Bible Devotions

Discipline Required

on May 20, 2011

As followers of Christ, we are called to continue in our faith no matter what circumstances may arise.    To do so requires discipline because it is so easy to let ourselves react from our old nature instead of by the new spirit within us.

 

 

Acts 2:42 NKJV says “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  The first church is an example to us.  In Acts we see them continuing steadfastly, which is another way of saying they were committed to a certain way of life or they conducted themselves with a certain discipline.  Our faith must be handled with equal discipline if it is to flourish and bloom as God intended.   

 

The four things the first church continued in are the same four things we should have in our lives too.  Most important was the apostles’ doctrine.  In today’s language, that’s God’s Word or the Holy Bible, both old and new testaments.  This is first in the list because it is the very foundation or anchor for our new life in Christ.  I need to have the Bible with me pretty much everywhere I go.  If you work with me, you’d know that because I’ve got verses on little sticky notes stuck everywhere in my cubical.  If you’ve been in my car, you would also see a scripture reference.  In my house you’d find scripture in just about every room. Why is that? Well to me, the Bible is like oxygen, I can only go so long without taking more in.   How often do you read your Bible?   

 

Keeping God’s Word first takes discipline.  Here’s a few ideas to get more of God’s Word into your every day life:

  • Write down scripture references that really affect you, on sticky notes or 3×5 index cards.  Put them in places you’re sure to see them – the bathroom, the car, the desk, the refrigerator, etc.
  • Listen to Christian music at home or in your car – most times the lyrics are direct quotes from the Bible.
  • Sign up for email devotions.  Every day a new devotion is emailed to you without you even thinking about it.  You’ll always have God’s Word coming to you.
  • Bookmark a few devotional websites, like www.intouch.org, www.insight.org, www.rbc.org.  When you’re on the internet, make it a habit to read at least one of those site’s devotions.

 

 

The next thing the church continued in was fellowship.  A Christian can not be a lone ranger.  A Christian was meant to be connected to the body of Christ.  We are all one in Christ and are called to encourage one another through fellowship.  There are plenty of ways to fellowship with other believers.  Here’s just a few:

  • Join a small group Bible Study through your local church.  That way you’re getting fellowship and God’s Word at the same time!
  • Join an internet-based Christian forum, like www.christianforums.com, www.christianforumsite.com, www.crosswalk.com, www.christianboards.com. There are literally thousands to choose from.  These forums usually have various topics to join discussion on.  I do not advise you to rely on only this form of fellowship.  However, this is a nice compliment to other forms of fellowship.
  • Start a lunch time Bible Study at your work with your co-workers. 
  • Start a Christian Book Club, where all the members select a good Christian book to read and discuss once a month.

 

 

The third thing the church continued in was the tradition of breaking bread together.  Jesus taught us whenever we were eating bread or drinking we should be mindful of His sacrifice for us.  Every time food enters our mouth, it should be a reminder that Christ is the Bread of Life.  He is the all sustaining power that gives us life, and life eternal through His death and resurrection.   While you may celebrate what we call communion at church, I don’t think Jesus meant for it to only take place at church in the congregation.  We should consider communion something we do on regularly with our family at home, too.

 

 

Lastly, the first church continued in prayer.  Prayer is the communication vehicle that opens our hearts to God.  It’s the mechanism for praising God for all He’s done for us, conveying our thoughts or concerns and asking for God’s help.  This is definitely something we need to be doing without ceasing.  What’s so wonderful about prayer?  You can pray anytime, anywhere without constraints.  You don’t need to be in church to pray.  You don’t need a pastor to direct your prayers.  You simply pour out your heart to God and He is faithful to hear you.  Prayer is essential for Christian growth and for developing a deep, rich and intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. 

 

 

It’s easy to forget to apply these things in our lives.  But if you will discipline yourself, you will be blessed beyond what you can imagine.  Dive in to God’s Word, join others who praise His Holy name, remember Christ’s sacrifice of love and never stop praying.  These are keys to a rich, fulfilling and abundant life in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice and your Word to teach us all we need to live godly lives until you return.  Enable us to be disciplined in our faith, to be ever growing in your character by allowing your Word to renew our minds.  Continue your good work in us that one day we will stand before God holy and perfect because of you.  Thank you for your love. In Jesus name Amen.

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One response to “Discipline Required

  1. Excellent points! All too often forgotten.

    -J. Kaiser

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