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June Illuminate

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The Divine Influence of God

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Summary:  Free Methodist Church – USA Communications Director and Light + Life Publisher Brett Heintzman shares his perspective on what it means to be holy. He writes, “Holiness means we embrace the very nature and influence of God in place of the nature and influence of sin.”

  1. Do you think most people who call themselves Christians reflect God’s “divine influence” in their lives?

2.What kind of impact would be realized in your town and region if the local churches operated as healthy biblical communities with members who lived out God’s influence?

Further reading: Luke 19:10 , 1 John 3:8
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Exile: An Outbreak of Holiness
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Bishop David Kendall asks readers to imagine what it would be like if an “outbreak” of holiness brings “a pandemic of kindness, openness, caring and compassion” that threatens “every living soul.”

  1. Were you surprised by Bishop Kendall’s use of words such as “contagion,” “threatening” and “dangerous” to describe holiness? Why or why not?

2. Why does Kendall refer to God as the Resident Alien?

3. How have you seen the life of another person transformed by the “holiness virus”? If your life has been transformed by holiness, reflect on your experiences.

Further reading: Daniel 1, Revelation 4:8
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Spiritual Respiration

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Summary: Daniel Castelo, a Free Methodist elder who serves as the professor of dogmatic and constructive theology at Seattle Pacific University, reflects on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in John Wesley’s sermon, “The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God.”

  1. What are the spiritual senses that are awakened when a person is born of God?

2. How can and should these senses cause a reborn believer to respond to the world and to God? How do the believer’s responses differ from the responses of someone who has not yet been born of God?

3.  What does Castelo mean by saying we “re-breathe that Spirit back to God with that same holy love, goodness and grace that are now registered significantly in our lives by that very Spirit”?

Further reading: Psalm 96:9, Romans 8:5, 1 Corinthians 12:3
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The Land:

Following a Holy Call

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Summary: Martha Kirkpatrick, a Free Methodist elder who served as a missionary in Central Africa for 41 years and also as an associate pastor of First Free Methodist Church in Indianapolis, details how the Holy Spirit led her through various stages of her life.

  1. Kirkpatrick states, “God works in wonderful ways to perfect His plan at bringing people to Himself in a world of influences that are against God.” How has God worked in your life to bring you to Him?

2.  The author’s firstborn daughter died while the Kirkpatrick family served in Africa. Would a tragedy like that make you question God’s call to serve in a specific area?

3.  Do you agree with the statement that “it is absolutely essential to be cleansed, filled and guided by the Holy Spirit in order to be effective in our work”? Why or why not?

Further reading: 2 Timothy 1:9,
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The Holiness Condition

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Summary: Kevin Mannoia — the founder and chair of the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium and the chaplain of Azusa Pacific University who previously served as the dean of the university’s School of Theology, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and a bishop of the Free Methodist Church — describes holiness as “a condition of the human life that reflects the nature of a holy God.”

  1. Have you or someone you know viewed holiness as “nearly synonymous with behavioral expectations”? Is it possible to meet all of these behavioral expectations but still not be holy?

2.  How can you avoid legalism but still pursue and live out holiness?

3.  What are some ways to “invite others into closer proximity with God through Jesus”?

4.  If we become “people reaching to once again reflect the holiness of the Master,” how will that affect our relationships with others who are not reaching for that same goal?

Further reading: John 14:6, Luke 22:42
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Pop Theology

Practicing the Way of Jesus in Radically Ordinary Ways

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Summary: Josh Avery — the pastor of the Freedom Church campus in Canfield, Ohio; the host of “The FMC Radio Show” podcast; and the author of “Radical Forgiveness” — reveals his family’s “decision to take a literal 24-hour period (Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown) to engage in what we believe is a restful, life-giving practice in our modern world.”

1.  As Avery asks, “What if the answers we’re seeking regarding a meaningful and well-lived life have been hidden in Scripture all along in some of the passages that we’ve never truly lived out?”

2.  How do you define the Sabbath?

3.  Do you observe the Sabbath in your life? If so, did this article make you reconsider any aspects of your observance?

Further reading: Exodus 20:8-11 , John 10:10
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