Why a University Practice?
The University Practice is an integral part to your spiritual formation as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Discipleship is not limited to one single activity, but rather, we have a responsibility to continue to practice discipleship in our daily lives. The University Spiritual Practice is one way we can encourage each other in our lives as disciples. Discipleship involves practice and with it we are better equipped to live the life to which Christ has called us. When we commit to healthy spiritual patterns, both individually and in community, we prepare ourselves to be ready for God’s work in and through us.
Each year at APU, we choose one or more spiritual practices to focus on for the year—rooted in the themes of Scripture and utilized for centuries by the Christian church to foster relationship with God. By focusing on these spiritual practices, we expose students to diverse practices that foster spiritual growth which leads to maturity. Practices such as prayer, scripture study¸ worship, service and witnessing are just a few examples of how we encourage these practices to become part of the daily life our students. This year’s spiritual practices are centered on the idea of “generosity.”
Generosity as a Spiritual Practice
The spiritual discipline of generosity invites believers to give out of God’s abundance. We are stewards of God’s resources, and are therefore called to live generously and sacrificially.
“The key to the discipline of giving, which will transform us and the world around us, is to see all that we have—time, talents, and treasures—as valuables on loan from the Creator.” -Keri Wyatt Kent
generosity [gen·er·os·i·ty \ˌje-nə-ˈrä-sə-tē, -ˈräs-tē\]noun
- the quality of being kind, understanding, and not selfish
- the quality of being generous
- especially: willingness to give money and other valuable things to others
Generosity in Scripture
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice. Psalm 112:5
How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister[a] in need and yet refuses help? 1 John 3:17
In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
- Giving of one’s resources to God and others
- Giving: To share time, talents, and resources to reflect the abundant blessing of God.
- Stewardship: Live as a steward of God’s resources in all areas of life; to live out of the awareness that nothing is my own.
- Service: Reflect the helping, caring and sharing love of God in the world.
- Giving of one’s self to God and others
- Hospitality: Be a safe person who offers grace, shelter and presence of Jesus.
- Mercy: To be patient and compassionate toward those who are suffering or afflicted. To come alongside others and “bear one another’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2)
- Justice: To love others by seeking their good, protection, gain and fair treatment
- Gratitude: To be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to live with a grateful heart, cognizant of God’s work in my life and my abundant resources.
Chapel Focus: Spiritual Formation
October 31-November 4, 2016