May my words abide in you

So this is primarily for the dudes I went camping with this weekend, but I decided it would be hugely beneficial to you all. Me and five other guys went to Mount Nebo this weekend on a retreat we decided to call “The Awakening of the Heart”. It was a Friday through sunday deal and the whole idea was that we would spend a full weekend in peace, meditation, prayer, service, kindness, and rest. We had a four hour long Koinonia Communion on Saturday night, and other than the communion wine we had no other alcohol on the trip. I won’t say much more about the communion, because the internet is simply not the place for it, but I will say this: we have bastardized communion in our churches these days. We need to do whatever we can to reclaim it for what it was meant to be. 

On Saturday morning we all sat around the campfire and drank coffee and smoked cigarettes and listened to a sermon by John Piper called “If My Words Abide In You”. It is a powerful message in which he spends an entire fifteen minutes at the beginning reciting several chapters from the Bible. The first time I heard it, it blew my mind. I’ve listened to the full sermon probably 10 times and the scripture recitation part at least 30 times. I am working on memorizing all of it myself, and I invite you to join me. I’ve uploaded a zipped package containing three files here. The full sermon audio, the fifteen minute scripture recitation part, and a PDF file with the full text of the scriptures he quotes written out. I printed a 24 x 36 inch poster of it and hung it up in my bathroom to help spur the memorization. Listen to the sermon, listen to the scripture, and read the text. 

Guys, I’ve made this really easy for you. If we are not connected to God there is truly nothing in life worth getting out of bed for. A relationship with the Liberating King is not about one or two times a year where you spend three minutes reading whatever page your Bible flops open to. It’s about a lifetime of urgent connection and minimizing the tiny spaces where what I am ends and what he’s making me begins. 

I invite you to join me in this. I invite you away from your television. I invite you away from your iPhone, iPad, and your iDistractions. Onto your porch, into the dark, into the midst of somewhere you already know you belong. Do the thing you’ve been saying you need to do for years. I’ll venture this: if you don’t go, if you don’t do something different, if you don’t change something about the way you are actively wasting your time every single day - you’re living in open defiance of a God who not only wants you, but painfully and desperately aches for your glance from across the room.