We have a lattice attached to our front porch, along which is growing Climbing Jasmine. Over the years, it has become quite a thick and substantial covering! We enjoy the fresh aroma of this vine in warm summer nights, and throughout the year, we have a natural privacy fence when we share meals and meetings on the front deck!
Just as this lattice helps the Jasmine grow in strength and in fragrance, when we keep a daily and regular set of habits in our spiritual life, we can grow stronger in our faith, and be more of a blessing to others. In other words, developing a personal "Rule For Life" is one way of helping us grow in our faith and daily witness.
Over the past year, our fellowship ("The Table") has been developing our own "Rule For Life." These aren't legalistic rules, but guidelines - like the cross sections of a lattice - intended to help guide our growth, life, and health.
Over the centuries, several "Rules" have been developed in the Christian Church, the most notable of which is the Benedictine Rule. So, this attempt by our fellowship is really nothing new; we're just trying to follow in the foot steps of ancient church leaders.
Here are our guidelines or "Rules." Take a look; we hope they will encourage you in your spiritual growth, and give you some ideas how you might develop some personal healthy habits.
Daily Prayer and Study. We intentionally set aside time each day to be alone in prayer with God, to rededicate our lives to Christ, to pray for others by name, and to reflect on the Scripture long enough to hear what the Father is saying to us through his Word. We will memorize Bible verses that God is using in our lives to bring encouragement, wisdom, or guidance in our prayers. We will seek to “practice the presence” of Christ in our hearts and minds. (Ps. 119:11,164, Rom. 12:12, 1 Thess. 5:17, 2 Tim. 3:14-17)
Encouraging and caring for one another. We will seek to build others up through words and acts of love and support. When necessary, we will confess our sins to one another in order to seek cleansing and healing, comfort and freedom. As much as possible, we will live transparent lives with one another, being honest about shortcomings and humble about our successes. (1 Thess. 5.11, Phil.2.1-3, James 5.16)