Loving Jesus,
Loving Our Neighbors

"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."  -Rom. 8:29-30  (NIV)

Spiritual Formation

“In going against the stream of the world’s ways there are two biblical designations for people of faith that are extremely useful: disciple and pilgrim. Disciple says we are people who spend our lives apprenticed to our master, Jesus Christ. We are in a growing-learning relationship, always. A disciple is a learner, but not in the academic setting of a schoolroom, rather at the work site of a craftsman. We do not acquire information about God but skills in faith. Pilgrim tells us that we are people who spend our lives going someplace, going to God, and whose path for getting there is the way, Jesus Christ. We realize that ‘this world is not my home’ and set out for the ‘Father’s house.’”  -Eugene Peterson

Spiritual Formation is the combined activity of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying a believer and the believer in seeking sanctification; the activity of 'being made holy', so that more and more of the imago dei (image of God) emerges while freeing the individual to be all that God has created him or her to be, with a unique personality, gifts and talents. Spiritual formation is intentionally engaged in by discipling or 'apprenticing' oneself to the Lord Jesus Christ in a holistic, daily relationship, using all the tools God provides:

  • Regular Scripture reading and meditation
    (Psalm 119; Psalm 143; Psalm 145; 2 Tim 3:16,17)
  • A routine of daily prayer and solitude
    (Mark 1:35; Psalm 5:3)
  • Listening for the 'still small voice' of the Holy Spirit
    (1 Kings 19:12)
  • Knowledge and insights gained from the experiences of life as one engages one's life as a pilgrimage
  • The community of the saints within which we experience Christ's unconditional love and where we can practice the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) and the gifts of the Spirit (Rom. 12;1 Cor. 12;
    1 Cor. 14)
  • The privilege of engaging with that community in true corporate worship of the Triune God
    (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:25)

Spiritual formation involves the expectation that the Holy Spirit will bless us with transforming renewal ("be transformed by the renewing of your mind" - Romans 12:2) as we actively engage in this process of setting our "hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." (Col 3:1,2). Spiritual formation means engaging actively in the spiritual life.

A maturing Christian is one who:
has a growing awareness of sin in his/her life (Psalm 139:23,24)
• has confidence in his/her position in Christ and the unshakable nature of his/her salvation (John 10:27,28)
• has a growing understanding of the grace of God (Eph. 2:8,9; Hebrews 4:16)
• shows increased evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit in his/her life (Gal. 5:22,23)
• seeks to worship God, both individually in all he/she does, and corporately with other believers (John 4:23,24; Hebrews 10:25; 13:15)
• applies God’s Word to his/her life (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:11; Psalm 1:1-3)
• develops a submissive attitude to the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16-18)
• exhibits love to both Christians and non-Christians in an active way (1 John 4:7-12)
• has a deepening understanding of the role and power of prayer in his/her life (Phil. 4:6,7; Matthew 7:7,8)
• is developing a deeper understanding of the character of God (Jer. 9:23,24)
• has a desire to be shaped by the Holy Spirit and other believers as he/she grows into the image of Christ (Romans 8:1-30; Ecc. 4:9-12)
• is learning that all daily activities are an opportunity to glorify and worship God (1 Peter 2:12).

 Spiritual Formation - Topics & Meditations