Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ID Conference Reflections: Part 2 - Timeless Disciples of a Timeless God

Andrew told me that it's been 7 years since the whole church got together. And he was stunned when he said that. He said that he was only - how old? - fourteen years old then. 2003. I too was so surprised. Yes. Time flies by so fast. People I saw in primary school, and in secondary school during my UNIVERSITY days... are now young adults, loving God and serving Him, growing in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men. Wow. Thank God for the youth and tertiary ministries.

Yet I don't feel old. Perhaps my body may be getting older, but my soul, even though by God's grace, it has matured, does not feel older. It feels... timeless. University life seems only a blink. Yet so much happened during these 7 years that have passed. A Sabbath rest, as it were. God is the Timeless One, the Ancient of Days, after all.

"Age to age He stands
And time is in His hand
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end..."

Wonderful. I read in my notes about discipleship for different life-stations. The thing about discipleship is that it does not slacken nor weaken even at close of day, but it takes on different forms and expressions. Still, the fire within, the internal engine, must burn even brighter than when it did at the beginning.

We should find ourselves at the end of our lives younger than when we first started.

Perhaps for the disciple, we need not worry so much about growing older, as though it portended a decline, a slowing down in our spiritual walk with God. That's just a lie from the devil. I've seen brothers and sisters way older than me who are increasing with fire for God as they know Him more through the years. Come to think of it, shouldn't this be the case? Filled with the Holy Spirit, who is the immortal, invisible and invincible God, why not? Should not our souls never age? Should not our faith be timeless? Only those who have not eaten of the Bread of Life shall grow old and perish. Only those who have not tasted of the goodness of the fruit of the Spirit shall wither.

In Romans 12 it says, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord." If this is a command from God, God will help us keep this command.

Personally, I think the main reason we grow sian of church camp / conference year after year is because we might have forgotten about the Person of Jesus. "Who do you say that I am?"

We do not follow a set of principles, but a PERSON. Because we want to follow Him, therefore we do what He says. That's the meaning of discipleship! "Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God."


Thanks Father. I'm really so proud of the pastors and the bros/sisters who helped research and prepare the ID Conference teachings. As I read the notes, I was so encouraged to read about how great disciples in centuries ago wrote about the same thing - the need for discipleship in small groups, prayer, the spiritual disciplines and so on. That they contended for the faith entrusted once for all time to the saints (Jude 3). That what we are learning is not a new "contemporary and relevantized" theology, but the same basic truth that has been taught since the beginning of the church. That this is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. (2 John 5)

That we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses...

Yes, Lord, we are part of a timeless church that is planted and spread out across space and time, across the ages. How my heart bursts with joy to see young men and women of God rising up from our own church... and how grateful (and humbled) I am to be able to be used by God to inspire the next generation... not by impressive speech or worldly wisdom... but simply by practising the Word of God literally. Simple but powerful. For the foolishness of God is far wiser than man's wisdom. Not with business buzzwords nor "ministry technologies", but unchanging truths applied to changing generations. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His Word will still remain.

Do I sound like a Luddite, a traditionalist, a neo-conventionalist? No, I don't think so. I'm simply a follower of Jesus Christ, the most radical person to ever walk on the face of the earth (and water too).

So timeless, this Jesus. So cool. So radical. So post-modern, so pre-modern - so timelessly modern. Rock of Ages, for every generation. God of all generations, God over all the nations!

No, not even old. Timeless. As a song by Lenka goes, "We will not grow old." We will become timeless. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

So dear brothers and sisters, let us not go gentle into that good night, but live and lust for the things of God - to embrace and be immolated by our God, an all-consuming fire. Never let our love for Jesus ever grow old and cold. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

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