Life-Study Fellowship from Brother Chris Wilde

Life-Study Fellowship from Brother Chris Wilde

Saints, after our fellowship last Saturday,
that we presented to the young adults, young working saints, about the life-study reading
program, I had some burden to maybe add a little bit more fellowship, particularly to
help you know, or learn, how to read the life studies. You know, of course, you say, well,
we… I know how to read. That’s true, but there are different ways to read different
things. For example, there’s what I would call program reading. Program reading
— you have a certain amount of material you are committed to reading, you have X amount
of time to finish that reading, so you allocate an appropriate amount of time, and when you
finish each segment, you check a box, and away you go. Now, the life-study reading program
could easily become program reading, but my desire in this little fellowship is that
you would not approach it that way. You know, I remember as a young Christian, probably
you’ve had a similar experience, and everyone encouraged you, you need to read the Bible,
you know, if you read 3 chapters in the old, and one in the new, each day, in a year you
would finish the whole Bible. Ok. Perfect example of program reading. And I did it.
I did it. But I have to say my honest testimony is that many times, though my eyes scanned
all the pages and saw most of the words, at the end of each chapter if you had asked me
what I’d read I wouldn’t be able to say much. That’s the danger with program reading.
It can easily become just an exercise to meet an obligation. Don’t cheat yourself and approach
the life-studies like that. Now, another way to read, and I would say this is definitely
an upgrade, is reading for the points. I have no doubt that the life-studies are full of
wonderful points. But actually I would caution you against taking this way as well. Now this
is where I would like to insert my personal testimony. When we were given the task, by
Brother Lee, to produce each one of the life
studies into a half-hour radio broadcast,
he really gave us no instruction, except expressed his burden. This would be a way to get the
ministry out, to introduce it to people who perhaps had never had a chance to enjoy it
before. And we were kind of left to our own devices to figure out how to do that. And
of course, wanting to be faithful to the ministry and to be faithful to the truth, we took the
read-for-points, or look-for-points, method when we began the task. Well, we started with
the book of John, and I’ll tell you those life-studies, many of them, are, you know,
12, 15, even 18 pages, and packed with points, so we began to sort of neatly bundle the points
in their appropriate order and present them sequentially. And I remember shortly after,
we had kind of a demo of what we’d produced to give to Brother Lee. Though, on thinking
back, I don’t remember exactly his words, I certainly remember the impression I got
reading his expression, and that was, he was not satisfied. And what he said, again, as
I remember it, though not an exact quote, more or less, was: Where’s the burden? Where’
s the burden? You’ve given me the points, but I haven t got the burden. Ok. So we took
that fellowship and had another go, and still it took us quite some time to really understand
and, zero in on what he was saying. And over time what we realized, and this is my burden
today, was that in each message Brother Lee had a burden. Of course he had a lot of points
to go with his outline, and since he was working on this to leave it for the saints long after
he was gone, he was very faithful to the truth, and he got all of the points into the messages,
but really each time he stood at the podium to speak, he had a burden. Now, perhaps he
approached a certain message with an idea of where his burden would be, but many times
as he was speaking the burden would come to him freshly. So, our job became finding his
burden and building this short extract of an entire life-study around that. We produced
the finished programs, 23 minutes; he spoke, most of those messages, 80 or 90, so you see
we were really condensing, plus we were adding the fellowship of the brothers, and the opening
and closing, and all of that, so we really had to zero in and find the burden. So over
time we learned how to find that burden in his speaking, and when we found that burden
and let that burden guide us through the points, we had successful programs. And many times
the Lord would come in, in that studio, when we were recording, with a very fresh speaking.
Because, you know, it’s like that verse in Matthew, the poor you have with you always,
but you don t always have Me. Well, look, it’s in writing. The points we have with us
always, but we don’t always have Him.0:06:16.150,0:06:22.430What’
s the “him” here? The “him” is His fresh speaking. That’
s what Brother Lee was looking for when he was at the podium, and that’s what he was
looking for when he heard how we had prepared the program. So that’s how I would like to
encourage you to read the life-studies today. Don’t read them as part of a reading program
so that your primary goal is so that you can check another box. No. And don’t just read
for the points. Listen: If you find the burden, that will do a number of things. First, it
will refresh you. Second, it will nourish
you. Third, it will link all of the points
together in a way that you’ll have something to take back from the program. Or from the
life-study. Ok. Let me illustrate, if I can. And so I felt, let’s just take the first life
-study of what the brothers have proposed to us in this thirty-day reading assignment,
or program, and that is the life-study of 1 Thessalonians Message 1. Now. This is a
short life-study, I think about six pages in the version I have. And the first time
I read it, I would say I read it for somewhere between the program reading style, which is
the quick scan, and the find the-points style. And at that pace it takes me about six minutes,
roughly a minute a page. Now, I’m an average to slightly-below-average reader in terms
of speed, so that’s probably a pretty good benchmark for most of you. And I came away
with some things. You know, there was some history at the beginning, it was a young church,
and then something about a union, or organics, and then a number of portions on calling,
and then three kind of the substance, or I would say the heart-of-the-message points,
about working in love or enduring and laboring in faith, anyway, and that somehow was the
start for the church life. Ok. Saints, this was not the burden of this message. And if
that’s how you come away, then you’re doing yourself, and the ministry, a disservice.
It’s like this. Let’s say I ve never eaten French food, but I ve heard all about it, so I go
to this restaurant and I order a classic, famous French dish. The problem is, the chef
in this kitchen doesn’t know how to cook it. He’s got the ingredients, or at least most
of them; he’s got the chicken there, and the garlic, and the butter, and the wine, and
some oil, yet when he turns it out it s just kind of an oily greasy mess. And I eat it
and say: Oh. Boy. I guess I don’t like French cooking. Well. Actually French cooking is
the finest in the world, if it’s prepared by a properly-trained chef. Now. Let’s come
back to our message. I think you’ll see what I mean. How do we find the burden? Well, here
‘s a clue. Brother Lee told us, and of course, he talked about how he learned how to read
the Bible from Watchman Nee: both of them came to the Bible with a very inquisitive
mind. So, hence, that’s why this message begins the way it does. He tells us this history
of the church, very briefly, of the church in Thessalonica. And it’s a young church,
it s a new church. Paul and some of his co-workers had passed through and spent about three weeks
preaching the gospel, and many young people responded, and that became the nucleus of
the church. So Paul established the church there, they’re young people, and they’re young
believers, and off he goes on his missionary journey, to return a year later to now render
some care to this church of young people, full of new believers. Aha. I surmise after
reading this that Brother Lee approached this in this way: Here is an example, a demonstration,
of how the apostle Paul himself shepherded and cared for and perfected new young believers.
Wouldn’t you like to see such a demonstration? I think that’s quite compelling. I’d like
to know, even to help me in taking care of my contacts. So, we begin with this preposition,
or supposition: Brother Lee looking for Paul s burden in how he’s going to care for this
young church. And, this message is composed just of 3 verses. The first one is just simply
Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and
the Lord Jesus Christ, Grace to you and peace. Now this is what I would call fly-by language.
You know, when you’re doing that program
reading, like we talked about at the beginning,
this is language you re just going to fly over, looking for a destination. Right? Second
verse. We thank God always concerning all of you, making mention of you in our prayers.
More fly-by language. It s pleasant, it s a nice sentiment, but I’m reading, you know,
to tick the box, nothing here is going to cause me to linger. Third verse. Remembering
unceasingly your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus
Christ before our God and Father. Now here at least is some language you can sink your
teeth into. So, if I’m not just programmed reading, but I’m reading for the points, I’
m going to land here. Now. Certainly those three things, the work of faith, the labor
of love, and the endurance of hope, are all important points in this message, but I’m
pretty sure that these are the secondary burden in this message. The secondary burden. Yet
if you re reading for the points I bet this is where you’ll land. But if you’re reading
to find the burden, ah. Go back to the question. How does Paul come on to these new believers
to care for them? Hence, on Page 2, we have this wonderful section called The Organic
Union. Now, I read these few three verses just now, I ve read this chapter; the words
organic union cannot be found. In fact the phrase organic union can t be found anywhere
in the entire scripture, Old or New Testament. Where does Brother Lee get it? He’s looking,
remember, for Paul’s burden. And how does Paul begin? Ah. So. Paul says, to the church
of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So Brother Lee points
out, if you read through that section, that Paul was careful not to say, To the church
of the Thessalonians in God and Christ. No. He specifically lingers on this word: Father.
In God the Father. And not just Jesus or Jesus Christ, but the Lord Jesus Christ. Aha. These
two words guide us to the burden: Father and Lord. Both of those strongly imply the organic
union. Now, this begins to come into focus. Of course Paul would want to point these young
believers to their organic union, their life union, with God their Father and their Lord
Jesus Christ. Without the organic union He is neither our Father nor the Lord. He is
still God and He is still Jesus Christ, but He is not our Father and He is not our Lord.
It takes the organic union for us to relate to Him in those specific ways. So Brother
Lee comes right to that and develops that. Now, if you need more proof that the organic
union is his burden, the next section is on Calling. Once again, I read these three verses,
I don t see calling. I read Chapter 1, I
t see calling. I don t know, I can’t remember,
not sure in the whole book of 1 Thessalonians you re going to see calling specifically.
Yet Brother Lee takes the opportunity, after presenting God the Father and the Lord Jesus
Christ, to perfect and shepherd us in our organic union. Rather than just calling O
God, or O Jesus, or O Jesus Christ, No, he tells us, it s best, and he confirms it with
the scripture, in 1 Corinthinans 12, it’s best to call, O Lord Jesus; and not just O
God, but Abba Father. These two specific ways of calling really strengthen the organic union.
Even just here, as I, in a simple way, I share this with you, I’m enjoying my organic union.
Now, once that’s established, that guides us through the points. And so we introduce
the secondary burden, the work of faith, that flows out of the organic union. Hm? The labor
of love is in the realm of the organic union, and the endurance of hope is the result of
the organic union, and a life, a Christian life, lived in the work of faith, the labor
of love, and the endurance of hope is the church life with the saints and constitutes
the structure of the church. Ok. I don t know how you feel. I quite like this message; in
fact, I quite love this message. Not only did I get some nourishment, some enlightenment,
but I feel like I have something now I could share. I could share what I just shared with
you in a Bible study, on the Lord’s day, prophesy, or in a vital group, home meeting, or even
at a table at Starbucks having a cup of coffee with a new one. All right? So I don’t just
come away with random, Ok, there was, uh, something about, I know it was young church
and there was this work of labor and something with loving to endure in faith. No. Actually
we got the burden and we got the points. But even at the end of the message Brother Lee
tells us in the last paragraph: We need to see that the church is the composition of
human beings who are in God the Father with life and who are organically in the Lord.
We also need to see that the Christian life for the church life is constructed of the
work of faith, the labor of love and the endurance of hope. In forthcoming messages we shall
see more concerning this work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope. Meaning, if
you don t get these three just yet completely nailed down, don t worry about it, we re going
to come back to them, but don t miss the organic union. You know, saints, I hope this example
has been helpful. I decided after going through this to go back and check how we edited the
program, and sure enough, and it must have been about six years ago now, we got the burden,
and it was quite an enjoyable program. So what I would say, you might consider this,
after you have gone through reading, and maybe instead of six minutes, to really read it
for the burden it takes you ten, how about then at sometime later in that day when it
s still fresh and you think you know what the burden is, when it’s still fresh to you
at least, check out, pull up what was the radio message and now is the
mp3 archive of the life study of the Bible, since you don’t need a radio to listen to
it any longer, and see if what you picked up as the burden matches how the brothers
responded when we prepared that radio program. Now, that takes 23 minutes, but you can do
it while you re driving, while you re exercising, while you’re doing the dishes, folding the
clothes, so all total you ve invested 30 minutes, 2/3 of which you were able to accomplish other
tasks during it. So I hope that this is helpful to you. You know, there s one more thing you
‘ll get in addition to some nourishment, some enlightenment, and something to share, as
I got after reading this message in that way; I got the desire to read the next one. That
‘s what will hold you, much more effectively than just another check mark in the box. Amen?
So now you have my burden.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Thank you. Very helpful fellowship. May we be brought further on in our ministry pursuit beyond reading out of duty or picking up a few scattered points into the very burden.

  2. the two main problems with this is that we are focusing on the life-study for our truth and analyzing it more than the scripture which is the breathing Word of God. second is that one must check his understanding against that of the Local Church just to see if they were correct. this is authoritarian and keeps the christian from doing anything outside of the all seeing eye of the Local Church. Christ is the only source of truth and His word is all we need to find the truth of God. Praise Him

  3. I,ve read some life studies online at the LSM site and I think they are great! they really open up the truth in the bible… something I would never be able to do by just reading the bible myself. Thanks LSM.. Thank you Lord.

  4. I see. So what message common to "christian doctrine regardless of the name of the ministry or denomination" do you find to not be the true message of the Bible? What do you think the real message of the Bible is?

  5. Yes,a very helpful guidance in how to approach Life-Study. I began to practise it, and my enjoyment of the Word has increased.

  6. I have been helped by this video – I watched it at least a few times. It's one thing to read the life-studies and it is another thing to dive into them to get the riches in God's word for our constitution. May we not just "skate on the surface" but take the way of constitution with the truth.

  7. I have been greatly helped by reading the life studies. By consistently reading I have been much encouraged and enlivened. It's good to hear how to read them, may we pick up the burden in these messages until our constitution is changed.

  8. Hmmm after listening to my brother I felt his burden was to reveal to us the living word in the bible, so that the words become spiritual food not knowledge 🙂

  9. I was helped by this fellowship regarding the Life-Study radio broadcast. Until now I was always wondering why they do not just use the audio directly from brother Lee's speaking the life-studies, or perhaps record someone reading the edited, typed version in a living way (that method would remove any jumbled/staticky audio from the original). But, this speaking does a good job of explaining that the radio messages are intended to bring out the burden from the life-study messages.

  10. Nice example on "organic union." How about reading the Word of God with and as the Divine Person, as it is written Rev. 19 verse 13 And He is clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God. (Note2 LSM) The Word of God is the definition, explanation, and expression of God. As the Word of God, Christ imparts life as grace to God's chosen people in the Gospel of John (John 1:1, 4, 14), but He executes God's judgment upon the rebellious people in the Revelation of John.

  11. What’s up with the term “find the burden”? No one outside the Living Stream Ministry Churches uses the word burden like this guy does.

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