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Fireside chat, series one, Our Wesleyan Way: Three Simple Rules, Stay in Love with God

By: Revs. Rebecca Trefz, Boyd Blumer and Amber Laffey, Dakotas UMC

The founder of our denomination, John Wesley wrote about three simple rules that help people apply their faith to everyday life, and not only live in a way that honors God, but encourages continual growth and development of our faith. Access a schedule and past episodes.

Originally, the last of the three simple rules was described by John Wesley as “tending to the ordinances of God,” but as Bishop Rueben Job studied Wesley and the Gospel words of Jesus that Wesley loved so dearly, a paraphrase arose— “Stay in Love with God.”

If someone is to stay married after the wedding, they must choose their spouse a hundred times a day. In the same way, if we are to stay in love with God, we must choose God over and over and over again. We must embrace every means of grace together as the way to stick close to Jesus our whole lives long.

Scripture references:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. You are already trimmed because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.

As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.” John 15:1-11, CEB


Key questions:

What comes to mind when you think of staying in love with God?

John 15: 1-11 reminds us that we are all interwoven and connected to each other and to God. Why is the connection to each other important? How do we connect to those who may not walk with us in our daily lives?

What other scripture versus come to mind when you think about staying in love with God?

How do we live out this idea of staying in love with God today?

Resources for Three Simple Rules:

Book of Discipline: The Nature, Design, and General Rules of Our United Societies: Since 1808, the three rules have been printed in The Book of Discipline as part of our doctrinal standards and general rules.

Wesleys Take the Web: Three General Rules: In this animated short, John and Charles Wesley tell us that holy living can be as simple as A-B-C, or 1-2-3. the brothers who founded Methodism, John and Charles Wesley lay out three simple rules for holy living according to John Wesley.

hree Simple Rules, by Rueben Job
. Rueben Job offers an interpretation of John Wesley's General Rules for today's readers. For individual reading or group study, this insightful work calls us to mutual respect, unity, and a deeper daily relationship with God.

Resources for Staying in Love with God:

The People of God Who Attend to the Ordinances of God: Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, shares sermon notes, worship resources, small group ideas, youth, and children’s ministry activities on the third simple rule.

Stay in Love with God - Three Simple Rules: A Conversation with Rueben P. Job. In this video Rueben Job shares how, we stay in love with God. “This rule keeps us in connection to the power of God, that can enable us to keep all three rules,” shares Bishop Job. View a shorter version on Amplify media.

How to Fall in Love with God: This reflection is
written for Linda Kardimis, for her blog Teach 4 the Heart. She writes, “What I found was that loving God is not difficult because He is absolutely incredible. But if we want to truly love God, we do need to spend some time and energy on the relationship, just as we would any human relationship with those we love.”

Other helpful resources Catholic Spirit, a sermon by John Wesley, Wesleyan Quadrilateral, Theological Guidelines of the UMC, Abide with Me, UM Hymnal.

Download a discussion or small group guide for this session.
Download and listen to this episode.


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