This brochure (image to right) has been staring me in the face at my writing desk for the past couple of days. I’m preparing to head into the mountains between Nashville and Knoxville, for a weekend focused on the idea of this “Life-charged life,” talking with a group of United Methodist men about what it means to be a Follower of Jesus in the reality of our often messy day-go-day lives.
For me, Jesus is God’s best plan for restoring the relationship between humankind and our creator. I love the story of promise and possibility, and in Jesus the news is always encouraging, always invitational, and always about moving forward.
IT’S A CHOICE: That’s one reason some of the negative responses (to the Good News) I’ve been fielding lately fail to ring true. I’m convinced that absolutely one-hundred percent of everyone who makes the choice to be a disciple, and who follows through in terms of commitment, and prayer, and study, and faithful worship, and placing themselves in supportive Christian community, and giving of themselves in generosity and love, will know beyond a shadow of a doubt the assurance and the peace that comes with living faith.
- Faithful worship
- Supportive Christian Community
- Self-giving generosity and love
But faith is a process, and it requires, well, faith to get the ball rolling. Not just faith, though, but faithfulness. There’s nothing instant, or freeze-dried, or pre-prepared, or “just add water” about the life-charged life.
Faith is a process, and it requires, well, faith to get the ball rolling. Not just faith, though, but faithfulness.
ISN’T THAT A LOT TO ASK? Oh, I understand how that might sound unreasonable in this culture. But that doesn’t change the facts. Make the decision to follow Jesus today, renew that commitment daily, deliberately practice the presence of God each and every day, commit yourself to self-giving sacrificial service in the name of Jesus, love with enthusiasm, be faithful in worship… and do this consistently for days, for months, for years.
Then, looking back, your knowing will be as natural as breathing. And the habit of criticism, negativity, doubt, cynicism, and willful unbelief will melt into the habit of creative questions, positivity, faith, optimism, and the daily choice to believe.
That’s the choice. It’s always ours to make – DEREK
- Comment Policy: (borrowed almost exactly from the most excellent blog of fellow commentator Rachel Held Evans). I’m implementing this as of today: ”Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general [rear-end], troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.”
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.