict or disagreement. As we eat together around the table of Christ, we're called to a recognition that we are at the table of a kingdom. And we are called there to recognize the presence of the King — not so much in the elements themselves or in our individual spiritual reflection but in the body he has called together, a body of sinners like us. Only then will we really get what the Scriptures mean when they call us to "fellowship."
Perhaps if we intentionally deepened the communitarian focus of the Lord's Supper, we might have less and less need for family support in our wider community. After all, for Jesus and for the Apostle Paul, the starting point for unity in the church, and for the sanctification of the Body together, was a common gospel and a common table. It could be again.
In order to get the community better, we must reinvest in communion.
Dave Food • August 01, 2022
There are many obstacles that cause us to talk ourselves out of pursuing our dreams. If you can overcome these, you’re that much closer to fulfilling your destiny. Here are a few to think about
1. Comfort Zone
If you want to be an entrepreneur or leader, you must learn to leave your comfort zone and embrace change. We love to stay with what we know. God had prophesied leadership into my life, at the time I was just an administrator and a teacher, and the thought of standing up and speaking in front of others about God scared me because it was different from what I’d become accustomed to. I put it off for years, even though I knew in my spirit that God was trying to shift me to a new level.
“Take baby steps. Don’t let complacency keep you locked in a comfort zone.”
2. Comparing Yourself to Others
They’re there. We see them all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter…social media celebrities! You see others already doing the very same thing you want to do. You start to compare yourself to how well they are doing. You begin to think you are not as good or smart enough. Comparing yourself to others and attempting to imitate them will confuse you and cause the seed of doubt to take root in your confidence.
“Be Authentic and just be you, no one else can beat you at being yourself.”
3. Fear of Failure
We all are afraid of something. It’s human nature. The fear of failure is one of the most known obstacles holding people back from achieving their dreams. This fear keeps people from trying new things and taking risks. For example, I have not been good at dieting, so I don’t diet, I had tried the gym. I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t like the two. The truth was I didn’t like to commit because of the fear of failure.
“Failure is part of success.” ~Hank Aaron
Are you one of those people who need to have it all figured out before you take action? Do you have to make sure that you dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s? I can so relate. I thought everything had to be perfect. So, guess what? I started overthinking everything, which led to me doing absolutely nothing.
“Strive for progress, not perfection.”
Hanging around in the comfort zone, comparing yourself to others, the fear of failure, and perfectionism will lead you to procrastination. Procrastination is simply putting off doing what you need to do today for tomorrow. Unfortunately, for most people, tomorrow never comes.
When tasks seem too difficult…you procrastinate!
Thoughts of not being good enough…you procrastinate!
When fear is present…you procrastinate!
It has to be perfect…you procrastinate!
When you procrastinate, you put your dreams on hold. You make excuses and end up always waiting for tomorrow. Procrastination can be one of our biggest obstacles to overcome. Meanwhile, waiting for all the pieces of the puzzle to fall together, someone else is taking action by doing the very thing we know we should be doing.
“Commit to action, one-step at a time. Just do it!”
Declaration: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13
Dave Food • July 24, 2022
We all have dreams and goals, things we know God has promised us. We start off excited and are making progress, then trouble rises—a sickness, a breakup, we lose a loved one, a contract falls through. It’s easy to get discouraged and think it’s never going to happen. But God doesn’t promise something and then changes His mind. You may not see a way, but God hasn’t run out of options. He is supernatural. He’s in control of the opposition that tries to stop you.
In the Scripture, a child named Mephibosheth was born into royalty, the grandson of King Saul and the son of Jonathan, David’s best friend. But when he was five years old, his grandfather and father were killed in battle. When word reached the palace, the nurse who took care of him picked him up and took off running, afraid that soldiers were coming to kill him. In her haste, she accidentally dropped Mephibosheth, crippling both of his legs. He could no longer walk. Years passed, and instead of living in the palace, Mephibosheth lived in exile in one of the poorest, most run-down cities of that day. It seemed as though it was just bad luck. It wasn’t his fault. Mephibosheth, the grandson of the king, was barely surviving.
One day King David was thinking about his friend Jonathan. He asked his men if any of Jonathan’s relatives were still alive so he could be good to them. A former servant of the house of Saul told David about Mephibosheth, who was now a grown man. David’s men searched through the slums of Lo Debar, found Mephibosheth, and carried him back to David’s palace. I’m sure that Mephibosheth was afraid, thinking that David was going to kill him because his grandfather, King Saul, tried to kill David, but it was just the opposite. David was incredibly kind to him. He said, “From now on, you’re going to live in the palace with me. Every night, you’re going to have dinner at my table. I’m going to restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather, King Saul.” Mephibosheth was overwhelmed. He couldn’t believe what was happening.
Today, it may look as though there’s no way that what God promised you can still come to pass. You feel you’ve had too many bad breaks, the odds are against you. If Mephibosheth were here, he would tell you, “Despite what you lost, despite what wasn’t fair, you’re still going to get there. God has the right people already lined up to open doors and make up for what you didn’t get. Favour is coming, healing is coming, breakthroughs, divine connections, and the fullness of your destiny.”
Dave Food • July 22, 2022
And to know the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).
In our study today, we will examine two vital thoughts related to God's dream for you. First, as a Christian, you must realize that you are vitally the house, the living tabernacle of Almighty God. You are full of God as Jesus was when he walked the earth. God is no less in you today than he was in Jesus Christ. This is not something you will have to grow into over time, no; It is a reality that you have to wake up to. You are the temple of the living God.
1 Corinthians 3:16 says:
"Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
What God wants is for you to become God within. He has filled you with Himself. This was made possible with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His resurrection made it possible for us to have and live the life of God.
Second, God wants you to know and walk in the full and exact knowledge of his will. He doesn't want you to ever be confused about his will over anything at any time. Jesus never doubted the will of the Father; So why should you be? When you are filled with the knowledge (“epignosis” —Greek) of his will, you will be able to apply the wisdom of God to fulfill it. No wonder the Spirit prayed through the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:9 for this to come true for the Church:
“…That you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
He wants this to happen here on earth, not when you get to heaven. It's his dream for you now. This is one of the reasons why attending Church services is so important to you as a Christian.
In the Church, you are taught the Word of God to build you up spiritually and strengthen your faith. The Word of God is the will and wisdom of God. To be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom is to be filled with his Word; and when that happens,
Colossians 1:10 says that you will be fruitful in every good work. What a life!
Dave Food • July 18, 2022
Every parent has heard the excuse, “But everyone else is doing it.” I remember my parents saying something like, “If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you too?” Sadly, today many kids and adults are jumping off the moral and spiritual cliff to fit in with the culture or they’re afraid to express beliefs that differ from the mainstream worldview.
We may want to pull the covers over our heads and ignore the unrest in the world. But the parting words Jesus gave to His disciples regarding Christians’ place in the world, the Great Commission, reminds us there’s work to do:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20)
My heart breaks for these lost souls who do not see the promise of heaven and the risks of hell. The witness in me tries to share my testimony and John 3:16, assuring them they do not want to go to hell. We all have sinned and at one time following the world’s ways, but there’s a better way to live. Sadly, I have to realize not everyone is going to choose heaven. So I present the glorious Good News, and if they won’t listen, I prayerfully dust the sand off my feet and move on (Mark 6:11).
The important thing is to not grow weary of doing good. I’ve learned the hard way how to be a change agent in the world, while not letting the world change me. Maybe these points will help you too!
Use the Word of God
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)
Even unbelievers find it hard to argue with Scripture, and it usually stops the pushback. Jesus used Scripture when tempted by Satan in the desert. Paraphrase if you need to, but God’s Word applies to every area of life in every century (Heb. 13:8).
God says, “My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah 55:11 NLT). You never know when you might be planting a seed of thought in someone’s mind that God will use to change that person’s life.
Stay Civil and Polite but Stay Firm in Your Convictions
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Those caught up in the world’s cults, atheism, or alternate belief systems feel compelled to challenge us for our faith in Christ, and they have devised a mire of unkind words to call us. The hurt runs deep when it’s aimed at our Lord and Saviour. So our first impulse is to engage in a debate. If you’ve ever tried arguing or reasoning with someone blinded by the world’s belief system, you know it’s usually futile. Your best answer is “This is what I believe because the Bible (or God or Jesus) tells me so.”
Other times, believers fall into the same trap the serpent used with Eve, “Did God really say…?” Lured by Satan away from their Christian foundation, many Christians, pastors, and churches try to walk the slippery slope with one foot in the Bible, and one foot in the world, heretically using Scripture to justify their split positions. Don’t condone or compromise.
Remind them: Jesus didn’t come to sanctify the world’s ways, He came to save the world from its ways.
The World is in Darkness So Let Your Light Shine
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:18-20)
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The world loves darkness.
Yet into this dark world came Jesus, the Light of the world, and He has hidden His light in each believer’s heart. Our light must shine brightly, no flickering. When we enter a room, a social media conversation, a family or friendly gathering, work, play, as parents, grandparents, employers, employees... wherever life takes us... our light shines, even if we’re the only light for Jesus.
Not Everyone is Going to Like You
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)
If everyone agrees with you, get out of your comfort zone. We’re living in a lost world that is loudly anti-God and anti-Christian and influencing the next generation. We can’t be quiet. Our job as Christians is to be world-changers for Christ. We must worry more about what God thinks about us than what the world thinks. Our job is to put God back in the public square and reach the world with the love of Christ. I don’t know what that looks like for you, but God does. Be bold. Pray and ask God to give you a call, a mission, a public voice. Where does He want you to take action for Him? God has opened the door for revival, but He needs us to be His hands, feet, and voice.
Don’t Give Up!
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them, I sanctify myself, so that they too may be truly sanctified. ‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.’” (John 17:15-21)
We’ll never have a perfect world until Jesus returns, but as long as we have breath, we were saved to make a difference in the world.
Dave Food • July 03, 2022
For many people, the world would seem incredibly difficult and confusing. It’s so hard to discern between what is real and what seems like a fantasy. May you never settle for anything less than everything God has for you.
God loves the dreamers
There’s a lot of debate in the world over which is better-the dreamer who has their eyes wide open or the dreamer who sleeps soundly in their innocence. Some would argue that one type of dreaming leads to productive outcomes, while the other does not. But, what if we took a step back and looked at it all from a different perspective? What if God loves both types of dreams?
For centuries, people have told stories of how dreams can bring good fortune or lead to successful ventures. And while there is some truth to these stories, they also contain some elements of creativity that are often overlooked. Dreams can be powerful tools for exploring different aspects of ourselves and our world. In fact, some psychologists believe that dreaming is one of the most effective methods for learning and development-programming our subconscious mind. So, while some may argue that dreams are frivolous pursuits that do not have much merit, from a Divine perspective they are full of potential and love.
The difference between dreaming and living an inner life with God
God provides us with a way to connect with Him without sacrificing time or resources. Dreams provide a gateway into a spiritual world that is often unseen, and they can be used as a tool to tap into the divine.
The purpose of dreams is to connect us with our inner selves and with the divine. Dreams can be used as a tool to tap into the unseeable spiritual realm, and they offer a window into our future.
There are many ways to use dreams for personal growth and spiritual development. One of the most common ways to use dreams is to learn about yourself and your relationships. By exploring your subconscious mind, you can gain insight into your intentions, beliefs, and emotions. You can also explore your fears and doubts, and gain clarity about what you need to change in order to achieve your goals.
By connecting with your intuition through dream recall, you can develop greater clarity about what is truly important in your life. You can also learn how to trust your intuition more fully, and how to trust other people even when you don’t know them very well.
Dreams are an amazing way to connect with the divine, to connect with God.
An inner life can change you, He wants you to be changed
There’s something about a dream that makes it seem more real than any other experience we have. It’s as if the mind is intervening on our behalf, taking us on a journey to a place we might not otherwise visit. It’s a way to explore our subconscious, to glimpse aspects of ourselves that we might not be brave enough to show the world.
But what happens when that dream becomes our everyday reality? If it becomes so compelling that it consumes us, wears away at our sanity and undermines our ability to function normally in the here and now? If it becomes the only thing that truly matters to us, overriding everything else in our lives?
This is what can happen when we let our inner life gets consumed by dreams – when they become all that Matter. And this is exactly why God loves the dreamers: because with dreams comes the potential for change. Dreams can tap into parts of ourselves that are hidden, unexplored or unchanged – and through them, we have the opportunity to explore new parts of ourselves, to grow and learn. We can discover new ways of being in the world, and even find pathways to deeper experiences.
Are you a Godly Dreamer
If you’re a Godly Dreamer, it means that you have an innate ability to navigate the spiritual realm. Whether you’re journeying through your dreams or simply engaging in daydreams, dreaming is an amazing way to connect with your intuition and intuition is the doorway to all of creation. It teaches us about our personal relationships, our past lives, and what might be coming in the future. In other words, we learn a lot about ourselves when we dream.”
There are many ways to become a Godly Dreamer: by engaging in prayerfully dreaming regularly, by tuning into your intuitive wisdom when you’re dreaming
Are you someone who constantly has dreams that inspire and motivate you? If so, you’re a Godly Dreamer! Dreams are a pivotal part of who we are as individuals and as a species. They offer insight into our subconscious thoughts and feelings, which can guide us on our path in life. But what if your dreams don’t always make sense or seem impossible to achieve? Don’t worry; God loves dreamers just the same!
God is an all-encompassing spirit who understands the mysterious ways of the subconscious mind. Therefore, when you have a dream that relates to your spiritual destiny, trust that it is indeed from Him. Pay attention to the meaning behind the dream and allow it to pour into your heart and mind. The more you tune into your divine Inner Voice, the more meaningful your dreams will become.
So whether your dreams are serious or whimsical, remember that God loves you for being a Godly Dreamer!
Dave Food • June 26, 2022
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Debunking Christianity takes more than just trying to poke a hole in it by raising an objection. That’s because there’s a backdrop of other relevant evidence that creates a strong presumption in favour of faith in Jesus Christ. Simply examining individual challenges isn’t enough; this broad sweep of evidence must be kept in mind as each individual objection is weighed. Here are four to be considered.
- The fine-tuned universe. In the past 35 years, scientists have been stunned to discover how life in the universe is astoundingly balanced on a razor’s edge. The big bang was actually a highly ordered event that required an enormous amount of information, and from the moment of inception, the universe was finely tuned to an incomprehensible precision for the existence of life like ourselves. An infinitesimal difference in the rate of the universe’s initial expansion, the strength of gravity or the weak force, or dozens of other constants and quantities would have created a life-prohibiting rather than a life-sustaining universe. All of this contributes to the conclusion that there’s an Intelligent Designer behind creation.
- The origin of life. Darwinism can offer no credible theory for how life could have emerged naturally from nonliving chemicals. Earth’s early atmosphere would have blocked the development of the building blocks of life, and assembling even the most primitive living matter would be so outrageously difficult that it absolutely could not have been the product of unguided or random processes. On the contrary, the vast amount of specific information contained inside every living cell—encoded in the four-letter chemical alphabet of DNA—strongly confirms the existence of an Intelligent Designer who was behind the miraculous creation of life.
- The Bible’s credibility. There is more evidence that the Bible is a reliable source than there is for any other book from the ancient world. Its essential trustworthiness has been corroborated repeatedly by archaeological discoveries, “and if we can trust the Bible when it’s telling us about straightforward earthly things that can be verified, then we can trust it in areas where we can’t directly verify it in an empirical way,”. Further, the Bible’s divine origin has been established in two ways. First, in defiance of all mathematical odds, dozens of ancient prophecies about the Messiah—including the precise time frame in which he would appear—were miraculously fulfilled in only one person throughout history: Jesus of Nazareth. Second, biblical prophets performed miracles to confirm their divine authority. Jesus’ own miracles were even acknowledged by his enemies.
- The resurrection of Jesus. There is a compelling case that Jesus Christ returned from the dead in the ultimate authentication of his claim to divinity. Four facts are widely accepted by New Testament historians from a broad spectrum. First, after being crucified, Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea in a tomb. This means its location was known to Jew, Christian, and Roman alike. Second, on the Sunday after the crucifixion, the tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers. Indeed, nobody claimed the tomb was anything but vacant. Third, on multiple occasions and under various circumstances, different individuals and groups experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead. This is not likely to be legendary because of the extremely early date of these accounts. Fourth, the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead despite their predisposition to the contrary. They were willing to go to their death proclaiming that Jesus was resurrected and thus proved he was the Son of God—and nobody knowingly is willing to die for a lie.
So go and look at the fundamentals for yourself
Dave Food • June 19, 2022
Fathers have always been deemed as important for children but what is the importance of good Fathers of faith for their children? What critical differences can they make?
When Fathers are Absent
Is there evidence that when a father is missing from a family that the children have greater difficulty at home? Absolutely! From some research, a study done by the Department of Health and Human Services in 1996, the results of which are astounding, we read what happens when the father is absent from the home. If you’re wanting to be a good father, consider how critical it is for you to be present in the home or if the father lives in the home, to be available. These facts are provided by the Department of Health and Human Services from 1996 and so these statistics may be even worse today. These were the last statistics available.
- Only 1 in 4 children live now with their paternal fathers.
- In 1996, 42% of female-headed households with children were poor, compared with 8% of families with children headed by married parents.
- Girls without fathers in their lives are 2 & 1/2 times more likely to get pregnant and 53% more likely to commit suicide.
- Boys without fathers in their lives are 63% more likely to run away from home and 37% more likely to use drugs.
- Boys and girls without father involvement are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to go to jail and nearly four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioural problems.
- The average American father spends only 7 ½ uninterrupted minutes per week with his children but 32 hours a week watching TV.
When a father is missing in the home or missing from a home, the home is at risk for life-changing, life-altering, life-shattering experiences that impact a child throughout their entire lifetime. Even more tragic is that these cycles repeat themselves when these children grow into adulthood and have children of their own. Maybe the reason they say history repeats itself is because we are not learning from it.
There is overwhelming evidence that when a Christian father attends worship service on a regular basis, the rest of the family follows.
Christian Fathers Beget Christian Children
There is overwhelming evidence that when a Christian father attends worship service on a regular basis, the rest of the family follows. A 2000 study found that when both fathers and mothers attended church regularly, about 41% of the children would go to church when they reach the adult stage. Amazingly, when the father attends church on an irregular basis, 60% of the children reaching adulthood will be irregular attendees or drop out altogether. When the father doesn’t even attend church, only 2% of children that grow into adulthood will attend church with nearly none of them ever becoming Christian. When this same equation is with the mother, the numbers are not nearly as drastic. The conclusion is that fathers have the greatest influence on their children’s lives and have the most impact on their becoming a Christian and attending church regularly as adults.
What this shows is that when the father takes the church and Christianity seriously, almost all of his children will too. When he doesn’t care about Jesus Christ, the Bible, or the church, then the overwhelming majority of his children won’t either. This shows you the critical importance of a godly father. This doesn’t only show you the importance of role modelling but of the father being the spiritual head of the family. His position is likened to that of the high priest in the Old Testament. As the priest lives and performs his duties and takes them seriously – without hypocrisy or duplicity – so too does the family. You simply can not fool children. A superb example of that is when Aaron’s son’s brought a “strange fire” before the Lord in the temple and took the performance of their priestly duties too casually (Lev 10). Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu were struck dead and the worship of the entire nation was negatively impacted.
The importance of children coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ can be broken down like this:
- 7% of saved children will help lead both of their parents to faith in Jesus Christ.
- 23% of saved wives and mothers will help lead their husbands and children to faith in Jesus Christ.
- 94% of saved husbands and fathers will help lead their entire family to faith in Jesus Christ.
Fathers can break the cycle of negligence in their families and keep family history from repeating itself. So many fathers are “missing in action” that we are causing our children to be placed under a curse. Maybe that’s why Malachi wrote, “he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction” (Mal 4:6). Let me add some emphasis and paraphrase this verse in case we miss God’s point; unless the hearts of the fathers are turned to their children the hearts of the children can not be turned to their fathers. And, unless the hearts of the fathers do turn to their children, God says that he will “strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” How can this be? Is this possible? Does He mean…strike all of the land?
Yes! God is giving us fathers a serious warning here just like he tried to warn Aaron about his sons offering strange fire. I am not belittling the mother's impact of course but God has placed fathers in the position of having the greatest influence in their children’s spiritual lives and into adulthood. He will hold us responsible. We can actually bring a curse down on our family (so to speak) by our negligence and our absence. And as any sociologist will tell you, as the family goes, so goes society…and the nation. Now maybe God’s warning that He will “strike the land with a decree of utter destruction” makes more sense, for as the family goes…so goes the nation.
Fathers, Uncles, Grand Fathers, God-fathers wake up our role is clear, take our part
Dave Food • June 12, 2022
We are not destined to simply watch as our chaotic world slides into greater disorder. God’s plan for changing the world involves each of us. You can change your corner of the world—one relationship at a time.
Disciplemaking. Jesus instructed His followers to “make disciples” and promised them, “I am always with you” (see Matthew 28:18-20). A disciple is a follower of Jesus: one who knows Him, tries to live as He lived, and never stops learning from Him; a lover of God and people.
Generational. Jesus invested in a small group who learned from Him and were guided to teach others. In one of His final prayers, Jesus said, “I am not praying for the world, but for those, you have given me” (John 17:9). Jesus shows us that we don’t need to take on the world, just a select few—discipling and mentoring them and teaching them to do likewise—to invest spiritually in the lives of others—the next generation of disciples. Jesus’ ministry continues in us because He first poured deeply into the lives of His disciples!
Intentional. Disciplemaking rarely happens by accident. It happens when one ordinary follower of Jesus intentionally invests in the lives of others by simply focusing on a select few people—maybe one or two. Discipling isn’t always pretty. It doesn’t always go according to plan. But there are people around you who would benefit from your efforts to help them learn to live and love like Jesus. You don’t have to be a spiritual giant. Simply help them learn to walk with God, to live as Jesus lived, and to help others to follow Jesus!
I do this by devoting time to a couple of young business owners on Tuesday mornings, working through The Navigators Topical Memory System. I also use the Design for Discipleship Bible study series to disciple a young husband over the phone.
Anyone can engage in intentional, generational disciple-making. You just need to be a person who is willing to trust God to change the world, a few people at a time!
Dave Food • June 11, 2022
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Do any of you feel weary? Are any of you burdened? Are you tired? Stressed out? Overwhelmed? Frazzled? A hot mess?
Join the club.
Truth be told, I am too.
I have been meaning to sit down and write for weeks now, but teaching back at University has started back up, conferences in the USA, my life is hectic, to say the least. Each day I plan out my day, leaving time in the evenings for other things such as writing. And many evenings I look at my computer, sigh and tell myself, “I’m just too tired. I need to rest for a minute first,” I sometimes don't open my Bible because that takes too much mental power, so I turn on the TV or open a book and my computer sits silent and my Bible stays closed. I don’t write much. And I go to bed still feeling tired and like I let Jesus down.
Then today it hit me, an ah-ha moment, this verse from Matthew. I haven’t let Jesus down because I am weary or tired, He expects life to be wearisome. He KNOWS we will be weary. He knows we will be tired and overcommitted. I haven’t let Him down because I feel burdened, He KNOWS life will be burdensome and stressful. The fact that most of the time I am a hot mess does not disappoint Him!
But I do let Him down when I don’t turn to Him for rest. He said it as plainly as He could “I will give you rest.” Yet somewhere along the lines, I got it in my head that Jesus is work. That loving Him is hard and stressful and demanding. And I would be so much better off “resting” with a ridiculous sitcom or some other TV.
He told us that when we get overwhelmed, and we will get overwhelmed, we should go to Him and we would find rest and peace, not work or demands. In fact, He was quite clear about this. He goes on in Matthew 11:29-30 to say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. A little ancient Jewish history real quick… the Greek word for “yoke” here is zygos which means “to load down with obligations.” You might be thinking oxen here, but that’s just one use of the term. In Jesus' day each Rabbi, or Jewish leader, had their own set of “rules” or “obligations”, the parts of the law that they specifically emphasized, that they felt were the “important” ones to follow, these were known as their “yokes”.
Some yokes or “a load of obligations” that some of the Rabbis laid out were really quite laborious, nearly impossible to complete, burdensome, you could say. But Jesus in the eleventh chapter of Matthew tells His followers that HIS yoke is easy, the burden HE puts on them is light. He tells us that He is gentle in spirit and in Him you can find rest for your soul. Doesn’t the very idea of that make you breathe easier? Doesn’t it sound like absolute heaven? Rest for my soul! Really? Does such a thing exist? Because I have never found that in any show I have ever watched or any novel or self-help book I have read.
The truth is, those things will never bring me the rest, the peace or the calm my soul needs. They just won’t. Yes, they are mindless, you might (might) even be able to convince me they are harmless. Certainly, they are entertaining, and I am not trying to make you feel guilty for anything you like to watch, but you should know, that is not where you will find rest for your soul.
There is only one place you will ever find that. In Him.