Creating a Rule of Life – Sermon Recap

What is a Rule of Life?

A “rule of life” is essentially a plan for your spiritual life. It’s about being with Jesus, becoming like him, and doing the things he did – in other words, being an apprentice to Jesus. This concept shifts our focus from merely believing in Jesus to becoming like him, which is foundational to the Christian life.

A rule of life is not meant to be restrictive but to help establish a rhythm of daily living. Marjorie Thompson explains that a rule of life is like a trellis that supports and guides a vine into full health and maturity. In this metaphor, the rule of life is the trellis, and our spiritual lives are the vine. Jesus himself described this in John’s gospel, emphasizing the importance of remaining in him to bear much fruit.

A rule of life encompasses all areas of your life – physical, emotional, mental, and relational. It’s not an addition to your schedule but a reorientation towards receiving the abundant grace and freedom that Jesus offers. It requires an honest assessment of your life to identify what you value most and prioritize.

Why Do We Need a Rule of Life?

Modern life often swings between chaos and exhaustion or sloth and laziness. A rule of life provides a path to abundant living, no matter where you find yourself. It focuses on who we are becoming rather than just what we do. As Dallas Willard said, “The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become.”

A rule of life offers creative boundaries within which God’s loving presence can be recognized and celebrated. It invites freedom to love and guides us towards a life marked by peace, love, kindness, and generosity, despite the busyness of modern living.

How to Create a Rule of Life

Creating a rule of life requires flexibility and adaptability. It’s essential to have a plan if you want to become like Jesus. This plan must be simple and life-giving, not an overwhelming addition to your life.

You already have a rule of life, as your habits shape who you are today. The goal is to adjust these habits to become the person you want to be – like Jesus. Start very small and simple, and ensure your rule of life supports you rather than becoming a harsh ruler.

Practices to Include

Here are nine core practices recommended by Practicing the Way:

  1. Sabbath: Rest in a culture of hurry and exhaustion.
  2. Prayer: Communion with God in a culture of distraction.
  3. Fasting: Holiness in a culture of indulgence.
  4. Solitude: Peace in a culture of anxiety.
  5. Generosity: Contentment in a culture of consumerism.
  6. Scripture: Fidelity to orthodoxy in a culture of compromise.
  7. Community: Love and depth in a culture of individualism.
  8. Service: Justice, mercy, and reconciliation in a culture of injustice.
  9. Witness: Hospitality in a culture of hostility.

Other practices could include healthy meal plans, regular sleep, limiting caffeine, reading, and exercising. The key is to start simple and ensure these practices bring life and joy, not stress.


To make your rule of life stick, make it simple and enjoyable. Information alone isn’t enough; action is required for spiritual formation. Remember, God’s love is already infinite, and practicing a rule of life doesn’t earn more of his love but helps us become like Jesus.

Now, go and create a rule of life. Focus on a few simple practices that you can consistently do over time.


As we wrap up, remember that your rule of life is a flexible document. Keep it somewhere visible to remind yourself of your spiritual practices. I pray that our community will be filled with people learning to be with Jesus, becoming like him, and doing what he did.

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