Our L.A.N.D. Exercises – Loving, Accepting, Nurturing, and Discipling – the life of Christ flowing through us to others.
First, we love – we value highly each and every soul; we are patient and kind to all. Secondly, we accept each person at whatever stage of life they may be in; we love unconditionally. Thirdly, we nurture the life of God in each heart; we try to find out what each one needs in order to flourish. Finally, we disciple others; we find ways of bringing them along in the kingdom.
Loving. We do unto others as we would have them do unto us. We are patient and kind with everyone. We do not envy; we do not boast; we are not proud, rude or self seeking; we are not easily angered; we keep no record of wrongs; we do not delight in evil, but we rejoice in the truth; we bear all things, trust in all things, and hope in all things.
Accepting. The first step in any relationship is acceptance of the other person right where they are in their walk of faith. We are all in different stages of our journey, and we should not demand that others meet an arbitrary standard of perfection before they are worthy of our love and acceptance. Christ did this for us when he invited us into the kingdom. He met us right where we were, came into our lives, and initiated the great eternal love affair that we now have with him. If he had waited for us to meet his standards of holiness before being worthy of a relationship with him, we would still be stuck in our sins.
Nurturing. As a mother or father deals with their children, we must also deal with others: we must often overlook faults and focus on nurturing each area of growth and grace that may be manifesting in the life of the ones we love. This requires prayerfulness, watchfulness, gentleness, and patience. People grow and change in their own time, in God’s good time, not on our time table or because we want or need them to grow or change.
Discipling. We look for opportunities to bring people along in the faith, to immerse people in the knowledge of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to teach others to be obedient to the commands of Christ.
We practice and teach others to keep the faith, to walk in love, and to hope in our heavenly reward.
~ Brad Heilhecker