Life in 3 Dimensions


Has there ever been a more attractive life than the life Jesus lived? God incarnate, here on earth for 30 some years. God with us, God for us, God dying and rising again for us. Looking at his life as recorded in the 4 Gospels, here we see someone who is more fully alive than anyone has ever been. Is there a way of life we can follow which can open up this abundant life (John 10:10) Jesus said he came to bring?
Jesus lived His life in 3 Dimensions and it’s the pattern He taught His first followers. This diagram points us in the right direction:

This triangular diagram is based on an understanding of the rhythm of Jesus’ life. His ‘3 dimensional’ life was spent facing Up, In, or Out.
One example comes in Luke 6:12-19 (NIV)
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
The 3 dimensions are therefore:
Up - time alone with the Father, seeking Him
In - time spent with His closest followers and friends
Out - time spent engaging with the needs and pain of the world.
A healthy life as a follower of Jesus will involve all three of these dimensions and reflecting on them regularly.
How can we, as a church and as individuals learn to pattern our lives after the life of Jesus, living Up, In and Out?
1. Developing a rhythm/way of life which includes time for God, work, ourselves and others.
2.Gathered worship: Meeting together, as the Bible tells us, is essential to our lives as Christians. Following Jesus can only be done with others. Developing spiritual disciplines such as regularly gathering together (often on Sundays) encouraging each other, offering ourselves to God, learning and receiving from God and being ready for the week ahead.
3. In Community: In addition to gathered worship it’s important we develop our relationships with one another in other contexts where we can find support and a chance to learn and grow together.
For some this will be in our Home Groups which consist of 6 to 10 people meeting fortnightly during the day time.
We recognise that a regular group on an evening is very difficult for many people to fit into lives which are already extremely busy. Something more convenient is needed and comes in the form of our Life Groups to be launched after Easter this year. These groups of 3 or 4 people will meet once a month at a time which is convenient to them all. These groups may be made up of 2 couples or 3 or 4 individuals and may meet over a meal, over coffee or at the pub.
All these groups are resourced by the church with materials and a suggested structure which enables members to think about their lives as followers of Jesus.
Following Jesus is not something we can do on autopilot and as this year goes on we’ll be helping people find a way of life which works for them (for you!) as a follower of Jesus in your context and in the context of community. There will be lots of opportunities to come, but for now could a Home Group or Life Group make a difference to you – if so, look out for more information soon. And for all of us – where are we with the Up, In and Out three-dimensional life Jesus encourages us to live? Where are you strong and where do you need some help?
With love in Christ
Nick