I'm doing a series right now on Wesley's General Rules, or as Reuben Job likes to call them "Three Simple Rules"
Do No Harm
Stay in Love With God
Last week, (readings here) do no harm and Paul's struggle to keep from doing those things that he so doesn't want to do. I'm mostly going to focus on the last part of the romans passage however... "who will deliver me fom this body of death? I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord"
I'm going to tie that in with the Matthew scripture. We struggle and we wrestle and on our own spend so much time focusing on all the bad things that we have done and continue to do in our life. And Wesley's "do no harm" rule seems like this all over again. But we need to be reminded that Christ himself promised he would teach us. "take my yoke upon you and learm from Me, for I am gentle and lwly in heart and you will find rest for your souls." so stop beating yourself up over not doing the good. walk with me, become my apprentice, cease from doing harm, and lay aside that burden of guilt.
we don't cease to do harm because it is a law - we do it because we love Christ and want to become more like him... and we will find when we do so that his yoke is easy and his burden is light
This is week two of the series: Do Good and this week's parable of the sower actually fits really well! (readings here)
I'm going to talk about what we have to do in our lives to become "good soil" - and that is WORK! the soil needs tilled, weeded, watered, cared for, and it doesn't happen all on its own. While we can sit around and just wait for the holy spirit to plant seeds, if we just sit on the path and don't take any risks, if we are surrounded by rocks (i'm going to interpret this part as those who are in families/communities where faith isn't welcome... such as the kids who come to vbs, get all excited, and then go back to homes where their families don't take them to church), if we let the cares of the world - weeds - crowd out God... then the seed of love will have a harder time being planted.
Wesley wanted his flock to "do good" and by that he meant an active good - caring for people's bodies and souls and as a part of that, helping one another in the community of faith. Wesley liked to fill his time with such good deeds - not so much to earn God's love, but because he loved God...
I am trying to tend my new garden... and it takes a lot of work - far more time that I thought it would... just think about how much work it takes to tend our souls!