God52 – Week One (1/1/13)

1 Jan

52HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Here goes then. For the next year, I’ll be taking practical weekly steps to try to better live out my Christian faith. My New Year’s resolution, such as it is, is to become better at practicing than I am at preaching (which if you’ve heard me preach, isn’t a huge stretch). If this is all new to you, catch up on the original idea here, and see if you want to join in and make this your New Year’s resolution too. (And here are five ideas to make it really work for you)

Each week, I’m setting myself a challenge, each one designed to draw me closer to God, to get involved in His mission on earth, and to take a few risks along the way (no, I haven’t worked out all 52 yet!). I invite you to join me – if you like – and if you feel so inclined, to blog, tweet and talk about it along the way. There’s no cleverly-thought-out strategy behind this; I’m simply excited to see what God might do in and through me, and through anyone else who might choose to get involved.

The challenges will be largely based around three areas: the spiritual disciplines (in which I’ve become increasingly interested), practicing a Christ-like character (based on what I understand of the Jesus we find in the Gospels), and personal evangelism (something I’ve felt very challenged about recently). So it’ll be part spiritual formation, part missional adventure and hopefully, part fun. Who knows where the lines between those are anyway?

Anyway – enough introduction. Here’s the first challenge I’m going to undertake:

1: Perform an act of radical generosity.

One of the things that made the early church so remarkable was that they shared everything they had (Acts 4: 32-37). One of the things that makes us – the modern church – so unremarkable is that we’ve neatly forgotten this aspect of what it means to be a fellowship of believers. I know that I am the worst of all sinners in this area. I get so worried by my own bank balance, that I tend to ignore Paul’s reminder in 2 Corinthians 7 that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’, and either give sparingly or with anything but cheer. So this week, I’m going to ask God for an opportunity to be radically, and cheerfully generous. After all, he’s given a lot more for me than I could ever hope to give in return.

If you’d like to join me, then I’d suggest you identify the thing with which you find it most difficult to be generous – be that time, money or something else – and make that the focus of your action.

I will blog about what happens throughout the year (and tweet using the hashtag #God52) – but obviously on challenges like this one I’ll be more vague about the details!

That’s it then – we’re underway. I’m excited about the potentially life-changing year that lies ahead. If you decide to join me, then I trust God will move beyond all your expectations. And if not, I hope you enjoy watching me stumble through a year of doing what I can to grow closer to Him.

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8 Responses to “God52 – Week One (1/1/13)”

  1. Stu Thomson January 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Nice idea. I’ll walk with you on this journey.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Guest blog: Su Johnston on generosity… and suspicion | God 52 - January 5, 2013

    […] week, we’re running guest posts from various people on the subject of radical generosity – inspired by the first God52 challenge. Today, gardener Su Johnston writes about how […]

  2. Guest blog: A life well lived, by Ashley Vaughan | God 52 - January 6, 2013

    […] look at generosity, from Ashley Vaughan. (This and the previous blogs have been inspired by this week’s challenge – there’s still time to do […]

  3. God52 – Week Two (8/1/13) | God 52 - January 8, 2013

    […] Don’t worry if you’ve only just caught up with this; just start from here. If you did start last week, hopefully you found the experience of practicing radical generosity both challenging and […]

  4. #God 52 – The Irresistible Resolution « - January 8, 2013

    […] part of week ones challenge, ‘1: Perform an act of radical generosity.’ I thought about taking lunch to a homeless person, or paying for someones meal or something like […]

  5. What I learned in week one « God 52 - January 14, 2013

    […] first challenge was to ‘commit an act of radical generosity.’ I deliberately started with something that I personally would find difficult; we have three […]

  6. #God52 | My #God52 - January 28, 2013

    […] https://god52.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/god52-week-one-1113/ […]

  7. It’s all about the journey… My feelings on God52 | Matt Stewart - March 18, 2013

    […] Week One: It seemed like nice easy one to start with! All about generosity. But there was a very naive part of me, I did the challenge on one occasion, but that was it. It didn’t grow into anything else. It was like “right that’s done, sorted” and really I missed the underlying point of the whole journey. And besides, all I did was give someone a lift home, nothing spectacularly medal deserving. The whole idea of this is meant to make us look at ourselves and say “Can we change this part of me for the better and to show more of the light of Jesus?” It’s not meant to be a checklist kind of exercise. But then hang on, I guess in realising this, it kind of still did its job?… Love how the spirit works! […]

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