Covenanters and Conferences
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Covenanters
Summary: Executive Editor Jeff Finley introduces this issue on “Covenants + the Law” by reflecting on his ancestors who were a part of a Scottish group known as the Covenanters, which had many members who became martyrs. He then discusses the Law (the Bible’s first five books) and the most important covenant.
1. Would you be willing to die for your beliefs? What if you were being persecuted by other people who claim to be Christians but interpret the Bible differently?
2. Do you agree with Finley’s statement “that the most important covenant is shared by all Christ followers whether Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists”? Why or why not?
3. What does the Bible Project mean when it states “Christ himself is the New Testament covenant — a covenant that cannot fail and cannot be broken”?
Prepared to/Willing to/Able to/Have to/Don’t Want to/Want to
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Prepared-To
Summary: Bishop Matthew Thomas gives us “handles to better understand what is at play from both God’s side and our side of things as we consider how to live out these covenants and commandments,” and he addresses the attitude by which we should respond.
1. How does Bishop Thomas define a covenant?
2. Have you had any experience with God being “willing to do whatever it takes to get us where we need to be and live as we ought to live”?
3. What do you think of the statement that “the covenants and commandments are not burdensome for those who live in love”?
Living the Law of Love?
To read the article, fmchr.ch/Law-of-Love.
Summary: Kaye Kolde, the executive pastor of ministry at Sage Hills Church in Washington and the next lead pastor of Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church in Michigan, reveals that the Greatest Commandment is now possible to live out.
1. What is the Greatest Commandment?
2. If the Holy Spirit empowers us, why do so many professing Christians live in ways that do not seem holy or loving?
3. Ask yourself or your group Kolde’s question: “Are we content knowing what love looks like fulfilled in Jesus, or are we compelled to keep living that out in practice?”
A Song Stripped of Joy
To read the article, fmchr.ch/A-Song.
Summary: Mark Crawford finds spiritual lessons in his discovery that Pinkfong, a popular children’s entertainment brand, set its song “My Pet, My Buddy” to the tune of the Christian song “Joy in My Heart.”
1. Can you think of other examples in which popular culture has taken sacred things and stripped them of their spiritual value?
2. How does the enemy try to strip away truth in your life and in the lives of other people?
3. What are some ways in which we can “step into a broken world and bring with us love, hope, grace and justice”?
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Contracts
Summary: Light + Life Publisher and Free Methodist Church – USA Communications Director Brett Heintzman encourages Christians to exchange contract-based churchgoing for establishing covenants.
Covenants and Community
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Covenants
Summary: Citizens Church Lead Pastor Ben Forsberg, the founder of WellTold.co and this magazine’s former content strategist, shares that the purpose of modern-era (post-Resurrection) covenants is to get life together.