“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” – John 16:33
This weekend my Saturday morning men’s small-group will begin a study based on Norman Vincent Peale’s classic book, The Power of Positive Thinking.
Yes, we understand that this book was written many decades ago, that the illustrations are rooted in a culture that is almost unrecognizable today, and that Peale’s foundational thesis is often dismissed as Pollyanna, or unrealistic. But – and I’ve led studies on this subject before – there is a huge and routinely untapped truth at the core of Peale’s work that we all need to embrace, and I understand it as the simple affirmation that Jesus shared with his friends around the dinner table the night he was arrested: “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” – John 16:33
So today I’d like to share just seven reasons that I believe in the transformative efficacy of faith-based, promise-rooted, intentional discipleship.
The transformative efficacy of faith-based, promise-rooted, intentional discipleship.
- We are God’s beloved children: Simply grabbing hold of this truth and embracing all that it implies gives us the confidence to LIVE LIKE WE MEAN IT, because God most certainly means something through and for us.
- We have been created with love, imagination, skill, and purpose: Each one of us was created with the deliberate application of God’s love and intention. That’s more than positive thinking, that’s life-changing good news!
- Each new day is one more opportunity to live into promise: There is a natural rhythm to the cycle of years, seasons, night, and day. Renewal and fresh opportunity are seeded into the DNA of life.
- Jesus had promised to be with us: Christ’s last words on earth reaffirm what he said time and again, “I promise to be with you, always!” Matthew 28:20 We are not alone; we have the guarantee of the presence of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We are more than conquerors through him who loved us: Romans 8:37 We are on the victory side! There is no confidence more compelling than the knowledge that the victory has already been secured. Our opportunity is to share the Good News, and to live into the fact of the New Creation.
- There is nothing in all creation with the power to separate us from God’s love: This powerful assurance can make all the difference when we are tempted to be discouraged. Romans 8:38-39 “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Our status as free people is non-negotiable: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [human beings] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And this is only scratching the surface. Think about what I’ve shared here, make a decision to believe, and then live into the truth of God’s promises!