Cultivating Joy: Week four
The larger picture…
- Leader 101: Cultivating habits of highly effective spiritual leaders. This is the primary way LK10 is equipping and connecting leaders of small groups (house churches, etc.). We encourage you to apply to be part of this Course (the best learning takes place in community!) but even if you don’t, we invite you to join in with the instruction below.
- Lesson One in Leader 101: Cultivating Joy. This is the habit we are focusing on this month (June 2015). The simple fact is that leaders face many challenges. The good news is that “the joy of the Lord is our strength”. So, wise leaders intentionally cultivate the habit of joy.
- Week Four: God’s amazing invitation. Jesus’ goal for us is that His joy would be in us and that this joy would grow to it’s fullest and most mature expression. (John 15:11, 17:13) To understand His joy, we need to know more about the amazing Community He is part of (called the Trinity). The deepest joy in the universe exists within the Trinity. And, the amazing (almost unbelievable!) fact is that we have been invited into this Community. This week, we are focusing on what this means. Asking the Coach to lead us into all truth about this foundational reality.
- To help in this understanding, you have two assignments this week. First, watch my interview with Kent Smith below. Second, read what others have written about the Trinity below the video. As always, our process is to “Listen until the Coach (Holy Spirit) stops you. Then, dialogue/journal with Him about that idea or concept. Repeat the same process tomorrow. Think of the Spirit as your personal Coach! Share what He is teaching you with your CO2 partner, Leader Team, etc.
First Assignment. Click on the picture to watch the video. Watch until…
Second Assignment. Read until…
I think you will be amazed and delighted as you meditate on these insights into the Trinity!
- …if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imaging what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, pp. 1-2.
- (After a very helpful description of the Trinity, Lewis writes…) And now, what does it all matter? It matters more than anything else in the world. The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 153.
- There is eternal life going on in the Trinity, and if we are to be saved we must share in that life. Lewis describes our way of access to that Trinitarian life as “good infection,” which calls for us to get close enough to the Trinity to catch this communicable life like a healing virus. The triune life is caught, not taught. Fred Sanders, The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything, p. 234.
- …God has been supremely and eternally happy in the fellowship of the Trinity. In creation God “went public” with the glory that reverberates joyfully between the Father and the Son! There is something about the fullness of God’s joy that inclines it to overflow. There is an expansive quality to his joy. It wants to share itself. John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, p. 33.
- I could have used the word “happiness”. But I chose the word joy because it goes beyond happiness. At the center of the universe is joy. Unalloyed joy. God really enjoys being God! The Father enjoys the Son: “You are my constant delight.” And the Son enjoys the Father: “In you does my soul rejoice.” And that joy is so real that it is embodied in the Holy Spirit. This too is a major thrust of the Gospel of John. Jesus does what he does out of joy. And he invites us into his joy. (Jn. 15:11, 16:24, 17:13). Darrell Johnson, Experiencing the Trinity, p. 70.
- Loving familial relationships, this God makes a man and a woman, a husband and a wife; he creates a family and makes people designed for fellowship with each other. As the Father, Son and Spirit have always known fellowship with each other, so we in the image of God are made for fellowship… the new humanity is a new family; it is the spreading family of the Father. Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, p. 102-103.
- God’s triune nature means that God is social or relational – God is the “social Trinity.” And for this reason, we can say that God is “community.” God is the community of the Father, Son, and Spirit, who enjoy perfect and eternal fellowship. Stanley Grenz, Created for Community, p. 52.
- Trinity is the most comprehensive and integrative framework that we have for understanding and participating in the Christian life. Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, p. 45.
- For many years, I heard precise teachings on the doctrine of the Trinity. But they never had any practical application in my life. I found them highly abstract and impractical. Later, I discovered that understanding the activity within the triune God was the key to grasping everything in the Christian life – including the church… The biblical teaching of the Trinity is not an exposition about the abstract design of God. Instead, it teaches us about God’s nature and how it operates in Christian community… Within the triune God we discover mutual love, mutual fellowship, mutual dependence, mutual honor, mutual submission, mutual dwelling, and authentic community… Properly conceived, the church is the gathered community that shares God’s life and expresses it in the earth. Put another way, the church is the earthly image of the triune God (Eph. 1:22-23)… Consequently, the DNA of the church is marked by the very traits we find in the triune God. Frank Viola, Reimagining Church, p. 33-35.
- JW: As Viola points out, the Trinity is the deepest and most important argument for organic house churches. This is the best context for expressing the mutuality seen in the Divine Community. The typical traditional church service, on the other hand, models spectatorship which is the opposite of mutuality.