Thursday, September 22, 2011
The Vision (9/22/11): Washing the feet of the saints and "holy conferences"
Image: Passionate conversation at CRBC with Dr. David Murray at the 2010 Keach Conference.
Our midweek Bible Study yesterday was on John 13:1-17, the account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. In this passage Jesus tells his disciples, “ye also ought to wash one another’s feet” (v. 14). This led to a lively discussion of how we might practically wash the feet of the saints (i.e., serve and express love for the brethren, especially those within our local church).
One thing that came up was the importance of having spiritual conversations when we gather on the Lord’s Day. No, there is nothing wrong with discussing the weather, current events, etc, but when we gather on Sundays our conversation also ought to be aimed at considering one another “to provoke to love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24). The Puritans used to speak of having “holy conferences” on the Lord’s Day. We agreed that in general our church does a pretty good job at this. In fact, I mentioned that CRBC is the first church I think have ever attended where Sunday conversation does not involve a re-hash of college football!
I also remembered a list of questions in Don Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church (Moody, 1996) that promote fellowship among believers, rather than just shooting the breeze. Here is an adapted list of Whitney’s questions:
• What have you seen God do lately?
• What do you feel good about right now in the spiritual area of your life?
• Where are you having slow-going right now spiritually?
• How is your _____ ministry going?
• How are you doing with the spiritual disciplines (prayer, Bible reading, Scripture memory and meditation, worship, etc.)?
• What’s the most meaningful thing that has happened to you since we last talked?
• What’s the most important decision facing you in the near future?
• Have you read anything lately that has helped you spiritually?
• What’s something the Lord has been teaching you lately?
• How can I pray for you?
• What was God communicating to you today in the Scripture reading and sermon?
May we continue to seek ways to wash the feet of the saints. May we also redeem the time, especially in our Lord’s Day gatherings, to enjoy spiritual conversations that encourage and edify.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle