Sunday, February 23, 2014

DAY 644 - We Need Authority And Discipline (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

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                               Today's Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:14-18

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Please click this link to read 2 Thessalonians 3:14-18

Bible Study

     Paul concludes this book exercising his apostolic authority. The authority as a bishop to keep his people in certain order. 

Bishop N.T. Wright says ( ) :
      The difficult notion of discipline rests, of course, on another notion many today find difficult: apostolic authority.  We are far more inclined, in leadership roles, to suggest to people that they might perhaps like to do this or that, rather than to tell them that this is how things must be done.  Again, of course, sooner or later someone has to make decisions, from the ordering of worship to the moral standards that will hold the community's life together.  Unless there is a clear authority structure something else will take its place, quite possibly the force of certain personalities or the loudness of certain voice.  The value of a clear system of authority is that it avoids allowing things to degenerate into bullying by the powerful or sniping by the petulant.  Paul believed - he staked his life on it - that God had given him this authority, not to lord it over his churches, but to deep them in line. 

N.T. Wright. Paul for Everyone:Galatians and Thessalonians. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p.160.

      How does your church exercise authority and discipline? How well are you willing  to be under authority so that your church can be in line? 
Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":

Spiritual Journal

    The title I heard from Jesus today is: We need authority and discipline

    What I got from Jesus today is a call for us to examine our willingness to be under authority. It is such a blessing that we are in an Anglian tradition and system that we have the authority of a bishop, the Rector/Senior Pastor, the Council and then other leaders. It is not easy to exercise the "apostolic authority" as a bishop. But once our people understand what "apostolic authority" really is in an Anglican system, we have a better chance to be in line and in order. And more easy to exercise suitable discipline action when it is so needed.

    The question is, are you willing to be under the authority of those leaders whose authority is given by God. If you are willing, then you have a better chance to be in a better church. You may not agree, but that is what Paul says today. 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us to be willing to be under the authority of those servants appointed and anointed by you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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