Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • All Things Working To the Glory of God: Stephen’s Martyrdom +

    God works in mysterious ways– Read More
  • God's Love For Us +

    The well of love God has for us is deeper than our imaginations can grasp-- Read More
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sand_2Foreword: Whole Life Transformation Published in Whole Life Transformation by Keith Meyer, Intervarsity Press, 2010.

Whole Life Transformation places before us exactly what its title suggests. The message is that success in ministry and in life is found by becoming on the "inside" the kind of person who lives in the kingdom of God here and now. This person is ledby their confidence in Jesus to seek the kingdom of God, to seek to live in it, more than anything else and in all places. As they do this,transformation into Christlikeness progresses, and they find that, more and more, they easily and routinely do the kinds of things practiced and taught by Jesus Christ. Spiritual formation in Christ is the process that occurs to those who have, by grace and by choice, entered into the status of the disciple or apprentice of Jesus in kingdom living. Two things currently tend to defeat discipleship and transformation among Christians. First is the theology--the soteriology--that being a Christian has nothing essentially to do with being a disciple.

Being a disciple is an add-on, an option, which the Christian is free to choose or omit.Salvation is forgiveness and that is secured by accepting a particular theory ofthe atonement. Salvation therefore has nothing to do with discipleship ortransformation, nor they with it. James B. Torrance and many others have pointedout that this omits living in the trinitarian community. It omits taking on the nature of the Father and dwelling in the goodness and righteousness of hisfamily.

This in turn redefines the gospel and makes success in "churchwork" a matter of getting as many people as possible (supposedly) ready to die. That becomes a matter of technique, and leadership a matter for experts in the technique. The soul of the leader withers, and often, they think, it is all "for the sake of the work." The second obstructive idea derives from the first. Itis the idea that discipleship to Jesus is something religious, that it is "church work." It has to do only with religious activities as defined by religious activities. So it is thought.

But because discipleship is a matter of learning to live, discipleship is a matter of our whole life. Its primaryplace is where we live: our home and our work. Discipleship is for the world, in the sense of ordinary life--whole life--and it only occurs in that world.Church activity, if it is to be successful in God’s terms, is in support ofsuch discipleship.

The church is for discipleship, and discipleship is for theworld as God’s place. That is what the "Great Commission" of Matthew28 plainly says. (See also Col. 3:17.) What all of this means in practice is that relationships form the receptacle for receiving the fullness of Christ and are the place where the kingdom comes and God’s will is to be done as it is "in the  heavens."

Church relationships, too, and that would be a great step forward. But all relationships: first to God, then to everyone with whomI am in meaningful contact, my "neighbors." This has to be done from the inside, where love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control come to reign supreme and in unison over all that is done. We grow into this, "learn" it, as students or apprentices to Christ.

The idea that there is something else that can take theplace of this, or that this can be omitted in favor of "service," is a primary delusion of Satan over the world order--and often over the"church" order. Keith Meyer has suffered the consequences of these two theological barriers to whole life transformation in both his personal journey and in his service as a minister.

But he has now come to insightful and biblical terms with them and can help us move beyond them to understandings and practicesof kingdom living that will lift us into trinitarian fellowship and obedience to Christ from transformed "insides." Whole Life Transformation therefore is not just analysis of what’s wrong but, more importantly, is atrustworthy guide to what is right: one drawn both from the author’s own experience and from the Bible and the wisdom of Christ, proven in the experience of his people throughout the ages.

This is a hopeful book that brings helpful solutions, pointing the way to the life that God upholds and blesses, and giving directionsfor entering that life and growing there. In this way it also shows how such alife can rule and guide Christian groups through authentic discipleship toJesus, the King and the Master. It is written out of much pain and deep learnings that have drawn the author off the beaten path of contemporary evangelicalism and guided him into the way of companionship with Jesus 24/7. In so doing it revives the age-old heart of evangelicalism.

Now is our time. By far the most powerful"church-growth plan" ever implemented is that of the Great Commission.Its incredible effect on the world in the times immediately following itsimpartation was due to the whole life transformation it brought to millions of ordinary people who, as disciples, were taught to do and lead others to do "all things, whatsoever I have commanded you." Have you got a better idea?

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Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson +

    Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book gets its name from Revelation 10:9-10 when John asks for the scroll containing God’s Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Separated Unto the Holy Ghost (Andrew Murray) +

    Below is chapter 3 from the book, Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African "Now there were in the Read More
  • The Human Body and Spiritual Growth: Dallas Willard +

    In Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation, edited by James Wilhoit of Wheaton College. "Spiritual formation" is the process through Read More
  • January 28 Devotional: Oswald Chambers +

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14 Read More
  • Coupla Things by Julie Moore +

    It has occurred to me that maybe more people would read my blog if the posts were shorter. I'm not Read More
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