3-Simple-Rules-Week-3If you have been with us over the past couple of weeks, you know that we have been looking at three simple rules. These are rules that John Wesley had for his societies, a gathering of people longing to grow in their relationship with God and each other. We talked about the first two simple rules: #1, do no harm and #2, do good. These are rules that affect our relationship with each other. We have to understand that God’s deepest desires are displayed in our relationships, with each other and with God. We especially see this in the greatest commandment. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. But we are also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Relationships.

So, the first two rules deal with our relationships with each other, and now the third helps us understand our relationship with God. Stay in love with God. How do we do this? What does it really mean? Time, effort, intentionality, and a desire to be in this relationship; I think that’s a major part of this rule.

First, let me emphasize that loving God is such an important factor in God’s desire for each of us. We can hear it in Jesus’ questions to Peter. “Do you love me?” Three times, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him. This is important. Jesus asks you this today, “do you love me?”

If the answer is yes, what do you do about it? You go to worship, listen to Christian music, try to help those around you. These are all good things and we should continue them, but should there be more? For those who have been in worship with me for some time will understand when I say that the foundation of our relationship with God is built in 15 minutes.

15 minutes of time spent with God. Whether it’s on your back porch, in a tractor, driving down the road, or in your favorite chair, 15 minutes spent with God is the beginning of a strong foundation. Many of you have adopted these 15 minutes into your lives and I hope that you have seen a difference in your communication and relationship with God. For those of you who haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?

Philip Yancey once wrote; “Experiences of God cannot be planned or achieved. They are spontaneous moments of grace, almost accidental, a rabbi said. His student asked, ‘If God-realization is just accidental, why do we work so hard doing all these spiritual practices?’ The teacher replied; ‘To be as accident prone as possible.’

How accident prone are you when it comes to experiences with God? If you find it hard to think about where you have seen God working in your life over the past 24 hours, maybe we need to focus a bit more on our spiritual practices, our spiritual disciplines. That’s what staying in love with God means. Jesus exemplified this in his connection with God by showing us what these disciplines look like. Time and again, Jesus walked away from the crowds and spent time alone in prayer, maintaining that connection with his Father.

The problem happens when we stop, when we don’t take the time to focus on our relationships. We’ve all seen it first-hand. I think we all know someone who has gone through divorce or maybe even lost a best friend. In just about every instance, a breakdown in communication has happened and as soon as that starts to happen, the relationship starts to deteriorate. No healthy relationship can survive without good communication. Just ask anyone who has been married for a long time.

Connection with the other person is lost, and you just seem to drift away from each other. The farther you get away, the harder it becomes to come back together. It’s possible, but it will take work. So how are your relationships today? How is your relationship with God?

3 simple rules. Simple, yes. Easy, no. Essential, absolutely!

So how do you plan on staying in love with God? Do you have a renewed sense of focus for your 15 minutes?